Sunday, March 15, 2009

'Hood Food

Fried rice made with leftover char siu (barbecued pork), eggs, scallions, soy sauce and spam. As you can see, spam is getting a run for its money in our house.

Baked ziti with fresh ricotta cheese and Bertolli olive & garlic tomato sauce.

Bronx. Straight up.

You may call it Vandalism. I call it Street Art.

Starbucks Cafe @ Barnes & Noble

English Breakfast Tea & Co.

This entry originally took place on March 10.

I love bookstores. As a self-professed bibliophile, books transport me to magical locations and unusual situations. I can explore the bustling markets of Marrakech, sip afternoon tea with the Brits and take surfing lessons in New Zealand, all without moving an inch. There's so much to see and hear: Colorful book jacket covers and journals on display, ambient music, folks from every background -- all within 100 square feet. And the aroma of house blend coffee fills the nostrils.

I packed up my books and braced myself for some hardcore work at Barnes & Noble. My favorite is the one in Union Square, but this one was in Carle Place, Long Island. In any case, my stomach began to rumble three hours into reading my notes. I decided to try the daily special: Balsamic Chicken Breast 1/2 Sandwich with Wild Rice & Chicken Soup. I waited about 5-7 minutes for my order. The lady in front of me who had ordered the same thing was impatiently harrying the waitstaff.

The sandwich itself was fine, but what I had a problem with was the portion size. A half sandwich here is not like one at Panera's -- it's more like 1/3 of the size of a regular sandwich. I crunched into a sliver of cheese and chicken breast (which was tender, thankfully). The soup was a pleasing medley of hearty wild rice, soft chicken chunks, broccoli and other vegetables.

My sister had a Spinach & Artichoke Strata. It was hot and eggy, but if you look closely, a strand of black hair was stuck in the middle of the globular structure. Not cool.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars -- Nothing extraordinary here, but the soup's texture rocked. I want to give it more, but the portions aren't worth the price (upwards of $7 for the sandwich-soup combo).

Country Glen Center
91 Old Country Road
Carle Place, NY 11514