Al drove me to A&A Bake and Doubles the other day, because he’s nice. I wolfed down 2 of the eponymous doubles: chewy, greasy rounds of flatbread filled with thick chickpea curry and squirted with 2 truly outstanding sauces (vinegary hot chili and sweet tamarind). Is it possible to get anything better than this for $1? The case could be made, I suppose, that the tako yaki at Otafuku break down to $1 per ball, but I think that’s cheating. I declare A&A the winner.
A&A Bake and Doubles, 481 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11216
From Mark Bittman’s recipe.
So versatile, so delicious. This is my lentil soup with cavolo nero in an early stage of development.
Dinner: with sweet sesame greens and curry roasted potatoes.
Lunch: on rye levain with kecap and leftover greens.
I finally accomplished two things that I’ve been meaning to do for a while: have dinner with Dan and try Zabb City, the cousin of a well-regarded Queens Thai restaurant. For the most part, the quality of Dan’s company outstripped that of the food. What I had:
Isaan Sausage – A plateful of sliced pork sausage served with matchsticks of ginger and red onion, some peanuts, and a few chilis. Slightly chewy (that’s a good thing) with great porky flavor. By far my favorite dish.
Pork Laab – Meh. This ended up being very disappointing. While it was volcanically spicy, there wasn’t much flavor going on. No lime, no mint or basil – just total mouthburn. There were a few bits of red onion and many specks of chili, but nothing aside from that. It was served steaming hot temperature-wise, which I didn’t like and haven’t ecountered before.
Sticky Rice – Yay! Another winner. Very basic, but perfectly done.
I also tried some of Dan’s main dish, Crispy Duck Salad. Again, meh. The pieces of duck that I tried were basically just skin, and while I love carmelized poultry skin I would have been pissed if it was my entire meal. The flavor (fairly spicy yet a bit sweet) was decent but much of the salad was comprised of thin batons of green apple, which seemed odd to me. I found the entire dish a bit off, in fact.
It seems like a fair number of people have had much better experiences at ZC than I did, so perhaps we can chalk this up to a bad night. Still, I’m not going to be running back.
Zabb City, 244 East 13th Street, NYC
Originally uploaded by warmleatherette
Al made this.
(And it was good!)