After several months of drooling over co-workers’ lunches, I made it over to Terry’s today. It looks like your average, dime-a-dozen Manhattan deli from the outside, and indeed you can get tossed salads and paninis and smoothies and whatnot, but there’s also a steam table selection of Trinidadian food. Today’s dishes were shrimp curry, chicken curry, oxtail stew, crab curry, fish curry, and potato and chick pea curry, plus baked chicken, roast turkey, and spare ribs (and I’m sure I’m forgetting something – there was a ton of food). I chose the oxtail, with a side of macaroni pie. White rice, potatoes, and fried rice were also available, but didn’t look as good.
I really liked the stew, which was rich and unctuous as oxtail should be. An excellent, vinegary hot sauce is served on the side, providing a sharp accent for the meat. The macaroni pie tasted very good, but the pasta was so overcooked that it began to deliquesce under the heat of the stew. After a few minutes, I was left with a slurry of cheesy gravy. Next time I’ll have rice, or choose a roti instead. And there will be a next time – I’m thrilled to have this as a lunchtime option.
Terry’s Gourmet Deli, 575 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
Some pictures from our lunch in Ayer, Massachusetts (L to R: banchan, kim bop, ja jang myun). The restaurant is somewhat forlorn looking, a low-slung white rectangle with a vaguely seedy-looking yellow and red sign proclaiming “ORIENTAL FOOD.” Both the locale and the venue don’t necessarily inspire confidence that solid Korean home-cooking is on offer, but that’s exactly what you’ll get. Our lunch was tasty and very haimish – the kind of food that I associate with my friend’s grandmother or the ladies from her church. I’m sad that this place is several hundred miles away, as I would love to be a regular.
Woo Jung, 174 West Main Street, Ayer MA
With a name like that, how can you resist? We couldn’t. I spotted the sign from I-95, screamed, and off we went in search of dinner. After several loops around the needlessly complicated traffic circle that greets travelers coming from Exit 24, we found the squat little building and enjoyed a delicious if nutritionally suspect meal. I had the Chicagoan (lettuce, tomato, a pickle spear, mustard, salt, pepper, and hot relish); Al chose the New Englander (sauerkraut, bacon, mustard, sweet relish, and chopped raw onion). The base for both is a split, griddled dog with a fair amount of snap and good if unremarkable flavor. What really sends them into orbit is the quality and quantity of the toppings: very fresh, with homemade relishes and pickles, and everything is doled out with a generous hand. The end result is a bit messy, but not grossly gloppy, and the individual tastes of the various ingredients aren’t muddied. Truly outstanding french fries, as well (shame about the watery iced tea, though).
Super Duper Weenie, 306 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield CT