Egg Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Anchovies

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Cooking, sometimes, is like a game. The game changes from dish to dish, but often, for me, the game is: How Can I Make This Better Without Leaving My Apartment?

This is a fun game to play, especially when you’re making something as pedestrian as an egg salad sandwich. You boil the eggs, you peel them, then you put them into a bowl and look at them. That’s when the game starts.

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The Avocado Sandwich at Prune

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It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes you’re at a restaurant, waiting for your food, and you see a dish appear on the pass. You think to yourself: “Ooooh, that looks so good, maybe I should’ve ordered that?” You stare it for a few more beats and begin chastising yourself for ordering the thing you ordered instead of that other dish. “What was I thinking? That looks so much better! Mine’s going to suck.”

That’s exactly what happened to me the other day when I had lunch at Prune, only there was a twist ending: when the waiter picked up the plate to bring it to the lucky person who ordered it, I quickly discovered that the lucky person who ordered it was me.

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The Pó Panini

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Pó isn’t a restaurant that I frequent, but it’s a restaurant that I should frequent more. After all, this is where Mario Batali got his start, and however much distance now exists between him and this restaurant, every time I eat here I’m reminded of all the things I loved about Mario when he first came on the scene: his exuberance, his intelligence, and, mostly, his bold way with food.

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Chickpea Salad

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Cheap and easy: that’s my new motto (and reputation), especially at lunch. Yes–times are hard, even for your friendly Amateur Gourmet. “But you just went to Momofuku Ko,” you might say and I’d say back, “Yes, and wiped myself clean!” Especially now that I’ve done my taxes: to quote my rabbi, “Oy!”

No more lunches out, then: from now on it’s sandwiches and leftovers. And the occasional chickpea salad like the one you see above.

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Cold Weather Lunches in N.Y.C. (Setagaya & Pearl)

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There are cold days and then there are really cold days and on those really cold days you probably want to stay at home, under the covers, and never get out of bed. But then you have to get out of bed and, more importantly, you have to eat and if you’re in Manhattan running errands, you may find it difficult to find the cold weather comfort food you crave. Sure you could snarf a burrito, you could scarf a sandwich, but will that really warm you up? No, it will not. But here are two N.Y.C. dishes that will.

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Reader Query: Chinatown Lunch

Since my readers have been so helpful in the past, I’m seeking advice for an upcoming lunch date I have in Chinatown this week. What’s a great Chinatown spot, open weekdays for lunch, and what should we eat there? Your advice is much appreciated.