In 2004, Atlanta Journal-Constitution food critic John Kessler wrote an article about me and my blog called “Welcome to Adam’s.” (You can read it here.)
At the time, food blogging was very, very new and Kessler was baffled and amused by my antics: “Why does this recent Emory law school grad record every meal he eats out — whether a lackluster slice at Johnny’s Pizza or an extravagant tasting menu at Per Se, the new Manhattan sibling to California’s French Laundry? Why does he post photos of everything?”
I recently read an interview with my favorite food writer, Calvin Trillin, in which he said that when guests come to town, he walks them from Greenwich Village (where he lives) to Chinatown. Since I live in Greenwich Village, and since Saturday was beautiful and Craig was busy editing, I decided to follow Trillin’s lead and to walk to Chinatown myself. Granted, I had a leg up on the Trillin walk to Chinatown because once, as part of The New Yorker Festival, I attended Calvin Trillin’s “Come Hungry” tour (an event that sells out faster than you can blink) in which he leads hungry New Yorker readers on a walk from–you guessed it–Greenwich Village to Chinatown. So this was a walk I felt confident taking.
As a Jew who grew up pretty Jewy (a Bar Mitzvah, Passover seders, an original last name of Rothenberg (changed by my grandparents)), I never got very excited about matzoh. Sure, come April, the inevitable boxes would show up at the store and my mom would by some and we’d spread it with butter (a memory I hadn’t remembered until I wrote this sentence, but now that I remember it, it is a nice taste memory). For those who’ve never experienced matzoh, imagine if cardboard and bread had a baby–that’s matzoh. It’s stiff, it’s crackery, it’s often pretty flavorless. Who gets excited about matzoh?
In the current food issue of The New Yorker, Calvin Trillin wonders–in another one of his hilarious food essays–if “through some rare genetic oddity, my sense of taste is at full strength only when I’m standing up.” He wonders this because of his deep love for street food. As a participant of the Calvin Trillin walking tour last year, I was lucky enough to eat street food standing up with the man himself. And the best bite of the tour was, by far, the bite you see above.