Saltie & Blue Bottle Coffee

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Last week I decided to take a field trip to Williamsburg.

While working on my book, I did take a weekly sojourn to Park Slope, my old stomping grounds, to grab sushi at Taro and to do work at Gorilla, but I did that because it was comfortable and familiar (and I think Taro has the best, most reasonably priced sushi lunch deal in New York); I also like working at Gorilla, it’s a nice change of pace from my daily West Village routine. But Williamsburg? Williamsburg I know very little about.

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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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How To Roast Red Peppers

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As autumn conquers summer, and I stroll through the Union Square Farmer’s Market, I start to panic and worry about all the fruits and vegetables I didn’t buy during those precious few warm-weather months. Which explains why, during one Saturday saunter, I came home with four giant red peppers.

I didn’t really have a red pepper agenda, but after watching this red pepper video on Food52 I decided I wanted to roast them. Then marinate them. And who knew that from that simple act I’d get three more dishes: a sandwich, a salad, and a gussied-up mac & cheese?

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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 Best Tuna Sandwich in New York is at The New French

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Recently, I had my friends Rob and Kath over for dinner. They live in our building and we were chatting about the neighborhood, our favorite places to eat and, inevitably, The New French came up. “You know it’s funny,” I said. “At first I didn’t love The New French, but recently I discovered their tuna sandwich and it’s seriously the best tuna sandwich of my life.”

“You didn’t just discover it,” said Rob.

“What?”

“You blogged about it,” he insisted. “Last year.”

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Egg Salad Soliloquy

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I, Egg Salad, am superior to your egg salad. Why you ask? For starters, my eggs are always perfectly cooked. They start in cold water and then the heat is raised until it’s boiling, then it’s taken off the heat, a lid is placed and they sit like that for 15 minutes. I bet your eggs have green rings around them; not mine! Again, I’m superior.

Once cooked like that, my eggs are submerged in ice water and then peeled under a running faucet to make it easier for the egg to separate from the shell. Once peeled, my eggs are NOT smashed in a bowl with a fork like your grandmother used to do. No, no, no. My eggs are placed on a cutting board and cut into dainty little cubes. Precious? Perhaps; but darling no doubt!

Diced, the eggs dive into a bowl and are adorned with a loving dollop of mayo: not too much or we’ll lose our eggy essence. For a kick, some mustard; kosher salt, pepper and here’s the real kicker: capers. And celery. And paprika and just a dash of cayenne pepper.

Those are my secrets, you unworthy secret hearer. I am Egg Salad, and I am superior to you and all that you represent. I am served on toasted whole wheat bread with salt and vinegar potato chips. I am wonderful, you know it. Kiss my feet.

Sincerely,

Egg Salad

Two Seattle Sandwiches (Consumed at Crave & The Baguette Box)

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Here are two sandwiches to enjoy in Seattle. In both cases, I was stranded at a coffee shop in Capitol Hill (Victrola on the first day, Vivace on the second day) because Craig, who has meetings throughout the day, drops me off at these places so I can do my own work while he does his. I am doing that now. This is work–do you think I LIKE blogging for you people?

The sandwich you see above was ordered at Crave (recommended by Rena) which has its own website. The sandwich is a Crab Melt with “chilean crab, fontina cheese, chermoulah remoulade, mango red pepper salsa, on La Brea sourdough.” Now I was wary of mixing crab with cheese–seems irreverent to the crab, ya know?–but this came together quite magically. The crab stood up to the Fontina and the other components added necessary tang and zest to achieve maximum sandwich harmony. Add to that homemade chips and homemade pickles (the former very good, the latter shockingly bland–were they pickled in vinegar or WATER?) and Crave is a perfect spot for lunch.

The second sandwich was from The Baguette Box (recommended by Molly) which also has it own website. Can you guess which sandwich I had?

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It sort of looks like a red onion and lettuce sandwich, doesn’t it? But no: buried beneath that mix of purple and green was a beautiful house-cured salmon gravlox. The Pacific Northwest is the place to be for salmon and this gravlox did its location justice. Plus the bread was fresh and crunchy and the toppings–while a bit overpowering (red onion breath alert)–were lovingly placed and dressed with just the right touch of salt and pepper. (You can even see the pepper in the picture).

So if you’re stranded on Capitol Hill–or even if you’re not–those are two very good sandwiches that you can enjoy in Seattle.