I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of Thanksgiving. Yes, I am a fat man. Yes I love to stuff my face. Me & Thanksgiving sound like a match made in heaven. But as you can tell from this blog, I love ethnic food, so turkey and stuffing just don’t do it for me. American Thanksgiving is boring. Thankfully, America is full of immigrants, not satisfied with putting just turkey out on the table. My step-mom cooks great Italian food- so Thanksgiving at my Dad’s includes Lasagna. I think I would like Cuban Thanksgiving too. One of my co-workers (who is Cuban) said they have roast pork, in addition to Turkey. I’ve never been to a Chinese Thanksgiving, but if they had roast duck (or General Tso’s chicken) in addition to their turkey, I’d probably like that too.
I didn’t plan on writing about Thanksgiving this week, but on Friday I found a little treat that was perfect to write about this week- and of course it was at a Japanese place. On Friday I was walking down what is becoming one of my favorite streets to eat lunch in Midtown- 41st btw. Madison & 5th. There are only three places, and they are all Japanese- but each place offers up it’s own distinct experience of take-out Japanese fare. There is Yagura (a no frills supermarket with a small and cheap selection of made to order bento boxes), Cafe Zaiya (a slightly nicer, always packed bakery with pre-made bento boxes, rice balls and tons of other treats) and Chiyoda- the place I decided to pop into on Friday.
When I first found this amazing street, Cafe Zaiya was like a dream come true. Fun, exciting and packed with tons of amazing foods at super cheap prices. Chiyoda, in contrast, seemed like a slightly nicer sushi place, that was trying to mimic the success of Cafe Zaiya by offering a limited selection of rice balls and bento boxes in addition to pre-made sushi. In the past few months they have undergone a subtle makeover, and have now come into their own- offering upscale (but still inexpensive) treat, including small dishes like an avocado and salmon tartare, interesting looking Omusubi (rice balls) and an assortment of delicious looking salads, tempura, odon and more… all available to go. But more on Chiyoda another time… this is my Thanksgiving post!
I found three delicious looking Pumpkin treats at Chiyoda… and decided they would make for a great pre-Thanksgiving post. Check it out… after the jump:
I wouldn’t normally order something as fancy as a Pumpkin and Walnut salad- but it was served in a plastic cup, making it just down to earth enough for me. Tack on a couple pieces of Pumpkin tempura, and a Pumpkin pastry and you’ve got a Thanksgiving post! The salad and tempura were both savory, allowing you to appreciate the flavor of Pumpkin (without the sugar)… but the real treat was the pastry and it’s full on sugary goodness. Pumpkin pie is the best part of Thanksgiving for a reason! The lady who made them was actually behind the glass case serving people, and seemed pretty pleased to watch this fat guy scarf down her creations. It was a nice sign of how Chiyoda has evolved… an upscale, but still cheap Japanese take out joint with interesting (and sometimes seasonal) creations. A full +/- coming soon…
Chiyoda Sushi, 16 E 41st (btw. 5th & Mad), 212-400-8880