Monday, May 04, 2009

No Oompah Bands

We headed out fully intending to hit Zum Schneider, but subways and the weather conspired against us. No subway really goes close to Zum Schneider, which is located on the far lower east side in the area affectionately known as Alphabet City. I suppose, if I was more ambitious, or thought about it more, I could have transferred to a bus, but that didn't happen.

It was just kind of drizzly when we headed to the subway so I didn't think walking would be a problem. But then when we got to the subway station we entered in to the MTA equivalent of a Kafka novel. The track for the subway we wanted, the F train, was closed for repairs. Well, no big deal, the train we wanted just showed up on a different track. But then when we got on it there were some garbled announcements and the next thing we know it is running a different route and we end up way over on the East Side, in Greenwich Village.

I figured we would just take the F train back downtown to the West Side, but then I wasn't sure where that would really go so we took the D train instead. I am not that familiar with this line so I wasn't sure where to get off. When we got to Grand Street I figured it was time to depart because now we would be heading back to Brooklyn if we stayed on.

When we got out of the station it was raining much harder and the area, a corner of Chinatown, had the ambiance of something out of Blade Runner. In a neat kind of way. Right across the street was a Vietnamese restaurant so we kind of said, What the hell, and went there.

Nam Son


I think the huge stretch limo added to that Blade Runner ambiance, for some reason.

"More Human Than Human" Is Our Motto


By the way, if you ever get the chance you should watch the director's cut of this film. It adds a bit to the plot in a bizarre kind of way.

Anyway, I was happy to see they had '33' beer here. It was a great favorite when I was actually in Viet Nam. And even though you good get beer at the serviceman's clubs for about a dime, I think you could get this for even less. Plus it always tasted better having a cold one in a kind of dive Vietnamese bar with weird music and, maybe, a pool table.

Like An Old Friend


We ordered some spring rolls and something else that I really can't describe for appetizers. The spring rolls were really good and the other stuff, well, strange.

Good Spring Rolls


And The Weird Stuff


A kid sitting across from me really seemed to be enjoying his meal, so I just asked the waiter to give me what he was having. I have noticed that Asian kids seem to enjoy their food much more than American kids. Must be kind of a cultural thing.

Kid's Food


It was just chunks of beef in a heavy brown sauce with a lot of fried onions, but it was quite good and hit the spot on a chilly, gloomy, rainy day.

The Mysterious Chinese woman ordered a pork dish that was really delicious. I don't know how they did it, but the pork, although thinly sliced and cooked completely through, was exceptionally tender. They must marinate it in something.

Pork And Sides


I think the thing to do is to roll up the pork with some of the other stuff in a lettuce leaf and then kind of eat it like a taco.

Not Too Sure About This


Having It My Way


It really was too rainy to do any walking around so we just headed back home after we were done eating. But as we left we had one last memory of the somewhat "other worldliness" of this particular stop on the D train.

So Long, And Thanks For The Memories


Now that I know about this little neighborhood I will have to make a point of coming back again. That is the thing about living in New York. You can live here forever and still continue to find little tucked away neighborhoods that you have never visited before.