New York Giveth and New York Taketh

13 10 2009

OK, long time no ROM blog. This is due, in part, to the fact that beloved Persimmon restaurant has gone down in flames and it’s got me down. Well, not literal flames but shortly after I posted, it became, I suppose, yet another victim of the economy. And if it’s not hipsters running back to their wealthy suburban parents then I’m not laughing. Oh Persimmon. I swear, sometimes New Yorkers know dick about food. Why is it that every Saturday I see a line like 30 deep at Clinton Street Bakery? THEY’RE JUST PANCAKES PEOPLE!  I walked in there once looking for a croissant when I lived on Clinton Street in back in 2001. ‘Oh, it’s a sit-down restaurant,’ I thought to myself, ‘why do they call it a bakery?’ Needless to say there were no croissants. Savages. Man, people love to come to New York to wait on lines & go to the next “it” place.

Look at the lemmings

Look at the lemmings

My point is not to shit on Clinton Street bakery. I’ve never eaten there. My point is some New Yorkers would wait on line to get punched in the face if they read it was the new hot shit in New York Times Magazine (because come ON, they’ve got their finger on the pulse). And then great places like Persimmon close down because no one goes there. On the same token, if Persimmon had been crawling with douche bags, beating each other down with their Louis Vuitton bags to get in, I would never have given it a chance. *SIGH* you can’t win.

On a happy note, my beloved bakery Panya that closed down bringing me close to tears is RE-OPENING! Oh, happy day. It looks like the they’re taking over the entire space that used to belong to Around the Clock.  Maybe that’s what the cryptic sign on the door said (well, cryptic to me since I can’t read Japanese). I should have called Dan Brown to decode it, it would have eased the pain.  Panya was the perfect neighborhood place. A lot of people knew about it, it had reasonable prices, the service was friendly and you didn’t have to wait in line with a bunch of jackasses. I hope that it doesn’t get overrun upon it’s re-opening. Although in the meantime I’ve been lucky that cafe Zaiya is close and I can get my red bean buns there in the meantime. Truth be told their spicy tuna bun is better than the one at Panya.

But seriously though? You can’t trust the system.

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DISATER STRIKES THE EAST VILLAGE

23 01 2009

Businesses are closing left and right in my hood. But with the economy as it is, c’est la vie. I mean seriously, did you really think a high-end lingerie store on Avenue B was viable? Your bad. When I saw Around the Clock on 3rd avenue with a sign out that said “last day” I was a little surprised. I haven’t been there in years but it’s a good place for college students to get their cheap grub on & I’ve never turned my nose up at a cheap restaurant with a full bar (although their bloody mary’s were lacking if I remember correctly). However, when I walked by Panya this morning and saw its shuttered doors, I had to muffle a cry.

WHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY????

Say it ain't so!

Say it ain't so!

This little Japanese bakery was the jam! It had unique reasonably priced goods most of which I had tried and loved. Fresh red bean buns with black sesame on top (chunky & smooth varieties). All kinds of croissants in both whole wheat and regular including chocolate, spinach and cheese, chocolate and banana, almond . . . ok, I’ll stop. But what about the green tea biscotti? Or the green tea tiramisu even? The seasonal favorites filled with pumpkin cream? This is just too much for me in the morning.

Then I came across this which confirmed my greatest fears.

Their coffee wasn’t great but it was cheap. And the BAKED GOODS! Man. If there’s one thing I hate it’s sub-par baked goods. You will never catch me munching on some week-old blueberry muffin at a catered meeting. There’s really nothing worse. And let me tell ya, if the coffee shop you’re going to doesn’t have a bakery, that’s probably what you’re eating. I used to work at one! We’d keep stuff out for weeks! Some are, of course, worse than others but it’s often surprising who the offenders are. Those cute little places with great coffee and friendly servers . . . just use your eyes, if it looks old it prob is. I went to a place I like for coffee, sat at the bar and noticed that fruit flies were swarming under the glass lid that had been put over a plate of brownies. Glad I never ate there. Word to the wise, you’re often better off going to a place like Au Bon Pan for baked goods since at least you know they were made that day. That’s why when a great, independent bakery like Panya goes down, it’s a real tragedy.

Panya, I will dump my latte on the office carpet in your memory.