Rob and I have been dating for six years, which is basically like forever. And, I have to give the guy credit, he was a good sport about Valentine’s Day for the first few years (now he just bitches a lot, but always with flowers in hand. good man.) We’ve done the whole month-in-advance reservation at a nice NYC restaurant, where you overpay for a prix fixe menu and are stuffed into a dining room of two-tops. Don’t get me wrong, the bronzino at Fig and Olive is delicious (where we went year three, I believe), but the whole thing is ridiculous… you take a very good restaurant, with a typically pleasant atmosphere, and turn it into a zoo with pre-selected food and ugly roses. No thanks. ALTHOUGH, the people watching is phenom. So if you’re going for the purposes of mocking, I whole-heartedly support you.
Back to 2013. Mission Chinese was good. The wait is ridiculously long if you don’t have a reservation (and they only take a hand full), but you can give your phone number to the host and go to one of the nearby bars… so, fine. Also, the kitchen is in the front and there is a glass window, pretty cool entertainment (I watched for 30 minutes. creeper.)
We ordered a lot of food. Like, a lot a lot, two sides and four mains… but, I wanted to try everything that had been recommended! My favorite dish, by far, was the egg egg noodles. Rob’s was the thrice cooked bacon. Get those two. And the peanuts were delicious, very vinegary. The kung pao pastrami was only okay… maybe I’m just a pastrami purist, growing up on jewish deli, but I was not impressed. The smashed cucumbers were fine, nice to have something fresh in the mix. But, the sauce on the beef brisket and broccoli was so salty it was pretty much inedible. Apologies the pictures aren’t great… lighting sucked, they were taken on my iPhone, and I had a few celebratory cocktails.
We took home about half the food and I totally salvaged the brisket by chopping it up and making healthy-ish fried rice. The meat was delicious once it was out of that sauce… a very good day after Valentine’s Day “steak”.
To make the fried rice: I steamed two cups of brown rice; sauteed some shrimp, sweet onions, garlic, ginger and green onions in a little sesame oil/PAM mixture; threw the rice in the pan and scrambled in one egg; put in a dash of sesame seeds, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar; and topped each plate with a poached egg. So good.