Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mooncake Foods

Yesterday, after a triumphant and exhausting silks class (I successfully did two foot locks in the air and Brittany did a fabulous inversion - see Jan 16 blog), my buddies and I decided to search out a new restaurant and treat ourselves to dinner. Here's the problem: NY Trapeze school happens to be on 30th between 10th and 11th - a no man's land for restaurants. We walked a few blocks east and still only found loud, dirty Irish pubs and cheesy Italian front restaurants (hey, it's New York - the mob has to have somewhere to do its business). Luckily, Brittany had a very helpful app on her phone that listed restaurants in the area. It led us to a little joint called Mooncake foods. Upon first glance, I was a little skeptical, but as Brittany said it got great "Yelp" reviews, we decided to give it a try.

Mooncake Foods on 30th between 7th and 8th is an Asian fusion diner. That's the closest I can get to describing it. The website says they serve fun casual Asian comfort food. Okay . . . I think my description is actually more accurate, but whatever. First, Mooncake's decor definitely leaves a lot to be desired. It's clean, but It truly looks a bit like a high school cafeteria with framed Chinese characters lining the walls. We were ushered to a seat and I looked doubtfully across the bare table at Rachael. I wanted a grown up dinner, I whined in my head. I begrudgingly picked up the menu and almost gasped. The dishes were incredibly cheap! $8.95 for a chicken entree? $8.95 for salmon or steak? $2.50 pints? Brittany had said it was cheap, but this was Southwest Virginia cheap, not New York cheap. I'm sure the portions are small, I thought, and ordered a miso glazed salmon with brown rice and a salad. 

We chatted about wrist wraps, caterpillar climbs, and chalk usage over ginger tea until our food arrived and we dove in hungrily. Bite by bite, I began to understand why people loved this kooky juke joint of the east. Everything was scrumptious. My salmon was perfectly cooked, moist, and flavorful. We shared side plates of Japanese eggplant, honey soy glazed chicken wings, and yummy marinated cucumbers. All worth taking a trip back down to the Madison Square Garden madness of the 30's. And all portions were more than generous. Brittany took home enough of her spicy chicken and soba noodles (my favorite of the evening) for a whole other meal. I considered stealing it away, but reminded myself that I had seen that Mooncake . . . what? Delivers. Yes, folks. All that and a fortune cookie. We had officially found our post-silk class hangout. So, the moral of the story? Don't judge an egg roll by its batter. (Sorry, I had to.)

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