reappraisal of the New World
Thursday, March 25 2010
For the first time in years, Gretchen and I went out to eat tonight at New World Home Cooking (on 212 between Saugerties and Woodstock). We'd be meeting K&C, our photogenic vegan friends (and two of their friends) to celebrate K's birthday, and our houseguest Ray would be our waiter. We'd timed our meal to coincide with one of his shifts.
I'd always been disappointed with New World's food, and gradually Gretchen and I had stopped going there. But tonight we sat down to a meal that turned out to be not only delicious, but entirely vegan as well. Ray, who has now been vegan himself for months, helpfully steering us clear of the dishes where hidden fish sauce might be lurking. I particularly liked the seitan "wings" (which come in three or four flavors; I went with the cajun). I wish I had a big basket of them to eat in front of a television. Unfortunately, they don't really seem to understand the finer points of french fry manufacturing, but part of the problem was that mine had gone soggy in something called "banana ketchup" (which proved just as unappetizing as it sounds).
At some point during the meal we were talking about dinner flatware sets, and how (as individual pieces are lost and replaced) it comes to be a hodge-podge. This gave me the opportunity to use the word "palimpsest," which isn't just one of my favorite-sounding words (to the extent that I know how to pronounce it), but it's also one of a handful of fundamental metaphors that can be mixed and matched to describe a wide variety of phenomena (another is natural selection, though that concept hasn't been encoded into single snappy Greek word).
One of the reasons people like New World has nothing to do with its food. It's a cozy environment, with walls painted in warm earthy oranges and a bar aglow with Christmas lights. It's the kind of place one wants to duck into on a savagely cold winter night.
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