On vacation, I will happily — nay, gleefully — take pictures of food. I will obnoxiously angle for the perfect shot, shoo away the anxious fingers of my dining companions, and blatantly ignore the wide-eyed stares of other patrons. The staff is generally stoic about my behavior. I find that they tolerate it even though I wonder if, when they talk among themselves, they wish that I wouldn’t do it.
I don’t care. I’m on vacation, gosh darn it!
However, I do care when it is in my own backyard. Taking photos of food in NYC turns shameless vacation-me into sheepish, overly apologetic local-me. When I take pictures of what I eat in New York, I always cringe a little inside.
Oh the hypocrisy!
Maybe the double standard comes from the fact that I will probably return to these restaurants. Or that wait staff seem to appear at one restaurant, and then they magically pop up at other ones, so that you end up seeing the same faces again and again. Or maybe it is because New York City is a mecca for photo-snapping foodies and like every other snooty local, I don’t want to be associated with a bunch of Yelpers.
What is it that they say about not peeing in the pool you swim in? Or not pooping where you eat? Something like that feeling.
However, I do make two exceptions. Like when friends are in town. “Take a picture!!!!” I will squeal. “I’ll take one for you!!!!! Let’s get the server to take a picture of us!!!!!!”
I just get so excited about their visit that I want to immortalize the moment in digital form, food included.
And sometimes, I just can’t resist taking pictures of what I eat when the food is exceptional. Really, truly exceptional.
Like it was at the newly opened Mission Chinese Food New York. This eagerly anticipated restaurant took over the cursed space left by Bia Garden, Michael “Bao” Huyn’s ill-conceived Vietnamese beer garden (note to prospective restaurant investors: don’t open a beer garden dedicated to a country that has no craft beer).
He was also in the house the day that I had lunch with my friend Kelly.
That lunch? Phenomenal. Just wow. Wow. It was . . . oh, man. It was good. Really, really good.
It was so good that I broke my no-photos-in-NYC rule.
In the words of the Mouse over at the blog, Live2EatEat2Live, the socks came off
And for Mike over at testerfoodblog, this post is for you!
What we ate:
Szechuan pepper corn Micheladas
Fresh tofu poached in soy milk with broad bean paste, soy beans and sesame leaves
Thrice-cooked bacon with Shanghainese rice cakes, tofu skin, bitter melon and chili oil
Kung-Pao pastrami with peanuts, celery, potato and explosive chili
Wild pepper leaves with pressed tofu and pumpkin in salted chili broth
Where we ate:
Mission Chinese Food New York, 154 Orchard Street (between Rivington and Stanton), New York, NY 10002
* Mission Chinese Food also donates $0.75 of every main course to the Food Bank of New York City. So not only is Mission Chinese super good for getting your om noms on, but it’s good for the community too!
** Just a quick note to my dear readers, the dissertation has been a little overwhelming lately, so I might not be posting or commenting as frequently! Many apologies!