Odd Combinations

My New York food saga continues with the mad musician J* (ok, he plays the violin but it’s fairly rad), someone who luckily matches me in adventurousness and overall gluttony. We delight in wandering up to a dessert display case and picking out the most unidentifiable creation. For example, we sampled an interesting ball of sweet, crispy noodles topped with pistachio and tasting rather similar to baklava in a cafe in the East Village. It was absurdly messy yet tasty, and I have no idea what it was. If you think you know, leave me a comment!

I was waiting for J* outside Grand Sichuan in Chelsea last night with a growing appetite as I stared in at bright green bok choy, wontons, and gorgeous braised meats. Complete with pig’s feet, and ox tongue, Grand Sichuan is widely considered to be one of the most authentic Chinese restaurants in New York. Instead of making people uncomfortable staring at their food while I waited, I wandered down into Chelsea and eventually found an adorable little shop called Three Tarts. I was browsing through the colorful tableware and aprons, and eventually found the glass jars of homemade marshmallows. I couldn’t help but let out a delighted “ooooo,” amusing the powdered sugar covered women behind the counter. The marshmallows came in a variety of traditional flavors and more interesting choices such as the aromatic rosemary. I opted for one strawberry and one mango, and surprisingly, even pridefully, managed to eat only half of each, saving the rest for J*.

We split Braised Beef in Chili sauce at Grand Sichuan, which was easily one of the spiciest dishes I have ever enjoyed. Now I love spicy food, but this was the kind of tear-your-face-off spicy that made my lungs feel the burn as I inhaled. My sinuses were cleared, I was sweating, and I loved it, though we could not inspire the waitress to adequate levels of water-refilling. After such an intense meal, simple marshmallows coaxed our systems out of all out revolt.

Here’s a simple recipe for making the deliciousness known as Homemade Marshmallows. Experiment with cocoa powder, fruit juices, swirling in sprinkles, or anything your culinary genius can concoct. Have fun.


Photos Compliment of Flickr, mcauliflower and munkeyjenn

  • Homesick Texan

    Two of my favorite neighborhood spots–you had an excellent evening! Thanks for the link to the marshmallow recipe. Never tried making them but am curious.

  • Caley

    What’s your favorite dish at Grand Sichuan? Any recommendations?

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