The Passover Chronicles, continued
Wow, I guess I never finished writing this post! Do forgive me. I’ve been distracted.
Matzo brei, as demonstrated by my Uncle Paul. He was a bit self conscious about being photographed, so he forgot to mix in the egg mixture with the matzo before putting it in the pan. It didn’t turn out as well as he would have liked.
Here’s matzo brei my grandma’s way, a bit more complicated, since she boils the water before adding it. In case you’ve never had it, matzo brei is basically French toast. You can have it sweet, with jam, or savory. Either way, butter is essential to make that
cardboard matzo taste like something.
Where else did I eat in New York? Well, aside from sneaking sacrilegious oatmeal/cereal breakfasts, I ate dinner on the last night at Le Pain Quotidien, one of the most awesome lunch/cafe chains in New York.
Not only do they have delicious coffee and pastries, but they always have vegan and vegetarian soup options, creative open-faced tartines, and even vegan quiche! They post the nutritional information on everything… I’m not sure how I feel about that (I prefer not knowing exactly how many calories are in what I’m eating), but I suppose it’s useful.
I was suffering from one of my terrible stomach aches and could barely move, let alone think about food. But I knew that I would feel better if I ate, and all I really wanted was soup and something light. My aunt Claire was nice enough to walk the four or so blocks to the cafe (which is open until 7pm) with me.
She wasn’t very hungry, so she ordered a Belgian hot chocolate. It was interesting—they steamed the milk and served the chocolate alongside so that when you poured it in yourself, it still looked white.
I ordered the soup, which was spinach, but it was vegan, so there was no cream. I also ordered some kind of quiche with tofu and vegetables on a buckwheat crust… exactly the kind of dish that my mom would make fun of me for eating. It turned out to be just the thing for my poor sensitive stomach.
The soup was really intense, since it had such a concentrated spinach flavor. As for the “quiche,” it wasn’t really one, but it was wonderful. Rather than cloying, it had layers of carrot, spinach, and tomato. I couldn’t really detect tofu, but the buckwheat crust was surprisingly good. It was also served with a salad with pesto dressing.
In New York, there as are Pain Quotidiens scattered around as Starbucks… that’s something I wish Chicago would have.