Over the past several summers Wooly's Ice, Ponji Juice Bar, and Snow & Tell introduced New York to snow ice. Though it often resembles shaved ice in variety and abundance of toppings, it's creamier, thanks to a base in which milk, water, and flavoring are frozen together.
At Snowdays, where the confection is called shaved cream, a half-dozen flavored bases can be combined with a bewildering number of toppings and drizzles. Here, the shaved "sweet milk" base has been dressed with almond, waffle cone, and banana toppings and salted caramel and condensed milk drizzles (about $7 all in). A friend and I split this for dessert after a nearby dinner, but if you're willing to imagine a bowl of cereal just out of the deep freeze, it almost looks like breakfast.
(This venue closed in 2014 after 30 years.) When blueberries are in season, these nubbly half-moons ($7 per dozen) are wonderful with a little butter and sugar. To my taste, however, plum pierogi like the one shown here in cutaway view, from an autumn visit, are better with sour cream.
Sweet or sour? In truth, it's hard to go wrong either way.
First Avenue Pierogi & Deli 130 First Ave. (7th-8th Sts.), Manhattan 212-420-9690
Some like it runny: Though this pastry is named for a fish, inflected by parsley and capers, and accompanied by tabouli and a trio of sauces, the featured ingredient is egg. My Algerian-style tuna brick ($8) — often spelled brik, sometimes briq — was fresh from the fryer, and the folds of warqa, a stiff cousin to filo, were too hot to handle at first.
Eating brick with the fingers, and not with a knife and fork, is de rigueur, and by the time I managed a few bites, hélas, the egg had cooked through. A quicker-thinking fellow would have pushed aside the tabouli and cradled his brick in the lettuce leaf underneath.
Fiddleheads? Yes: What's a seasonal rarity in the Northeast is available year-round, though in fluctuating supply, in Hawai'i. In the seafood salad at hand, the cubes of yellowfin tuna in this spicy ahi poke (poh-Kay) were garnished with a hard-to-procure seaweed from the islands; these particular fiddleheads, however, were obtained from a mainland source. (Postcolonial or no, some Hawai'ian produce just isn't within the budget of a university-funded garde manger.)
Also shown: fried panko-coated taro accompanied by pineapple relish and (non-Hawai'ian) sea beans; sakura arare, blossom-shaped rice crackers, representing a diverse category of nibbles known as "crack seed";
sweet potato and coconut on a bed of cooked taro leaves.
All sort of meats can be found on the regular menu, not just ribs and wings but also pig ears and goat necks. Brisket, too, in jerky, in hash, even in ya ka mein. But for a nice pastrami sandwich, take your opportunities when and where you find them. This one and its fellows ($8 each), plumped with fermented buttermilk slaw, attracted a long line at a one-day outdoor market.