Imagine a brunch typical of our 50th state, and very likely your thoughts will turn to an infamous precooked meat product. Even at this "modern Hawaiian restaurant" it figures on the menu, but Noreetuh also allows for your personal Spam settings. My plate ($14) had none.
The featured item, beside sweet slices of King's Hawaiian toast and a pair of fried eggs garnished with 'alaea salt, was a hash of pork belly that had been braised in pineapple juice, sautéed with potato and red onion, finished with yu choy, and ultimately garnished with chopped scallions. It's unlikely to be rendered as a ready-to-eat canned concoction anytime soon, but mass production (and mass mailings) be damned — chalk one up for the personal touch.
Visible from a distance, the hanging red jacket marked the entryway to a church flea market, a common event at this time of year. Once I got up close, the stock art on the accompanying flyer suggested another reason to pay a call. Downstairs, the bake-sale table was filled with homemade items from this Polish congregation; each of my purchases cost just one dollar. (No, I won't reveal the total.) For more photos, see the EIT page on Facebook.
St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Church Flea Market 101 East 7th St. (Ave. A-First Ave.), Manhattan 212-475-4576 www.StanislausChurch.com (The 2015 event was held on December 5-6)
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.