This tagline is one of several devised for the first brand of prepackaged biscuits in the late 1800s, not long after the merger that created the National Biscuit Company, later called Nabisco. Another, "Lest you forget, we say it yet, Uneeda Biscuit," I know only from printed accounts. "In rain or shine, just as fine," a reference to the product's moisture-resistant wrapping, has survived in at least one well-preserved painted ad.
The signage shown here was brought to light during construction of Columbia University's new Manhattanville campus, just north of 125th St., on the side of the building at dead center of the first photo. The surfaces to either side of the window column seem to contain different texts that may have been repainted several times, with variations. In the right-hand section (click for a closer look), a large-type "biscuit" and an equally dramatic question mark apparently succeeded a smaller "biscuit company."
As with many such signs, we may never be able to read the wording with precision. Is this a surviving example, at least in part, of the catchphrase "Do Uneeda Biscuit?" The question stands.
"[Do Uneeda] Biscuit?" Surviving signage at 614 West 131st St. (Broadway-Riverside Dr.), Manhattan
I am entirely untalented at blowing bubbles. Even so, in a jaunty mood, I was willing to hazard two bits on a gumball. For my investment I got grape — not my favorite flavor.
A pair of idiomatic expressions came to mind, with contrary meanings: "You pay your money, and you take your choice," and "You pay your money, and you take your chances." This was an instance of the latter. In the culinary realm — and, clearly, I'm willing to construe "culinary" very broadly — can any EIT reader supply another?
Sidewalk gumball machines West 135th St. (Broadway-Amsterdam Ave.), Manhattan
Tonkatsu ramen, traditionally associated with the Hakata district of the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka, takes its rich flavor from long-cooked pork bones. This spicy tonkotsu ramen ($12) gets a kick from mayu, or garlic paste. Note especially the very tender slices of pork, at left.