Gorgonzola cheese and ginger fig preserves are wonderfully gooey partners in this blue cheese grilled cheese ($8). The very sticky preserves take on a structural function, too: Compare the spillage from a typical frita Cubana, whose traditional topping is very similar. It takes a "magically" moist patty to hold these potato crisps in place; ginger fig preserves do likewise, and taste great.
This prune danish ($2.75) was billed as "Hungarian style," a nod to a cuisine that has all but disappeared from the Yorkville neighborhood of the Upper East Side. The style might have something to do with the shape but almost surely with the filling — not jam but levkar, also known as prune butter.
Previously: I'd never heard "ice cream cone" used as a verb. On a visit to Glaser's several years ago, after long deliberation I settled on a lemon meringue tart (at the time, $2) and asked the gal at the counter not to bother wrapping it. She couldn't quickly find me a fork; no worries, I said, raising a toast with my tart, I'll manage. Oh, she exclaimed, you're going to ice-cream-cone it?
More or less. Meringue doesn't yield gracefully to the side-on, tongue-lapping approach; it's more susceptible to a biting attack from on high. I've done this with dipped cones, too, but the expression itself — "ice cream cone," as a verb — makes sense only when applied to something other than ice cream. I spent several minutes wondering why this is, pausing every so often to wipe meringue off my chin.
Glaser's Bake Shop (pronounced "Glaa-zer's," as in "glad") 1670 First Ave. (87th-88th Sts.), Manhattan 212-289-2562 www.GlasersBakeShop.com
A basic loco moco consists of white rice, brown gravy, a hamburger patty, and an egg. In Makana's version of this Hawaiian favorite (lunch, $7.95), the gravy is thick with mushrooms, and the fried egg conceals not only the burger patty but caramelized onions, too. Figure in the side of (cold) macaroni salad, and you can almost think of this as a loco moco deluxe. The overall flavor is on the sweeter side; consider pairing it with the sourness of the lilikoi drink, named for a Hawaiian variety of passion fruit.
Makana 161 West 106th St. (Columbus-Amsterdam Aves.), Manhattan 212-678-4569
Also at 2245 First Ave. (115th-116th Sts.) 212-996-3534 www.MakanaNYC.com
The beehive was once commonly employed by banks as a symbol of cooperation, productivity, and thrift. (You'll still find them indoors, too.) Sheaves of wheat suggest similar virtues; these bas reliefs may once have adorned a farmers trust or similar financial institution. The first building functions as a bank even today; the prime tenant of the second is a chain drug store.
Sheaves of wheat First photo: 244 East 86th St. (Second-Third Aves.), Manhattan Second and third photos: 93-01 Sutphin Blvd. (at Archer Ave.), Jamaica, Queens