DOH Violation Points (as of 6/23/2010): 52
When Greenpoint’s dining options come to mind, the cuisines one would expect in the nabe are those of the locals:
At first glance, Japanese restaurant Wasabi appears to fit neatly into none of those categories. Yet with its rock-bottom priced lunches, even the most destitute of the flannel-clad can step inside for a roll or two. Speaking from experience with my Polish fam, pierogies can get tiresome after a point; and as for the Greenpoint Mexican community, I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to eat that day in and day out, yet I guess as with most other things (Kids in the Hall clips and the Apple II series emulator certainly not falling under that umbrella), one can OD.
And are the three interconnected? Letsa see.
One stifling afternoon this past August, an underemployed, overeducated aesthete with a penchant for vintage clothing and the Factory Records back catalog had a hankering for some Polish home cookin’ (and free air-conditioning in a bid for respite from my 1907 Clinton Hill/Bed-Stuy border area heat trap). One G train schlep later, the searing McCarren Park sunshine illuminated the home-cooked sign hanging in Lozymnianka’s window:
Closed for vacation until August 26 (the exact date I don’t remember).
Double back a few doors over to Wasabi to 638 Manhattan Ave.
TVs inexplicably tuned to financial news? Yup, just like Lozymanianka.
And cheapie lunch? Absolutely.
Over the lunch hour, Wasabi (actually part of a mini-chain) serves up bento boxes for as low as $6.95 (chicken yaki-tori) and up to $10.95 (for una-ju, broiled eel over rice). Most of the bento boxes are $7.25, including my choice, the chicken tori-katsu, which compared favorably to that which I remembered from my days living as an expat, ordering in lunch from Wagamama. In addition to the main dish of choice, the bentos come with salad, rice and gyoza. Ah, pierogies à la japonaise.
Come nightfall, Wasabi features your usual host of rolls and sushi, in addition to local nods, the Brooklyn Roll (with shrimp tempura, fresh crab meat, avocado, eel, fresh mango), the Ridgewood roll (shrimp tempura, eel, mango, cucumber) and the Nassau roll (shrimp tempura, yamagobo, mixed green salad, grilled pineapple topped with lobster salad served with shrimp paste sauce). That sounds decidedly more Hawaiian inspired than anything that could come to pass at a Williamsburg/Greenpoint G train stop, much less in a county on Long Island, however. Perhaps it’s in honor of the capital of the Bahamas?
In any event, I’m eagerly awaiting a roll named in honor of the nabe. Because in Williamsburg/Greenpoint, that’s how we roll. 11222 maki, here we come. And to answer my earlier quandary, burritos, a Mexican dish, are indeed rolled up. So there.
C you later.