Sunday, February 17, 2013

Alas, No Noodles. Made it a Paddle-My-Buns-Off Paddle instead!

Oh, so sad! No more late night noodles and dumplings at Purple Yam - they said they tried for 3 weeks and it just wasn't flying :( . I have the worst timing - I went in when they first posted that deliriously delicious-looking shoyu-glazed pork-belly noodle soup, which was a week or two too early, then I waited until a week too late to try again. Still had a fine meal (tried the tamarind shrimp with rice cake, which was very good), and then as a consolation prize I got an order of Purple Yam's fabulous cua pao (steamed pork buns) to go. I had one for a late-night snack, and through some admirable self-restraint, there are 2 left for breakfast.

Purple Yam's cua pao is a huge favorite of mine because it's about the closest thing to manapua I've found in this town, with the exception of the char siu bao at a Chinese bakery that shut down a month after a co-worker who also hailed from the islands introduced me to it, and one other little hole-in-the-wall bakery in Chinatown whose address I idiotically failed to note (I'd stumbled across it during one of my rambles). Funny thing is, almost every Chinese restaurant and bakery in the city serves steamed roast pork buns that resemble manapua - but there's something about the seasoning of the meat that's not right. I think they cook the char siu sweeter in Hawai'i or something (or maybe everything just tastes sweeter to me when I'm there), but whatever the case, Purple Yam's cua pao comes pretty close.

 Oh, and how was the paddle? Well, I stayed closer to home than usual - I launched a little too late to go to the marshes, and a little too early for beachcombing, and it wasn't the nicest day, and I was on my own, so when I say I made it a paddle-my-buns-off paddle, I'm not really kidding. Instead of setting a destination, I stayed closer to home, took a leaf out of our racing paddlers' book and just did laps, focusing on keeping the boat moving at a good brisk clip for what ended up being 3 hours. The folks at the club who paddle the tippy little K-1 rockets tend to stay in the basin and do loops - I couldn't quite restrain myself that much but I did work out a very nice loop that ran up and down the entire length of the basin, out into the bay, east to the Canarsie Pier and west to what we call the "Jeep Marsh" (located between the Paerdegat and Mill Basin, and a pretty destination at high water despite the abandoned Jeep parts at the inlet to the marsh and after which it's named). I did the big loop twice and then did one more full circuit of the basin because I was a few minutes shy of 3 hours. I'm not sure I could've done 3 hours in the basin but this mixed up the scenery nicely, and also broke up the chilly fighting-the-headwinds pieces and the slightly-too-warm tailwind segments, in a really nice way. And for all it wasn't the prettiest day out there, it still pulled of some decent moments:


Baydog said...

Manapua....isn't that a town down the shore? And there's nothing better than pork buns.

bonnie said...

Manapua = Item #5 on If Tillerman and Tillerwoman Went To Hawaii, They Could Try Some New Foods!

And yes, this was a highly consoling consolation prize. Romy uses pork belly in these, too. These are among the 3 or 4 menu items I always, always get, but since I'd gone for something different I decided that I should go ahead and get something different, which I did - but then the young ladies at the next table (who were similarly disappointed at the rapid demise of the Late Night Noodles and Dumplings menu) got these for their first course and when my waiter came around to ask me about dessert, I decided that instead of dessert I wanted one of these (leaving 2 for breakfast of course).

Is there an actual word for that, a little something just to fill up that last little hungry spot after dinner?