gasp! I need some air, and was searching for it at - of all places- on google, semi-geek that I am, when I came across this website. Not quite what I was looking for, but refreshing nevertheless.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What's with the AC in New York City restaurants?

Soma and I chanced to land up in NYC over some chores today - we were dropping off our second car in West New York, and was making our way back by public transport. Since it has become rather rare for us to land up in the city, we though a bit on how to best use this opportunity - and decided on a IMAX movie and a non-chain restaurant.

The IMAX was easy - Lincoln Center was running The Dark Knight. All fun and games with no plot. Just the way I love it.

Now, the restaurant. We wanted to check out Tsampa, since it was way too long since we had a taste of Tibetan. We made out way from Lincoln center down to 9th and 2nd avenue.

Here we got the shock - Tsampa's doors were wide open, not a single customer in sight, the AC obviously off.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all in for anti-global warming steps and lowering the carbon footprint. We have wind power in our apartment, just sold off the second car, I have been taking the train to the City since 2000, we have the AC in our car set to 75, CFL lamps all around the house - you get the idea. Whatever I could, I did. But when I pay $40 a head for a dinner in the City, on a day as hot and as humid as today, I do expect the AC to be running.

We skipped Tsampa, and started walking down the East Village area. This was 5pm on a Saturday night. All of the restaurants that we came across had the doors and windows open - and very few people eating in (well, that makes sense, one leads to another).

I stuck to my (seemingly simple) demand - if the restaurant does not have the AC running, I don't want to eat in there. I assume they are not passing the energy savings to the consumer, so I don't see any reason for them to be on the receiving end of my money either.

We walked a long way - Khyber Pass down in St Marks was the same story, so were the few in the northern end of Chinatown. By this time, we were mentally prepared to go into our favorite Chinese restaurant in Chinatown - XO Cafe and Grill. I'm glad to say, XO had their AC running, and it was business as usual.

XO's "Salty Fish Mei Fun" is unparalleled - and their "Chinese sausage and rice wrapped in lotus leaf" and "Udon soup, wonton, extra spicy" were charming accompaniments. It felt like a dinner in the city - tastes right on the mark, fast service, not a chain restaurant, and the AC was running.

There you go. Satisfaction at last. I'm glad XO is not following whatever fancy hot and humid trend the others are catching on. At least I know one place that has great food, and their head in the right place.


Post a Comment

<< Home