UPDATE (8/14): It all works now, and I even inputted the lost comments and replied to them! BECAUSE I AM DEDICATED ...TO YOUR COMMENTS. And you.
UPDATE (8/11): Don't leave a comment! (Not that you can since I closed em...er, I'll explain why.) Something is wrong and preventing comments from showing up if you posted them after noon (four people I think?). I still have them in my inbox, but they're not stored on the site for some reason. Booo. I shake my fist at the Internet.
'sNice is a very appropriate name for a place that specializes in sandwiches. As you know, sandwiches are nice. ...No, not just nice, awesome. Like, "It turns out that Fluffy didn't get run over by a car; that was someone else's cat!" awesome! (Awesome for Fluffy and his owner, not the other cat so much.) I doubt the name 'sAwesome was ever considered, which is fine since 'sNice sounds a gazillion times better. But it's not just nice...it's awesome. Think of Fluffy.
[In case you can't tell, I'm tired! Heehee!]
Outside 'sNice I met (a planned meeting, not a random blogger run-in) the adorable, "looks about a decade younger than she actually is" Rose, who despite not having updated her blog in a few months is alive and well. Her computer, on the other hand, is...not. Or was not. Hopefully she'll be back on the blogging scene soon.
It's quite obvious that there's free wifi once numerous glowing screens populate your field of vision. For whatever reason the scene felt less yuppie-ish than Doma, although I'm sure the high Apple-to-PC ratio of the two cafes is similar. As much as I love Doma's food, the place is small and gets crowded easily. The mass of bodies and laptops may lead to the other problem of increased temperature hovering around that of the second level of hell. Thankfully, 'sNice is spacious and has plenty of seating.
I just like how that photo turned out. Yee-up.
While 'sNice's menu has a wide range of vegetarian-friendly choices (as in tofu-filled and whatnot), the only sandwich that really jumped out at me and punched me in the head while screaming, "EAT ME YOU KNOW YOU WANNA" (sandwiches are violent) was the "Fontina Sundried Tomato Pesto with Caramelized Red Onions and Arugula Panini". How could I resist that? Especially with the head punch. For $7, this is a great sandwich. The toasted, compressed bread was sturdy enough to neatly hold in all the fillings, but soft so that it wasn't a chore to chew. The antithetical (a word that may or may not fit here) combination of soft innards protected by a crispy crust made me ever so happy. Gooey cheese smooshed over sweet onions also conjure elated feelings. Unless you're...evil. Don't be evil. You must love the combination of cheese and onion.
Rose's sandwich, "Tempeh Reuben with Kraut, Thousand Island Dressing and Swiss cheese on Whole Wheat", while also good, failed to bring about as many happy sandwich feelings as my panini. My stomach isn't ready to deal with tempeh or kraut, as evidenced by the sour kraut-flavor of my burps for the rest of the night. I was surprised by how good the sliced bread tasted; there are few sliced bread sandwiches that I like (they don't taste as good as those made with individual "roll" types of bread to me). You couldn't tell just by looking at it that it was toasted eeeeever so slightly as to make the outermost micron-thick layer of bread just a little crispy while giving the rest of the bread that nice "baked" taste and texture that comes about when you toast things. As long as you don't over toast them and end up with carbon.
If you couldn't already tell, I really like bread.
We topped off our relatively healthy dinner with a tray of cupcakes Rose picked up from Cakes 'N Shapes in Hell's Kitchen. She wouldn't have bought six identical cupcakes and lug them downtown if they didn't provide some sort of revelatory cupcake eating experience. The no-frills, vanilla frosted chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles may not look special, but don't be fooled! Don't you remember the story of the Ugly Duckling? Replace the ugly duck with a normal looking cupcake and...um...well, it doesn't fit exactly since the duck doesn't get eaten (except in the special version of the story indended to make children cry), but eat the cupcake and then BE AMAZED! Amazed by the supreme moistness and lightness of the cake, the perfect amount of sweetness, the lack of messy crumbs, the fluffy texture like a comfy pillow for your head...except that its in your mouth.
We each ate two. [cough] Rose gave me the remaining two to bring home. My mum, who generally doesn't like cupcakes, was also impressed. Cupcakes make the world a better place.
Although there isn't a clear sign, NY Times informs me that the new bing place on the corner of West 3rd Street and 6th Ave is called "Roll and Dough". I'd rather just call it "Bing" (and I will), or better yet "Bing!" since I think the name resembles onomatopoeia more than the name of a food. In Chinese, bing is the term for flatbread, my favorite form being the fat-oozing pan-fried scallion pancake (hooyeah, you know you want it). However, the flat, sesame seed-encrusted, meat/veg/sweet filled type of bings is fast becoming one of my favorite foods.
[squeals, hopefully not in a pig-like way]
I tried a spicy beef bing on my first visit last Friday. Thin, chewy, slightly crispy dough held in moist, tender chunks of beef with a pleasantly spicy flavor, thankfully not to the level of being mucus river-inducing. The structure of the bings results in one of the least-messy and easiest sandwich-esque eating experiences you can have. No wayward crumbs or sauce goop to worry around. It's also uber-cheap for around $2 or less per bing.
On Monday I shared a few bings (among other items) with Tony and Hoan for lunch. The banana chunk-filled bing felt like it could use an extra flavor, but I think that's the non-Chinese part of me speaking. What would you think about bananas with cream, nutella, or honey all smooshed together in that little patty? Yums? Banana on its own is fine of course; I've just been conditioned by many years of eating banana-based desserts. I wouldn't add anything to the sweet, taro paste-filled bing. If you've never had a taro-based dessert before, you may want to start here. (If you want a savory taro snack, try Terra Taro Chips, my favorite type of chip. Totally pwnz the potato version in my opinion.)
The other draw besides bings are the handmade dumplings (or as I like to call them, "little dumps". By now you may have noticed that I like to make things sound less appealing than they actually are). Dumpling fillings include beef, pork, chicken, spicy versions of the meat fillings, and vegetarian. Unfortunately, since the restaurant is still new they probably won't have all the choices that are listed on their menu (same problem with the bings), but at least you can look foward to getting fresh versions of whatever they happen to have.
Ten pieces for $5-$6 is a great deal and should be enough to satisfy one person. Although these would never be mistaken for soup dumplings, our spicy beef (or chicken, I don't remember) dumplings packed in a lot of potentially mouth-burning juice beneath the soft, not too thick or thin dumpling skin. Mmmm.
I didn't order, so don't ask me how we ended up with six chicken buns. The bread was awesome— golden crispy bottoms and soft...erm, everything else. (I would guess that they're cooked by a fry/steam method.) Innards are great too, but what I really like is the wheat-based part. :)
The main problem I see with Bing (the place, not the foodstuff) so far is that they don't seem to make food to meet the demand of Chinese food-hungry Greenwich Villagers as noted in this chowhound topic. I'm sure they'll make more food over time. The young employees are very friendly and may offer you free samples. We were each given a free chicken bun before we ordered anything (and then we got that plate of six...don't ask).
Roll and Dough (or as I'd like to call it, BING!)
135 W 3rd St
Ed Levine's Food Rorschach Test "will provide a window into your inner soul (food and otherwise)". A window into my soul! That sounds drafty. He doesn't know how to interpret the results though, so I'll just leave my answers up to your scrutiny:
- Haggen Dasz or Ben & Jerry's? ...Damn that's hard. I'd have to say neither or both. (Ed states that you must decide on an overall preference. However, I don't have one in this case. From my experience, Haagen-Dazs tastes better, but it doesn't offer as many appealing funky flavors as B&J. I JUST DON'T KNOW.)
- Skippy or Jif? This is an easy "neither" as I don't know how good either one tastes.
- Bagel or Bialy? Bagel by default since I've eaten two biays in my life.
- Whipped or Regular Cream Cheese? Regular.
- Relish or Sauerkraut on your hot dogs? Crap...this might be another "neither" since I rarely eat hot dogs.
- Milk or Dark Chocolate? Someone's gonna hate me for this, but definitely milk. My preference switched from dark to milk after I experienced too many nauseating chocolate comas (I had three in one school year).
- Salted or Sweet Butter? Sweet.
- Pastrami or Corned Beef on a Deli Sandwich? Judging only from the time I went to Katz's Deli and split a pastrami sandwich and a corned beef sandwich, I'm going with pastrami.
- French Fries or Onion Rings? Fries.
- Espresso, Regular Coffee or Latte? None of the above (I don't drink coffee.)
- Crispy or Pliant Bacon? Oh god...I don't really like bacon. (Is it just me or am I failing this survey?) But I'll go with crispy.
- White or Dark Meat (on either chicken or turkey)? You might hate me for this too: white. I have a feeling Chinese people in particular are "supposed" to like dark meat more from my experience growing up around...Chinese people. Eating dark meat. I've had more experiences eating poorly cooked white meat than dark, but when white meat is cooked well, it's really good. Rawr.