Year of the Takeout: Day 14


Egg Drop Soup from Golden Garden (942 Columbus Avenue, 212-866-8100)

Sometimes, you find meal deals that make you wonder whether the price can even cover the item’s packaging.

The egg drop from Golden Garden is a good example of this perplexing phenomenon.

A pint of the bubbling, yolky soup costs $1.25.

While the workmanlike combo of eggs and chicken stock — with nothin’ else in it — could feasibly be that cheap to make, you think about everything that comes along with it (the stew’s container, the brown paper baggie, the plastic bag and utensils, the pack of fried noodles, the 10 minutes’ worth of kitchen labor — worth at least $0.73 in New York, etc. …) and realize that the restaurant probably loses money with the dish.

There is one other possibility. Golden’s managers might have found a strange tear in the space-time continuum (maybe a tesseract behind the soda case?) that allows them to produce stew in the past — when ingredients would be cheaper by today’s standards — and sell the food now for a seemingly low, yet still inflated, price. (This actually makes total sense.)

Whatever the case, Golden’s simple offering does taste better than what you’d expect. The broth has a salty strength, and the egg gives a meaty thickness. Some scallions would have been nice, but you can’t reasonably make too many demands about something so inexpensive.