In this series, Seamless Warrior John Luong reviews meals ordered from the Internet.
In accordance with a tradition that coincides with my birthday, my father made his annual call to tell me that I am a year older and, therefore, another year overdue for settling down. My dad, ever the traditional Asian man, failed to espouse any actual virtues of marriage, so I’ve been left to draw my own conclusions on the advantages of coupling.
This soul-searching has led me to determine that one of the great virtues of marriage is having an implied dining partner that I can obligate to my fleeting whims. Until I fulfill my filial duty, however, I have been forced to adapt. And by adapt I mean that I have developed an advanced competency in the art and science of using the Internet to summon sustenance in a variety of circumstances, be it at the office, from the back of a cab, or from the comfort of my fortress of solitude.
On a recent evening, I put this great skill to use and ordered wiener schnitzel* with a serving of matzoh ball soup from my lifeline Remedy Diner, a 24-hour establishment (with round-the-clock delivery) in the Lower East Side.
Thirty minutes after sending my order, my buzzer rang, and the handoff was completed. My meal was suitably warm upon my unpacking it from the bag. As one might expect when four distinct foodstuffs are housed in an unsegmented circular container, there was some forced interaction during delivery, resulting in a masticable version of Twister: some schnitzel under some mashed potatoes, some mashed potatoes under some pickled cabbage, and two sunny-side up eggs atop some area of each.
As I began separating out the components of the meal, it became clear that these were substantial portions. To get to the schnitzel, the eggs had to be relocated. They’d seen the pan long enough that they were only slightly runny, so they were robust enough to be moved without bursting the dam. The main attraction, the schnitzel, was cooked medium and had a pleasant, firm, slightly chewy texture to go with a mild flavor.
The other compatriots of the affair were a portion of soft mashed potatoes located alongside a pile of pickled cabbage. Their complementary interplay allowed me to experiment and balance each bite to my liking. The matzoh ball soup featured two large matzoh balls that fully occupied the volume of the pint-sized container in which the dish was delivered. The balls were of medium density, and while calorically unnecessary to the meal, the soup was nonetheless a pleasant addition.
The Morning After: As a result of a circumstance dictated by a lack of counter space, I do not own a microwave. As a result of a circumstance dictated by my lack of discipline, I was in a hurry. So I dove into the leftovers straight from the refrigerator. Predictably, the flavor of the schnitzel had diminished, the flavor of the cabbage was more subdued, the potatoes had taken on a griainier texture, and the eggs resembled a frozen sun. The decreased flavor of the foodstuffs was not a deterrent, as this is why Prometheus stole Sriracha from the gods.
Repeatability: The order was a solid selection on its own culinary merit, however, when the round-the-clock availability of this item is considered, the value is only heightened.
Establishment: Remedy Diner, 245 East Houston Street, (212) 677-5110
Hours/Limitations: $10 delivery minimum, 24 hours
Delivery Estimate: 30-45 minutes
Delivery Time**: 30:08 minutes
Distance***: 0.9 miles; 7 minutes
Ordered at 7:47 p.m.; clear weather
*Austrian-style thin, crispy, coated veal, topped with a sunny-side egg. Served with mashed potatoes and braised red cabbage.
**Time is measured from confirmation page to door buzzer.
***Distance and time estimate is based on biking via Google Maps.