I found myself eating chicken and rice out of a styrofoam container in secret again today. It's Tuesday, so why not? There were a few key differences however that differentiate this experience from that of 2 weeks ago. Number one: this container was purchased from a Colombian Bakery. Two: the chicken and rice was accompanied by soup and plantains. Three: I ate it while hiding out in an empty classroom, not at a restaurant. I learned my lesson. Sort of. I am still writing about it at 'wichcraft, while I should be going over Carlyle homework (again!) before my Literature of the Industrial Revolution class. And eating tomato soup while doing all of the above. I don't think that this will be the last time, either.
But let's talk about the food.
I walked into La Vienesa Bakery at noon set on ordering a lunch special. I would ignore the pastries and go straight to the meat. Very friendly cashier started with buenos dias then immediately switched to English. Today's soup was vegetable. No problem, veg it was, and would I like just the soup or the whole meal? Of course I wanted the whole meal. That consists of rice, meat, plantains, and soup. For $6.50. Choice of white or yellow rice I chose yellow. Choice of chicken or beef I chose chicken. Did I want the plantains? Most definitely. I meant to check out the steam table offerings more closely, but as usual I got distracted, and this time by the pastries. There was a long, cylindrical offering in the empanada area of the display case that had me fascinated. It looked so crispy, crumbly and delicious, and it was called dedo de queso. Cheese finger! I was in love. Sadly, I only had enough money to cover my lunch special, and before I could figure out how to get my hands on one, my order was up, and I had to run back up to the train and on to class. Cheese finger, you will be mine and soon. And you better be good. Four hours, and a lecture on Alexander the Great later, I set up my lunch on the radiator of classroom 1025, overlooking a snowy Bryant Park.
Don't be fooled by the word vegetable. This was chicken soup, with vegetables in it.
There were chunks of potatoes, carrots, and celery. Along with some green beans, a few peas and I even found a kernel of corn in there. Lots of cilantro. Good for a wintry day like today. Except that it was cold when I ate it. The radiator warmed it up some.
The meal: lots of rice, roasted chicken, and two large pieces of platano.
Rice was very simple, not much flavor or enough salt. The chicken was good, a large thigh on the bone. Not sure if the skin had originally been crispy but it was salty and tasty, with flecks of red pepper throughout. Platanos maduros: greasy, sweet, and delicious.
It was a good deal; lots of food, cheap, and very filling.
I don't know if I would go back for the same meal, but I will be going back for some pastries, and soon.
La Vienesa Bakery
3944 Queens Blvd