I’m currently on vacation, which has been pleasant. We’re staying in our flat in New York, for three reasons: 1) My wife is almost eight months pregnant; 2) It’s cheaper; 3) There are still lots of things in New York that we haven’t seen yet. Tomorrow we plan to go to Brighton Beach.
Today we went to the Bronx zoo, which was a very nice day out. Once the baby’s not only born, but old enough to be interested in animals, I think we’ll buy a family membership (which lets you in for free to most animal-based attractions in New York City).
Yesterday, we’d planned to go for a walk in a nearby park that we haven’t really explored yet, but there was heavy rain, so we mostly stayed home, going out only to interview a doula and attend a birth class.
On Monday we visited Williamsburg, a rather nice bit of Brooklyn, with nice cafes and shops, and a lot of hipsters. We didn’t do any shopping, but it was pleasant to wander around a nice bit of the city we hadn’t visited before.
On our way home, we decided to visit A Salt and Battery, which seems to be the best rated fish and chip shop in New York, and is run by Brits, so promised to be fairly authentic. For about $21 we got a chip butty with mushy peas, a regular portion of chips with curry sauce, and a can of ginger beer. Everything was just like home except one thing: the curry sauce! The curry sauce I grew up with is yellowish and has a very particular taste that you won’t find anywhere but a chip shop (you certainly won’t find it in an Indian restaurant). I’ve lived in Wales, England, and Scotland, and while there’s a little variation from place to place, the curry sauce is mostly pretty similar. I’m sure this is because most chip shops buy it in powder form (although I know that some make up something similar from scratch). A Salt and Battery make something up from fresh ingredients that is red and tastes disappointingly different. This was a let-down. The authentic chip-shop-curry-sauce taste is something I genuinely miss. I don’t care if it’s made from powder—I don’t eat it for its nutritional value. Besides, I can’t believe you couldn’t make something similar fresh.
But maybe there are parts of Britain where a red and weaker flavoured sauce is typical? There certainly is all sorts of regional variation in chip-shop offerings. Comments welcome.