"I have the simplest tastes. I am simply satisfied with the best." - Oscar Wilde

"I came, I saw, I ate." - Au Gourmand

Monday, January 24, 2011

Margon - January 22, 2010

I thought no person of sane mind with a modicum of intelligence (sanity does not always equal to intelligence) would ever venture into an area called “Times Square” – at least, not voluntarily and willingly. I still think so, although I now make weekly pilgrimage to the area, forced by circumstances of my own choosing. The speed at which I march through this unsavory district is proportional to the equation of the number of people and baby carriages, the probability of these people and their infantile vehicles being out-of-state visitors, and the probability that these visitors have come to Times Square with nothing better in mind than mere gawking. If no right-minded person would be walking in the area, certainly there would be no one with a decent palate dining anywhere between 38th and 48th streets. No demand, no supply – that is Econ 101 for you in a gist.

I have no idea why, of all the crummy and crowded neighborhoods in the small island of Manhattan, Margon has decided this particular spot on 46th Street to dwell and to share in the fates of the obtrusive masses; but it surely is an oasis for the occasional hungry and reluctant recluse.

Octopus Salad

Simple food, simply prepared and simply elegant. Although the sliced octopus had most likely traveled from afar and been frozen multiple times over in its journey, the marinade of onions, red pepper, tomato, olives and cilantro had done its very best to tenderize the harsh environmental hazard, and the resulting freshness would have quelled any naysayers.

Cuban Sandwich

The sandwich was impressive in many ways, but most notably for its bread. It was not any bread you see typically in a store – not toast, not baguette, not ciabatta or roll – and darker in color; therefore, I suspected that it must have been the real Cuban bread that I had heard of. Pressed and uniformly toasted to a surprisingly deep brown, the bread was sweet, crusty and flaky all at once – not unlike a mix of brioche and a baguette. The bread alone would have made an interesting alternative to a French toast or a bread pudding, if I knew where to buy it. On the other hand, the stuffing was a layer of meats of varying shades of pink and a thickly sliced pickle. On this meaty canvas, tricolor paints – the mustard, mayonnaise and ketchup – ran wild like in Jackson Pollock’s paintings. There seems to be a debate of what should and should not go into a cubano – e.g. ketchup, mayonnaise and butter – and, truth be told, this Cuban sandwich might not indeed have been the best or authentic . However, in the face of such a steaming comfort, I gracefully declined to engage my mouth in any other use than chew.
Address:  136 W 46th Street, New York, NY 10036
Phone:  (212) 354-5013

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