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Feeling Crisp in 2010

Special to AmNews | , Kysha Harris | 10/12/2012, 4:29 p.m.
(Kysha Harris photo)

Happy 2010! I hope this year brings all you want and need. I hope it is filled with all the joy and happiness you deserve in life and you realize your potential or, at least, plant the seed for change and growth in you and your family.

Now, it's a fresh year and a fresh decade. There is lots to write about that has happened and has yet to happen. This is a milestone year for me so I will be throwing some calculated caution to the wind and offering myself up to new food experiences, travel and opportunities. However, I didn't have to wait until the ball dropped on December 31 to have one.

Last month, I was invited to sample breakfast at a small, growing chain of fast food eateries. The offering was not a greasy sausage patty and rubbery eggs on cardboard bread with prepackaged orange juice and wicked hot coffee on the side. It was tofu...yes, tofu!

Now, I make a mean tofu scramble that I learned from my California girlfriend, Wendi. It has onions, garlic, chipotle peppers in adobo and Braggs liquid aminos, served on crispy-griddled corn tortillas. It's too right to be wrong!

Since I take a lot of care to give my scramble as much flavor as possible, I was a little leery of what I might find on that fateful morning. I bundled up and hopped on the morning train to midtown to Crisp (110 West 40th between Sixth Avenue and Broadway, also 684 Third Avenue at 43rd Street, www.eatatcrisp.com).

It's an unassuming place from the outside, but clean, modern and bright when you step inside with a color scheme of grassy greens and rust orange with faux wood and stainless steel light sculptures. I was intrigued.

As instructed, I walked up to the counter and said I was there for the press breakfast. After some discussion and deliberation over the unique menu displayed on the three flat screen televisions, I sat and waited for my meal. I didn't know what to expect, but I was hungry and I was going to eat whatever it was.

When it came out, my eyes danced all over my biodegradable corn-resin plate. There was, of course, the tofu scramble seasoned with a little curry, thin shitake mushroom strips, a salad of cherry tomatoes and Parmesan over greens and a house-made English muffin. Add to that a beautiful cappuccino and homemade lemonade, both in recyclable cups, and it was a vegetarian environmentalist's dream.

It was all very delicious and affordable at around $7 for my meal. I especially loved those shitake mushroom strips. Though the chef doesn't want to call it "bacon," the strips did embody the taste and texture of the meat version. I tasted some soy used to season the thin strips and perhaps they are then fried to get the crispiness. I will have to do some testing at home to know for sure.

By the time I had gobbled up my hearty breakfast, Crisp was preparing for their lunch rush. I was so consumed by my breakfast I didn't realize what their main product was-- falafel. The first customer of the lunch hour came and finished his sandwich before he set foot out of the door. Now I had to try it.

Alon, the managing director, generously offered me a sandwich, but instead I opted for just a taste of the falafel with their hummus and sun-dried tomato spread. That is when I finally understood the name of the restaurant: Crisp. I can only imagine these tender morsels laying in one of Crisp's house-made fresh pitas, blanketed with spreads and salads.

It was the best falafel I have ever had. Clean, flavorful and fried to perfection! Alon says the trick to their perfectly fried falafel is...well, that is for me to know and for you to go to Crisp to find out.

Thank you Crisp for a unique New York (say that 10 times fast!) experience. I will be back for more.

Happy New Year again! Enjoy, get cooking and thanks for reading!

Questions at dinnertime? Chat with me at AskSCHOP, Monday through Friday, 6-8 p.m.

Kysha Harris is owner of SCHOP! SCHOP! is available for weekly service or for home entertaining. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? E-mail kysha@iSCHOP.com.