Why did I schlep to the Upper West Side on this awfully hot Saturday? Because I needed to buy whitefish for Great- Grandpa and Za'atar for a Nigella recipe. Since Zabar's had both, I figured I could pair that errand with a Central Park activity to please both Izzy and me.
We got off to a late start which meant we needed to find lunch as soon as we surfaced from the subway. Whenever it is last minute, my mind blanks but this time I had an epiphany. Why not get out at 59th and Columbus Circle and try Bouchon Bakery. They were bound to have something acceptable, albeit pricey. I bought a Tuna Nicoise sandwich and a piece of Spinach Quiche. (I managed to somehow get away without purchasing any of their wondrous looking pastries because I needed to save myself for Grom).
We carried our bounty over to some large rocks by the playground at Columbus Circle. Izzy insisted on eating on a sloping rock, none to comfortable for me and my aching back but I managed. The square sandwich would have been fine for the two of us, served on a large square, chewy roll. It was packed with tuna, egg, slivers of radish and olives. Izzy alternated between bites of my sandwich and bites of his quiche. I will certainly return and try some of their other sandwiches. A great option if you need decent food near the park.
After our meal, we made our way over to the Carousel, one of Izzy's favorite places in the park. After that, we meandered toward the ramble, where Izzy hunted for turtles and other water creatures. While watching Izzy, I couldn't help but overhear a nearby foodie discussion and somehow got involved in their conversation. A young, cute student of psychiatry was trying to woo a vegan..I brought up Nina Planck's recent article.. one can only imagine the wackiness that ensued.
Then it was time for our pilgrimage to Zabar's, where the Za'atar was spelled Zahtar. I picked that up along with a pound and a half of moist-looking whitefish for grandpa and some other goodies. And off to Grom we went..