Since we're such foodies, people think Erin and I eat out all the time. But the fact is, we cook a lot at home too. Last night, f'rinstance, I grilled chicken breasts rubbed with homemade spinach pesto, served with Caesar salad with homemade dressing (Erin makes the BEST Caesar dressing) and wild grain rice, drizzled with homemade Argentinian Chimichurri sauce.
OK, so it ain't Asian. We cook a lot of Asian dishes too, not just Japanese but also Korean and Indian and Chinese. We often start with recipes but hardly ever stay true to those recipes. We tweak and customize everything -- mostly, we add a lot more garlic than the recipe requires.
Now we have another source for Asian recipes: Asian Supper.
I've been looking for Asian restaurants in my area of Jersey City, and only having limited luck. Part of Jersey City is becoming "Hobokenized," which is to say, the yuppies are overflowing from Manhattan and settling in parts of New Jersey that are closest to New York. But my part of Jersey City, which is close to where I work in Journal Square, has not been Hobokenized. And it probably won't happen anytime soon.
Anyway, the one Asian cuisine I found right away was Indian food. There's a concentrated South Asian community here and a stretch of Newark Avenue just off Journal Square is dotted with Indian restaurants. I've eaten at a couple of them so far, and they're great.
The ebb and flow of New York neighborhoods is a great example of how cities evolve.
When I attended Pratt Institute in the late 1970s, the East Village neighborhood in Manhattan along St. Marks Place (8th Street becomes St. Marks Place east of 3rd Ave.) was a haven for punk rockers and hipsters, with used record stores (this was pre-CD) and tattoo shops. Drugs were a currency on the street, and leather the couture of choice.
I can recall walking the block of St. Mark's between and 3rd and 2nd Ave. shopping for rare British import albums and marveling at all the street vendors with their wares -- jewelry, records and cassettes, used books -- spread out on blankets on the sidewalk.
That was then. This is now.