Southern NYC Lunch Tour

Monday, October 16, 2006

Day 4
Amish Market
17 Battery Place
Oct. 16, 2006

An Amish Market - a real Amish Market - in New York City?

I had stopped in briefly several times before - they have the only selection I've found so far around here of Twinings Teas by the box - but soon tired of the point-at-the-box-and-win-the-right-to-buy-it game. I was already on to the fact that the name of the Amish Market was whimsical rather than descriptive.

This time I walked right by it - took two steps back - double take. A blue awning advertising... Zaytuna... The awning didn't cover the Amish Market painted on the window, though; they coexisted in weird and extreme counterpoint: Zaytuna's Amish Market.

Very confusing inside. A small 3-register checkout area in the front, and immediately shelves and shelves of gourmet-ish groceries; suddenly a giant oblong cold salad bar on the left with maybe 16 selections, followed by a hot-food bar in the round with 9 selections flanked by more shelves of groceries. A chaotic labrynth. A pizza counter farther back on the left. At the very back, more hot food deli style with a giant faux-antique sign advertising various sandwiches. I was curious to compare their Cuban Hero with the All-American Deli's (see Day 3), so I asked the guy directly below the sign for a Cuban Hero sandwich. "Yes!" he nodded eagerly. And then my order seemed to disappear into the heart of an unseen mechanism, or maybe an ocean of quantum probability. I observed no sandwich action (and thus had no influence over it). I did, however, notice my order repeated to the guy standing next to him and his puzzled expression. A third person kept asking me what I wanted and nodded eagerly each time I told him my order was being taken care of.

Sure enough, as I suspected, my order had not disappeared into the heart of an unseen mechanism but instead into an ocean of quantum probability and as sometimes happens, it made it's way through a time space wormhole. 5 minutes later the guy I had asked about the sandwich pointed across the room. "Talk to that guy over there".

A new unseen world opened up behind a grocery shelf, next to the live Sushi chef - a sandwich station! How silly of me - I had ordered the sandwich under the sign where it was listed. There was no Cuban Hero listed here, though. Instead there were two identically named Honey Turkey sandwiches with entirely different ingredients. I remembered this phenomena, too, from junior year Quantum Mechanics - something to do with identical particles being not only indistinguishable but also interchangeable to the point where there was a special energy level associated with the probablility of their identities being reversed. A minute later, someone comes up to me: "Cuban Hero?" "Yes, that's me." pause. "Next time you come to me for sandwich". "But the sandwich I wanted is on the sign across the room, not here!" "Yes!" he nodded eagerly. I was starting to feel dizzy.

I paid at a special cash register hidden in back next to the Cuban Hero wormhole entrance, where I had initially spotted it's existence and made my way upstairs to the dining area. Concrete false stucco walls and ceiling; iron antiquey berry-bearing vine thru which one could view the vortex below. On the wall, an old wooden 6-foot long Amish-like gardening utensil that resembled a spork. A 3-prong earth-digging implement that looked wavy and uneven enough to have been made out of driftwood. A four-foot spork. A pinecone clock with an owl, a kitten, another owl, another kitten. A 42" plasma screen playing CNN. Much like I'd imagine matter and history from all different eras swirling around the perimeter of a black hole; a time-space anomaly. Below, causality itself seemed suspended. I realized that everything about this place had appeared from a different dimension, and thus the usual logic of actions and their subsequent repercussions did not apply. That is how Zaytuna's Amish Deli with Pizza Bar, groceries, cleaning supplies, a live Sushi Chef, and a sea of quantum Sandwich probability could all exist in the same place, at the same time, with an upstairs dining area that resembled a black hole's accretion disk, complete with an ATM.

My Cuban Hero was a bit more Cuban than that of the All-American Deli. It was pressed, for one thing, was a bit more buttery, and actually had garlic in it to go along with the ham and provolone. It was halfway on its way to being authentic. This was not surprising, considering that there was a finite probability of a certain percentage of anything in there being authentic, according to the insights of modern physics. And at $7.00, its price was comparible with that of the 100% authentic Cuban sandwiches one can find at Sophie's.

Not bad for a pressed ham-garlic-provolone delicacy.


  • wow, these lunch outings can really be suspense-filled adventures! as if the wall street experience wasn't labrynthine enough, lunching certainly adds extra challenge to one's time in the urban jungle. kudos to you, the lunch-seeking hero leon!

    By Blogger patches mchooley, at 12:39 PM  

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