Food Gallery 32 Review: Food Gallery 32 is convenient but not the best
Food Gallery 32 in Midtown New York is one of those things I really want to love but end up just liking it. It’s like Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. In theory, I like watching shows about sharks, but when they start showing you real footage of a tiger shark nibbling on a man’s calf, and then deciding that the calf was basically cheesecake of the sea, and rips the calf muscle off. And my mind gets fucked in a way that leaves me unable to fall asleep normally, because I’m such a pussy. So I really want to love Shark Week and Food Gallery 32 unconditionally, but there’s just something about each that prevents me from loving it all the way.
A good way to think about Food Gallery 32 is that it’s a microcosm of Koreatown on 32nd st in NYC. You find all sorts of stalls in there that might have a specific niche. For example there’s one that does things like soon dubu and bulgogi. Most of the food here skews Korean with the exception of Bian Dian, which is Taiwanese. While another stall does things like jjajangmyun. I went to Jin Ja Roo because I thought fried chicken was a safe bet. I don’t think that I fully realized that it was going to be pieces of chicken breaded and deep fried in the same manner as general tso’s chicken. But my stomach craved food and my mind couldn’t process information at a fast enough clip.
The chicken taste exactly like a plate of general tso’s chicken, except it was around $8 bucks. That’s the most disappointing part about it because you could go out to a generic Chinese take-out place and get GTC for like, $6. That’s a 33% premium for the Korean version! Yes, you’re saying, “But Danny, you ate lunch at Del Posto! What’s $2?” What can I say, two dollars difference in GTC makes a big difference.
Even though the fried chicken pieces disappointed, Steph and I tried a pork bowl from a different vendor in Food Gallery 32, and it was a success. I think this dish was around $9 dollars? We picked this because we wanted to get something not fried (I know, strange), but the diversification method proved useful. Next time, I would just order this again. I don’t remember the name of this place, but it’s two stalls down from Jin Ja Roo.
Finally Steph and I tried some drinks. Usually I try to drink absolutely nothing when I eat take-out food, because of years and years of being cheap. When Steph showed me Banana Milk, I just started to think about banana flavored candies, which are pretty much NEVER good. There’s something fucked up about the banana in that in must be in its pure state. You take it out of its element and you could bank on it being NASTY, in all caps. The best part of the banana milk is the honesty in advertising: Natural and artificial flavors. Yea, that tells you something right there. Artificial banana flavors. No. I like artificial flavors usually, seeing as I like all forms of neon colored candies. But this drink is a big fail. Although Tia said to me in a comment later on flickr that this brings back childhood memories. Tia, you wuz robbed!
That’s ok though because on a previous field trip to Food Gallery 32 a few months ago, I was introduced to Sac Sac by Tia and James. Technically Chris was there too but that lucky bastard is eating crabs in Asia. So no credit to the jetsetter. So Steph and I got a can of Sac Sac because this stuff is tasty. It’s juice with fruit pulp. Not like Tropicana or some shit like that, but big pieces of ‘fruit’ looking substances that either are real fruit or made to look like fruit. Either way, the enjoyment is immense because of the way the fruit matter tickles your mouth as you suck it down. Oh yea, and this stuff is $1. Crazy right? Get two. Don’t share.
Anyway, remember when I was talking about Priceline in my Del Posto post? Yea well, still no luck. Shit is hard. I find that one of the effects of getting old is that you start to feel the limits of a lifespan. You can’t live forever, and in the time that you’re living, you want to find shit to do that you enjoy. A vacation for example is such a thing. I find myself at odds between figuring out how to best live a life that is full of enjoyment like a nice lunch here and there, a nice take-out meal in a food court, and how to go on vacation without breaking the bank. But all of that takes you back to money. Money, for most of us, like life, is finite. The older that I get, the more precious each dollar becomes. I never used to think about leaving New York. Ever. Had you asked me anytime between 18-years-old and 28-years-old and I woulda told you no way in hell. But now? Now that I look at life and see that fake general tso’s can cost $8, it takes hours to figure out how to find an affordable hotel on Priceline and can still come up empty… and all this with time pushing against everything? It seems like the natural and logical response is that living in New York City is insane. I love the convenience of obtaining food in places like Food Gallery 32, but if sometimes I come up empty like at Jin Ja Roo, it doesn’t really matter that other times you could score with a bowl of pork and rice. Sometimes New York is just too insane.
Food Gallery 3211 W 32nd St.New York, NY 10001
Posted by Danny on August 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm
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