Work has required me to consume huge amounts of carbs lately, so for respite earlier this week I turned to the Native Juice Co. for an order of their spring rolls (pictured above). Going to a juice shop for solid food is, in the worst-case scenario, like going to a steakhouse for a salad, but Native's spring roll is a first-class endeavor, thanks largely to how fresh its ingredients are. It's stuffed with (perfectly ripe) avocado,spring onions, lettuce, mushrooms, cucumbers, and carrots, as well as generous amounts of cilantro and mint that elevate it from mere compilation of vegetables to an inspired dish. The neon-green ponzu dipping sauce adds further kick; altogether it makes a perfect antidote to enforced carbo-loading.
Speaking of carbs, last weekend took me down Church Street to Chile Pies, where I got a honking slice of their peach blueberry crumb top pie. It was an excellent paean to stone fruit season, filled with big, soft, vibrantly orange peach slices and generous in both flavor and portion. Its buttery crumb top, which contained plentiful almond slivers, soaked up some of the filling, which resulted in a crunchy-mushy texture that is still inspiring mild fever dreams. The crust was crunchy, flakey, and savory, making an intensely pleasing counterpoint to the sweet fruit. I ate the hell out of it, and would do it again in a second.
Firefly is such an unassuming, out-of-the-way place that it's easy to take it for granted—located near the summit of 24th St., it's a consummate neighborhood restaurant that feels like it's always been there, and (knock wood) always will be. Part of the reason, I think, is that you're all but guaranteed a solid, simple meal, food that doesn't try to impress so much as reassure. Such was the case with the miso-roasted eggplant I had on Sunday night. Accompanied by blistered padron peppers atop a pile of brown rice, the eggplant was served in fat, satiny slices boasting melt-in-your-mouth texture and wearing a delectably savory coat of miso. It was the kind of wholesome, straightforward dish synonymous with the 70s-era Moosewood Cookbook school of cooking, but while it wore its hippie allegiances proudly, its appeal is thoroughly modern.