Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Best $10 Dinner

Pictured above is one of the many combo platters available at Otafuku. I just had the the Okonomiyakai (on the right) not the Takoyaki (on the left) which are made on this cool cast iron machine that vibrates so that once the batter is cooked enough it starts to roll around giving these "balls" their spherical shape.

The most popular version has octopus in them, but they also have a cheese and a plain version as well.

Tonight I had the squid Okonomiyakai minus the weird Japanese mayo that comes in a squirt container (when did the Japanese discover mayo?) the pancakes are finished off with bonito, I added a generous amount of sriracha to mine. Two huge pancakes cost $8. In addition to squid they also have corn with scallion and ginger, pork, beef and shrimp. These pancakes are a combo of shredded cabbage, carrots, scallions in a basic flour batter. I splurged and 2 dollars more for a cup of very hearty and delicious miso soup.

Maybe it's Spring or nostalgia, but this was such a satisfying meal and so cheap. Of course there is no were to sit, I'd imagine most of their business is students who live in the surrounding dorms who just take the food back to their dorms. I took my a block north and sat on a bench in front of St Marks Church on the Bowery and enjoyed the beautiful spring evening.

When Otafuku first opened I used to go there all the time and order the octopus Takoyaki, they are so delicious, but at some point I decide they were too carb heavy for me and stopped going. Then I became aware of how octopus have personalities and are smarter than some of my friends which made it difficult for me to contemplate Japanese octopus fritters as a casual repast. Tonight when I walked by I was glad I remembered the veggie pack pancakes and and decided it was tome to revisit this old favorite, and boy am I glad I did.

If you're in the East Village and have a hankering for something filling, tasty and cheap check out Otafuku and remember that a block north at St Marks Church there are several benches to sit on while you enjoy you meal.

Otafuku (お多福) 236 E. 9th St., New York, NY 10003 (212)353-8503

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