Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ollie's -- UWS/no frills Chinese

On a Saturday afternoon near Lincoln Center, it's hard to find a quick place to eat that is not at the low end (a sandwich or a slice of pizza) or the high end (Bar Boulud, Josephina, Lincoln) so we did a quick stop at Ollie's Noodle Shop.  We were in the middle of our errands for the day, but I had promised the kids we'd go see the new movie, Rango, at 1 pm at the Lincoln Center AMC.  We had a 12:15 appointment for the "genius bar" at the Apple store, and they were running 15-20 minutes late.  We rescheduled our appointment for 3:15 (after the movie) and went next door to Ollie's.

You have to understand that my kids only recently discovered Chinese food. We don't order takeout at home, and if we're going out to eat our preference is for Italian or French.  That is not to say that we're food snobs -- my husband and I have insisted that the kids at least try different foods of all kinds.  They've eaten Japanese (they love sushi!) Russian, Ethiopian, Indian, Mexican, Thai, and of course French and Italian.  The few times we tried them on Chinese they would eat only rice.  A couple of summers ago we were downtown for an event and took the kids to Chinatown, where they discovered pan-fried dumplings.  They will now eat dumplings and rice at a Chinese restaurant, which is not really great for the food pyramid, so we just don't indulge them.

On Saturday, though, we opted for Olllie's takeout because we could order it from the window, and sit in the enclosed atrium to eat it before running to the movie theater across the street.  Kate and Dash each ordered miso soup, which they loved.  Ollie's gave them a nice big bowl, with lots of bits of tofu and big pieces of seaweed. (Are you supposed to eat the seaweed? Yes. Ok.)  They also both ordered the dumplings, which were light and crisp and perfect (they said.)   I had General Tso's chicken and rice -- and yes, they both ate some of my rice, but they also tried the chicken and declared it yummy.  (We took the leftovers home to Glen for later.)

The atrium isn't a place I'd like to hang out regularly -- I didn't let the kids sit next to the homeless man who was camped out at a couple of tables in the corner, but being able to sit at a table and eat was definitely better than trying to find a spot outside in one of the nearby parks.

And the best news? We made it across the street to the movie theater with 1 minute to spare!