Throughout the week, food writers and restaurant industry vets will offer their thoughts on the bodega culture in New York City. Today: Christian Pappanicholas, proprietor of Resto and The Cannibal, remembers his favorite corner store from years ago:
The bodega on the corner of 35th street and Lexington Ave was my go-to for ten years in NYC.
My go-to food was a turkey sandwich with cream cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions on wheat bread. I would get it typically on my walk home from Resto around 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. Oh, and a bag of Fritos. It was sort of a crazy club sandwich. I don't really love regular cheese on a sandwich but the cream cheese was a nice addition, because it made it taste like breakfast.
My favorite moment at the bodega was during the Black Out of 2003. I went to the bodega after getting home from work in the afternoon. There was a huge line, and Mr. Win was not letting anyone else in. I pleaded and begged him, reminding him that I was there for coffee every morning, and informing him that I didn't even have any water or food in my house. He finally let me in, and cut the line off. He did, however, give me a big smile when I got to the counter — I brought four six packs of beer, three packs of cigarettes, Pringles and dry-roasted peanuts. There might have been a bottle of water or two.