“Life’s problems are often eased by hot, milky drinks,” wrote the British novelist Barbara Pym, and I’d amend that to add, “and chicken noodle soup.” My mother called her version “happiness soup,” and indeed it was—redolent of parsnip, carrots and strips of gently simmered chicken. We slurped it up and, inexplicably, floated zwieback teething biscuits on top until they sponged up just enough soup.
With the financial crisis deepening, affecting all our lives, and winter winds blowing cold, it’s time to ease life’s problems with…Vietnamese chicken soup. My sister told me of this cilantro and lemongrass suffused broth, available at Bôi to Go. While this small outlet has been
lambasted by online reviewers for its pricy, undistinguished báhn mì (the Vietnamese sandwiches, now all the rage), the soup is a relative bargain ($4.35). Large chunks of chicken and thin, slippery white rice noodles are plentiful; and with a dollop of hot pepper sauce, your clogged sinuses, as well as your problems, will be greatly eased. At the counter, I noticed something called a “Lite Asian cake” and bought that, too. While billed as an Asian cheesecake, it seemed more like a dense sponge cake with a pleasing, subtly custardy note.
Bôi To Go
800 Second Ave.
(betw. 42nd and
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