After dropping by the Russian embassy on the Upper East Side, I stopped by Eli Zabar's E.A.T. to grab lunch before heading back to work. I hadn't been and it was the closest thing I could think of in the area. Silly me didn't check the prices. Walked out with a container of the Tuscan Bread Salad and some grilled zucchini and eggplant. Kinda in a daze after having handed over my credit card and been charged $26.
$26 for that. As I sat at my desk back at work, I was careful not to waste a single piece of anything. It helped that both the bread salad and the veggies were delicious but come on - $26 for what amounts to 2 slices of bread, a slice of mozzarella, an under-ripe tomato and maybe half a zucchini and quarter of an eggplant? Biggest rip-off ever. Even if the food was good, I am never going back. EVER. So then I made my own panzanella a week later with greenmarket tomatoes, bread from Eataly and mozzarella from DiPaolo's. For a fraction of the price. Although I must say I'm impressed the man can charge that much. Then again, he got away for years with lobster salad sans lobster.