What's For Dinner?

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What's For Dinner? In which we stop random New Yorkers on the street and ask them about their food lives.


Who: Shameel Arafin
Age: 32
Occupation: Programmer
Where: Taking a break outside his office on Cooper Square

What's your best food memory?

My friend's kitchen on the Lower East Side. She cooks a lot and has me over. Recently, she made an octopus salad...skate...she makes all kinds of weird things.

What's the strangest thing she's ever made?

Bear.

Where did she get bear?

I don't know, she's French.

Did you like it?

Not especially. It was too tough.

What's the most delicious dish she's ever made for you?

The skate. She baked it lightly, and it had a light white sauce, lemon and white wine. I've known her for 12 years, so that's a lot of dinners. I have a French friend and and Italian friend, and they both cook for me, so that's good.

Any favorite restaurants in the city?

I eat out a lot because I don't cook. I like Soy [102 Suffolk Street]. It's Japanese comfort food; they don't really have sushi, it's more meat and potatoes...like ginger pork with pickled cabbage. It's kind of a divey place. The owner is a lady who used to be a handbag designer, and she realized there was nowhere to eat in the neighborhood, this was several years ago, so she converted her store into a restaurant.

I also like Yuca Bar , for a boisterous time. Burgers, ribs...mojitos are their specialty.

What's your first food memory?

Being forced to eat tomatoes by my mom.

Do you like tomatoes now?

They're okay. And spinach. I don't eat spinach to this day.

What's for dinner tonight?

I'm not sure, I don't have any plans. I'll walk out my door and figure it out. I live on Meserole Street in Bushwick. There's a place called Mojito Loco nearby. Bushwick is quite hip these days. It's not going to stay cheap for long.

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