I was in a rush this morning, and all I packed for lunch was a kinda stale whole wheat tortilla and what I thought was a hard boiled egg and a forgotten back-of-the-fridge pear. So…I had to go out for lunch. I was feeling that I needed a smidge of work day adventure, salt, and spice. The kind of salty spicy adventure that only a walk-up Thai joint could offer.

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Jammed into a 3 ft x 15 ft closet on Madison is Little Uncle, kickin little 5-item-menu street kitchen. Run by a husband and wife team, half which used to be the sous chef at fancy Cap Hill restaurant Lark . As foodie intern girl, I’d read lots about Little Uncle, and knew that they now took cards, thanks to that iPhone card scanner new-fangled thang.

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So braised beef cheek bun and pad Thai for Anne it was. Pounded the soft bun stuffed with tender beef and a mini-fistful of cilantro while I waited for my noodles…no time to take a photo. (Wouldn’t want it to get cold or anything.) Then my pad Thai, wrapped in brown butcher paper, secured with a rubber band. Planned to take it back to work, but I honestly could not wait. Stepped up to the stand-and-chow counter, ripped open the steamy package. Inside: noodles tofu eggs bean sprouts shallots green onion, all just a little bit deliciously burnt in that hot wok way. Slice of lime. Packet of crunchy sugar. Packet of hot hot crushed chilies. Smashed the lime on top, getting every last molecule out. Tasted the sugar (sugar? Yes, it’s sugar) dumped some on. Cautiously dipped pinkie in chilies. Yes. H O T. Dumped half of that on. Ate like a frenzied puppy.

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