I headed over. Ollie's is now where a Thai restaurant used to be. I ate there once with ebartley. Good food, but not quite enough for the cost.
Ollie's prices have gone up over the years, and I think they went up again for the new location. But, I was in the mood for a couple of appetizers. I saw that the menu now had Spicy Mung Bean Noodle and a apicier version, Tears in Your Eyes. I ordered that, and assured the waitress that I did know it was spicy and that I did like spicy food. I also ordered lotus leaf with sticky rice and a glass of ice water. The latter seemed to amuse her, and perhaps reassure her that I did know what I was getting into. The waiter who brought the food looked at me and asked if I wanted chopsticks. The tables had only a fork and spoon, and I'd planned to ask for chopsticks. I said yes, and figured that he might have remembered me from the few times I visited the 44th Street location.
I ate about 2/3 of the mung bean and about half of the rice, and sat basking in a nice endorphin glow. The mung bean noodles did not bring tears to my eyes, but only because I have built up a spice tolerance over the years. This was a taste I hadn't had in quite some time. In fact, I don't think it had previously been on an Ollie's menu.
I asked the waitress to pack up the rest to go, and told her that it was very good. She asked again if I liked spicy food, then asked if I had been to the restaurant Dynasty. This was an excellent Chinese restaurant on 110th and Broadway, which I had gone to frequently, until it closed on account of the building being scheduled for demolition. During its last weeks, we had asked if perhaps it might someday reopen, and the staff told us that it was run by the same people who ran the Ollie's chain. Indeed, after Dynasty closed, at least one of the waitresses went to the Ollie's on Broadway and 84th, and she recognized us when we ate there.
The waitress in the Ollie's on 42nd said she'd thought I looked familiar, and I confirmed that I'd been to Dynasty several times. I started listing some of the dishes we'd ordered, and she nodded when I mentioned a beef dish, assuring me that they made it in this restaurant.
Slightly boggled, somewhat nostalgic, I headed home with my mouth still tingling from the mung bean noodles. Mm. Spice.