Awesome smoked-salmon sandwiches from Cap't Mikes at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
Buying a Father's Day card is not that much different from buying pajamas for a 3-year-old boy: your thematic choices are pretty much limited to baseball, cars, trucks, and fishing. Want to get Pops a cookbook to go along with the card? He better like to set stuff on fire. Panna cotta? Green papaya salad? Nope: according to every bookstore display this time of year, it's grilling or nothing for manly Dad.
Now, my dad hit the ol' Weber a few times every summer at our house in New Jersey. We had some good steaks and burgers, sure. But he was much more likely to be inside sifting through piles of restaurant reviews instead, wondering if that new Indian place in Kenilworth would have lamb rogan josh worth trying, or driving over to the Lower East Side to round up a Jewish brunch spread of smoked sable, kippered salmon, bagels and bialys, some pickled green tomatoes and scallion cream cheese, maybe a few rugalach, and kibbitzing with the guys from Russ & Daughters and Gus's Pickles all along the way.
It's too bad that my dad, now 82, doesn't use computers, if only because Chowhound was made for him. He would be in his element, an instant message-board pro, the first to crow over an unlikely strip-mall find, warning when a favorite biryani lost its oomph or a chef went back to Fujian, waxing rhapsodic about long-gone dishes like the nut cake at the Hungarian Bake Shop, Uncle Tai's Hunan lamb with scallions or the cinnamon babkas at Gertel's.
My dad loves to tell stories, and he loves to talk about food before, during and after eating. He would be an ace Chowhounder, I know it, smart, helpful, opinionated, a little cranky maybe, not one to suffer fools or blandness easily.