by THE ACTRESS
When my friend first suggested “Van Dog” I was horrified. Who eats Dutch-Chinese food? She assured me there would be no actual Dutch people at the restaurant, so I agreed to meet her for dinner. I arrived two hours late because I just couldn’t choose between my mink and sable coat. Not that it mattered because the place was emptier than Debbie Reynold’s bedroom after she introduced Eddy to Elizabeth Taylor.
I stepped through the doors wearing the sable, wrong choice. The glorified peasant interior and scrap metal light fixtures clearly called for mink. How dare this establishment expect a woman of my standing to eat elbow to elbow with beer swilling, bearded strangers on bare wooden tables, for shame! People pay to eat like this? My dining companion assured me this was fine dining. If you say so! In my day, if a man took you to this type of establishment then he was paying YOU at the end of the night.
The menu was confusing and pretentious. How many adjectives does it take to describe a pickle? Well, at Van Dog it take 16. Years of dining at the finest establishments (oh, whisk me back to Sardis!) taught me never to order any dish with more than three adjectives, two nouns, and one verb. This limited me to ordering the pickle plate, sausages, and something called Bitterballen.
The pickle plate arrived in a dented tin bucket. My sausages sat atop a plate with a design of two mice fornicating. One was dressed as Cher and the other held a whip. How am I supposed to eat off this?
Did the food taste good? Who cares! Really, one doesn’t go out for the food. The point of dining out is to be seen and served by overly solicitous staff. My waitress, Justine, looked fresh off the boat from Poland. She’s as much Dutch as I am Chinese. I expect authenticity, damn it. Justine had fine hands and the constitution of a scullery maid.
The meal ended when I dropped a sausage in my lap and decided to call it a night. Driver! Bring the Bitterballen around!
Vandaag, 103 2nd Avenue, New York, NY