Ain’t Nothin’ But a Paulie Gee’s Thang

PAULIE GEE’S
by YUTZI

Okay, first off, what in creation does that title mean?  Who edits this shit, e.e. cummings?

Anyway, my son Robbie and I have this little game.  We can never agree where to go to dinner – he finds my selections “de-class-ay”, whatever the crap that is, and I leave his places as hungry as I came, because I’ve been eating goddamn bird food all night.

So, we play a game where I pick the cuisine, and he picks the restaurant or vice versa.  It was my turn, so I said “pizza.  I want a goddamn proper pizza pie.”  So he picked Paulie Gee’s.

I did some research first…Paulie Gee, apparently, he used to be a…what, goddamnit…claims adjuster or something.  Anyway, he chucks it all aside and buys a pizza oven.  And as soon as I walked in, I could see why: so he could surround himself with a hot waitstaff!  My god, I felt like I was back in my room, spanking it to an issue of Cosmo.

Our waitress, a sweet little Oriental number, came by and we ordered wine.  Forget the wine, sweetie, want to be the next Mrs. Yutzi?  Ninth time’s the charm, you know.  But Robbie rolled his eyes and ordered some red…with bubbles!  I don’t get that boy sometimes.

I looked around, nothing but good-lookin’ dames carrying food, just the way Yutzi likes ’em.  “Hey, Robbie check out the talent in this joint” I said, but he was busy sniffing around the menu, finally squealing like a little girl with a box of shaved kittens.  I thought maybe bubbles from the wine shot in his nose.  “Dad, I’m getting the Grapeful Dead!”

I asked if that meant grape tomatoes, but he said no, there’s actual GRAPES on the goddamn pizza!  What’s this poncey hippy bullshit?  They gonna splash it with patchuli afterward?  I told him if he ordered that kind of flowery crap, he might as well deduct the price from his inheritance.  I just about smacked the black off of him.

Then I looked at the menu and saw the “Hellboy,” some pie with honey on it.  In fact, almost everything in this place had some kind of goofy name and, I don’t know, pimentos.  I couldn’t make heads or tails of it.  The waitress came back, and I just got a plain pie, and Robbie got “the Mootz” with sausage.   Sausage, now there’s something a REAL man puts in his mouth.  That’s my boy.

I must admit, the bubbling red wine went down pretty nice, and the environs…well, they were a little woodsy and modern, whatever happened to red tablecloths?  The waitresses more than made up for it, though.  Ay, chihuahua.

Oh, and Paulie came over and said hello!  Nice guy.  I asked him to turn down the music, but he misheard me and started showing me ticket stubs on his phone from all these rock concerts he used to go to in the ‘60s.  So I told him about the time Ann Murray played on the cruise ship, back when I was tending bar, but he didn’t seem too impressed. Yeesh.

Anyway, I’ve tugged on your coat long enough about this place…but I do have good news… the pizza is delicious!  Nice burnt crust you can tug at, bubbling cheese, hearty chunks of sausage…this is the kind of place you can take a dame to.  Or Robbie.

Wolf insisted I pick him up a pie if I liked the place.  Oh, waitress, one Grapeful Dead to go…and gimme your number while you’re at it.

Paulie Gee’s, 60 Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn, NY

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A pig and a lady walk into a bar…

Momofuku Ssam Bar

By THE ACTRESS

I have no idea what came over me, but I recently invited my next door neighbor Maria Castelli out for tea.  I guess I just felt sorry for her – the lonely, lump of a woman – and I honestly thought she’d decline, as our date would interrupt her steady diet of game shows.  Seemed safe, but alas, she accepted.  What if a casting director saw the two of us together?  What would he think of me?  Sheer lunacy.  Then again, being with her can only make me look better, I suppose.

Anyway…what a trial!  I’d insisted on hiring a taxi, which is really the only sanitary way to get around in this filth pit of a city.  But, Maria – surprisingly stingy for such a cheery person – made some remark about “wasting taxpayer money,” and the next thing I know, I’ve been duped into boarding the subway.  I’ll spare you the gruesome details of that episode, even as they continue to haunt me.

I had planned on getting tea at the museum, but thanks to our subterranean misadventure, we soon found ourselves surrounded by the unwashed in the East Village.  Exhausted, we stopped at the first even remotely reputable-looking place we could find with an empty seat, which lead us to momofuku ssäm bar.  We were sat at a long, sleek bar, as the restaurant crackled with lively conversation over plates of whole roasted pig..  Alas, the menu was replete with dishes featuring suckling pig and duck, more fit for an Asian lumberjack than a couple of ladies like ourselves.  Or at least a lady like me, as Maria is built like a log cabin.

But yes, she ordered duck soup and a duck bun.  “Nothing like eating in the barnyard at 1pm!” I sighed,  as Maria just slurped  and   burped her way through her meal, blithely, without a care in the world.  I thought the poor sow was going to bloat and explode and have her blood used to make some sort of stock.  I admit I did try some of her duck soup, which looked unappetizing with bits of duck and bright green vegetables bobbing up and down in a brackish, brown liquid, yet I was surprised by its refined and delicate  flavors.  But, I simply couldn’t try any more…my agent insists I need to watch my figure if I’m going to win the Oscar over Ava Gardner, that whore.

My advice for momofuku ssäm bar: go with a fatty and catch a spoonful of their run-off, or else the Oscar goes to…someone else.

Momofuku Ssam Bar / 207 2nd avenue, new york, ny 10003 corner of 13th street and 2nd avenue

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Springtime for Spätzle

by; Wolf

Edi and the Wolf is to NY dining what Jerry Lewis is to French culture: a national treasure! Hidden in a forlorn corner of NYC called Alphabet city, which is not to be confused with Coop City despite what your nincompoop cabbie says, Edi and the Wolf is not the easiest spot to find so bring a fold out map – but keep it low because you don’t want the locals to think you are a tourist and rob you blind.

As I was seated at a bustling communal table inside what looked like an abandoned WWII bunker, I  experienced a flashback. Grabbing the bloke seated next to me, I put a butter knife to his throat and demanded to see his superior officer. I was brought back to reality by the sound of my date – none other than the Actress – clapping and yelling bravo.  Sheepishly, I offered the POW a bread roll as a peace offering,  he asked the waiter to be reseated. Not for nothing, it gave me and the dame some privacy.


Once we were alone,  I sensed her discomfort. She leaned in and complained about the strange decor; why were the flowers dead and  arranged in a Victorian military boot; why was the furniture hanging upside down from the ceiling; how come the lights were hidden under the rafters; and, why were we dining inside a Baba Yaga hut? A Baba what? A witch’s hut you boob!   Were we planning on eating children? She was becoming hysterical, so I waved down a waiter and ordered a martini for the lady and double gin and tonic for old Wolfy. The waiter informed us that they did not have a liquor license but did serve beer and wine.

No spirits?! Perhaps she  wasn’t having a senile moment after all, and we were dining in a bunker full of satanists!  Upon hearing there would be no schnapps, the actress crawled under the table  and placed  one hand on each of my knees. I thought to myself, oh yeah, looks like old Wolfy’s gonna get an A P-59 jet propelled Airacomet in public!  But she reappeared almost as quickly as she disappeared  and declared  “No chicken legs. We are safe.”  She then grabbed the menu and ordered  two glasses of BLAUFRÄNKISCH, SPÄTZLE, and DUCK TWO WAYS in flawless German.

The Spättzle arrived under a bed of spring lettuce leaves.  I took a bite and it was the most delicious, cheesy, goodness. It had the right spring -not over boiled or soppy or hard. Springtime for spätzle, I declared between mouthfuls.  It was so good that I forgot to share with my date who had disappeared to the ladies room and  returned  twenty minutes later when the duck- two-ways arrived. That duck was divine and brought a tear to my eye.. Unfortunately, I had to share. With a menacing forkful of dark meat, I questioned the young lady about her disappearance during the spätzle course. Apparently there is a confessional bench in the bathroom, and she had a lot to confess. Well, hotcakes, I have something to confess too: Edi and the Wolf  is delicious!

http://www.ediandthewolf.com/

102 Avenue C, New York, NY (212) 598-1040 ‎

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AMTRAK NORTHEAST #186 DINING CAR

By THE ACTRESS

Yutzi’s son Robbie invited me to weekend with his theater troupe in Boston.  Let me tell you those kids could learn a thing or two about acting from someone of my talent and ability.  But do they ever ask?  Of course not.  Did I ever tell you about my time with James Dean? Well, I won’t because I’m a lady.

But I must say, I was so very excited for a real New England clambake. Finally, cultivated people, fresh brewed iced tea, and Nantucket at nightfall. But no, Robbie, that scalawag, spirited me away to a lobster pound in Seabrook, NH and instead of an acting troupe, my companions were none other than his outré father Yutzi and his crony, Wolf.

As we walked to the train station, Robbie assured me the food was top notch at Brown’s Lobster Pound. Lobster Pound?  Was this one of those Jewish delis? I thought only the gentiles were allowed to vacation in New England? But it gets worse. The lobster pound is one mile away from a nuclear power plant. “Not to worry,” said Robbie, while I gagged on the thought of air redolent of low tide and low people, “if there is a meltdown we can take solace in the fact that our last meal was spent with splendid company.” I listened then slapped him across the face.

We finally reached the station. Could someone please tell me when the grand train stations of my youth were remade into public urinals? I forced Robbie to carry me across the puddles of ill-repute. He gingerly put me down in front of the coach class car. Coach? I was horrified and screamed at Robbie –  You mean to tell me that we are not traveling first class! I was appalled. That brute had booked us in steerage.  I was forced to sit amongst the commoners in poly-blend suits, ripped jeans and some ghastly, shapeless footwear that Robbie said was all the rage: UGG Boots.  These vagrants looked like homeless Eskimos.

Meanwhile, Wolf and Yutzi’s perfume of Ivory soap, Old Spice, and stale jokes brought on a sudden bout of nausea.  I begged Robbie to escort me to the dining car. With one hand in Robbie’s and the other clutching my purse to my chest  in case one of these cretins decided to push me into the bathroom and give me a Frank Sinatra,  I told Robbie, who is really a sissy-boy, to light a fire under his tight trousers and get a move on.

Once we reached the dining car I was forced to rest from the physical and mental exhaustion of the one car walk. I ordered Robbie to fetch me a packet of saltines, but he returned with a hot dog.  A hot dog? What am I, six years old? Is this a baseball contest? I surveyed the menu in dismay. Did the stock market crash again? Where was the champagne? Where were the waiters? My choices were limited to deli sandwiches, chips, soda, and coffee.  I waved away the menu, took the hot dog to use as a weapon and proceeded back to my seat while Robbie stayed to flirt with the help.

Oh, wait. I was supposed to review the lobster pound. That will just have to wait until next week.

Amtrak Northeast Regional, Penn Station, 393 7th Ave., New York, NY

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MANHATTAN INN

by WOLF

Okay, first off, why is every restaurant in this town so damn narrow?  I can barely get past the front door of this place, when I’m set upon by the white version of the black nerd from that one show, goddamnit, what was that show?  Anyway, it turns out Four-Eyes is the host.  Shouldn’t a classy-looking joint like this have a host-ESS?  Give me something with gams if I’m going to pay these prices.  I tell this schmendrick “party of one” and I thought he was going to have to whip out a sliderule, by the looks of it.

I’m whisked to the back room, where, the first thing I see is a big white piano…and a big white guy playing it!  I couldn’t believe it but there he was, boogieing and woogieing non-stop, stomping his foot on the floorboards like he was trying to put out a fire.  I have expected the wait staff to start doing the Lindy Hop.

Meanwhile, my host helpfully escorted me to my seat in the mezzanine.  He was a nice kid, so I’ll stop busting his balls.  Mind you, my seat is an old theater seat, and I think my table was a school desk once.  I remember crawling under these things for bomb drills!

I grab a cocktail menu and the first thing I see is a drink called the “French Future.”  Hey barkeep: how many shots of surrender are in that?  I decided to play it safe and get an Old Fashion.  Smooth!  I’m now sipping in style and enjoying the tunes.

Although, a couple of songs towards the end of the first set sounded a little macabre.  I fllipped a quarter into his jar as he was wrapping up and asked him who composed his last song.  He said it was by a fellow named Kurt Cobain.  Well, don’t quit your day job, Mr. Cobain.

I returned to my seat just in time for the hamburger I ordered.  I sure as hell wasn’t paying $9 for no grilled cheese sandwich!  What are they making the cheese with unicorn milk?  Yeesh.  Anyway, my burger comes, and I immediately have mixed feelings about what I’ve purchased.

On the plus side, it’s practically a towering beef-ferno, a big glorious ball of cow nestled snugly in a stately bun, served up chop house style on a stately butcher board.  The burger was so tall, I thought I was going to have to be Dagwood to eat it.

But what’s this?  BEAN SPROUTS?  What kind of PINKO puts bean sprouts on a perfectly good burger?  But there they were, sitting on top of the meat like a hippy girl’s unshaved pits.

I looked around, though, as burger after burger came out of the kitchen.  Popular item.  When in Rome, as they saying goes, so my chompers went to work.

Friends, I was not disappointed.  Salty and brown on the outside, gloriously pink in the middle, with chunks of bacon worth going to war for.  To be honest, I didn’t even mind the bean sprouts!  If nothing else, now I don’t have to floss tonight.

The piano player returned, and I’m enjoying my meal and tapping my toes.  I was in such good spirits, I ordered a Manhattan, and then things really got cooking.  I asked our waitress if she’d like to waltz, but she said was busy.  So, I decided to break the ice myself…why don’t young people like to dance?  Our piano player pounded out a sweet little shuffle, and I showed ’em all how it’s done.

Yutzi always calls me “buzzboy” when I get like this.  Ah, Yutz, you should’ve been there!

Anyway, I don’t remember much after that.  I might have cut a little too much rug for their tastes.  In fact, I may very well have pink elephant-ed this whole thing, it’s just too good to be true!  Guess I’ll find out for sure next time I want a burger.

Manhattan Inn, 632 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, NY

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GREEK CORNER

by YUTZI

I knew I reached the Asphodel Meadows (look it up, moron) when the waitress sat me at an aqua Formica table with a clear view of the 2/3 subway entrance.  Nick’s Greek Corner is the kind of classy joint where the waitress wears a hairnet and chastises you for ordering before your lunch buddy arrives. Fortunately, Yutzi didn’t have to eat alone…I had this guy hovering over my table to keep me company.

Check out the gyro-hole on Zeus there.  Did I mention this place is in Chelsea?

Anyway, so your hero was seated between two tables- two fat middle-aged lawyer gals, who were squeezed into their booth so snugly I thought they were going to erupt like Vesuvius- and a four-top of businessmen who looked beaten down by life in their crumpled suits, ordering sissy drinks with lemon and ice on the side, wishing they were living it up like this guy.

I ordered a large bowl of split pea soup, coffee, and the gyro plate and it only set me back $12 buckaroos.  I managed to scrape together almost $11 in unclaimed tips on the other tables, so hey, almost a free lunch!  Almost better than the price was the waitress announcing the arrival of my soup by shouting “here’s your bowl of PEE.” Bowl of pee? What, is there a fuckswing in the break room of this place?

I cracked the Daily News in an attempt to enjoy my meal in peace, but the businessmen were mumbling on about some sports bullshit, while the fat ladies giggled like little school girls between bites of their salad, like they were looking at their first dink.  Why do large girls always order salad and diet coke? Who you foolin’? We all know you are going to hit the next greasy spoon and down a large order of fries. Yutzi’s right behind you, good lookin’!

Oh, and I forgot to tell you… I saw Ed Begley Jr. there!  Or at least it was a guy who looked a lot like him. I admit it was an odd place to see such a force in Hollywood.  I would’ve said hi but I can never remember what he was in.  “Riptide”?  Ah, fuck it.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering about the food.  Well, the pea was sublime, with croutons so big they could double for a flotation device.  You could stand a fork upright in the coffee it was so thick and strong.  Fortunately, at one point, I ended up with three pitchers of milk on my table.  My bones thank you, lady.  And my gyro melted in my mouth like the tender ass meat of an Elysian game beast.

Yep, if you’re asking this guy how he prefers to spend his lunch hour, I’d definitely have to say I’ll take it Greek!

What, why are you laughing?

Greek Corner, 322 7th Ave, New York, NY

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NO. 7 SUB

by WOLF 

Now as you know, I like me a good sub.  Meaty, with bread your fingers can sink into, enough to fill a hand.  Bag of chips, a pickle, and I’m eating right.  So, I was excited that my first assignment was No. 7 Sub, in that hotel on Broadway that used to be a flop house.

My excitement, friends, would be short-lived.  I looked at the menu, and the first thing I see is “shrimp sausage” with something called “shitso peppers”, onions and grape jelly.  Who’s the hairdresser eating this bullcrap?

Then I saw one with cauliflower, raisins, potato chips and French dressing.  Hey, is this a sandwich or a shopping list?

And what on God’s green earth is “peach munchim”?  “Pico de lettuce”?  And are you really going to put wax bean salad IN my sandwich?  Did you buy every ingredient on the menu with food stamps?

Oh, and pickles are TWO DOLLARS!  Back in my day, you’d get the pickle for free!  You could just reach into the barrel and grab one!  I thought I was seeing things

In the meantime, the hostess, boy, was she a sweet thing, blonde, pretty smile, just the right amount of curves.  Ba-boom!  Anyway, she pointed out that a long line of riff-raff had now formed behind me, ready for their snooty hoagies.

I panicked!  I told her I wanted to get the Meyer Chicken sandwich, mainly because “chicken” was the only thing I could see on the menu that actually belongs in a sandwich.

The place is about the size of a broom closet, and there’s no place to sit, but I finally get my order.  First off: you’d think for a $9 sandwich made by two fat Mexicans, it’d be a lot bigger.  Is chicken going extinct or something?

But I don’t care, I’m hungry and I’m going to enjoy my Meyer Chicken sandwich.  Now, I’m not sure who Meyer is, but by the taste of it, I’m guessing he’s a relative of Oscar Meyer.  WHAT IS THIS HORSESHIT?

I take a bite and the first thing I get my chompers on is a cold piece of bone.  Not that I would mind giving a warm bone to the hostess.

However, what little edible meat there was was hiding underneath some leafy green that looked like it could’ve used a long sponge bath.  The toasted bread gave me a case of raw mouth you usually need to go to the Philippines for.  And whatever the sauce was made my sandwich taste like one of Yutzi’s loafers.

In summation, I had three bites, then left in disgust and gave the rest to a bum.

They ought to call this place “#2 Sub”!  Know what I mean!

No. 7 Sub, 1188 Broadway, New York, NY

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VANDAAG

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

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