Tag Archives: brooklyn

True Grits

SCRATCH BREAD
by the Actress

Everyone is given to decadence, even, dear reader, someone as refined as moi. You see, I’m currently convalescing (owing to a traumatic manicure where upon the manicurist launched the Tet-offensive on my cuticles) with my niece in, well, it’s quite embarrassing to admit, but, Brooklyn! And not Roebling’s Brooklyn, but the Brooklyn of some deceased, corpulent baritone named Biggie Smalls who was the 90’s Primo Uomo of rap-opera; plus a very popular fellow named Jay-Z , who I believe is the founder of a brand of exercise pants.

Since  my niece has warned against leaving her apartment at the Beyonce Pillow Factory Lofts, lest I be attacked by pitbulls, all food must be delivered…by her, since she refuses to hire my caterer! For the love of god, the idea of a strange man on a bike delivering my food…I’d order Chinese if I wanted that!  It’s bad enough that she uses wire coat hangers to hang my mink and orders in ethnic cuisine, but she insists on serving my meals on flatware by IKEA – which I believe is Swedish for Hitler-ware – instead of my beautiful 19th-Century Wedgwood China! Something about lead paint…in my day we ate lead for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Well this morning I awoke at 7am on my niece’s hideous futon (she doesn’t know this but I just ordered a velvet, clawfoot couch off  something called Craigslist and the nice man on the phone offered to throw in something called “Cleveland steaming” for free).  I was ravished and in the mood for some good-old antebellum-style Southern cooking, with lard and none of that vegan silliness the North seems to insist on. Speaking of vegan food, on the set of “The Cattle Queen of Montana,” Ronald Reagan threatened to report the caterers to the House on Un-American Activities for serving vegetables, and ever since then he’s had my vote in every election.  I don’t see why 2012 should be any different.

My niece assured me this would not be a problem and ran out to fetch my breakfast at Scratch Bread, a breakfast stand at the end of her street.

She returned with a brown paper cup full of grits, hard boiled egg, mayo and one piece of bacon floating in a pool of butter. I sniffed,  scooped, then tipped the deliciousness down my throat. I wiped my mouth with a silk napkin because I’m a lady, rifted discreetly and promptly fell back to sleep.

Scratch Bread, 1069 Bedford Avenue  Brooklyn, NY 11216

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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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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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