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