Tag Archives: east village

Is that Alder is?

“Is that Alder is?” A review of Alder.

By, Wolf

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So, I took Yutzi’s son, Robbie, out for his 50th birthday.  Why it was up to me instead of Yutzi is another story for another time…though I can tell you Aqueduct was involved.

Anyway, much to my dismay, the kid cancelled our reservation at Benihana.  Which is too bad, because I had a slew of new material involving Dr. Wang, the fastest circumcision doctor in the Orient.  Instead, the ingrate re-booked us at some “gastropub” named Alder. First off, what’s a “gastropub?”  That sounds like something I need a helmet for.

Actually, what I needed was to pack a lunch.  You know why this place is called Alder?  Because you’ll look at your plate and ask, “is that all-der is?” I’ve had more generous portions at Prison Camp #4 in North Korea.

Let me finger paint you a picture- we started by ordering the $24 halibut to share, “One of the larger dishes,” our sweet little waitress assured us.   What arrived was a tiny portion of halibut, about the size of two of Robbie’s ladylike fingers, served *in* one of their larger dishes.  Maybe I misheard?  Robbie thought it was “cute.”  Kid, if cute fed the world, we’d all be eating panda cubs and babies’ butts.

Next up was the rye pasta. “It tastes just like pastrami on rye but it’s pasta! It’s fun,” exclaimed our waitress, who I was beginning to think might be stupid. If I wanted pastrami on rye, I’d go to that place in the Lower East Side where the old lady rubbed one out in that movie. But Robbie insisted, and whatever the birthday boy wants, the birthday boy gets- so I farted. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!  The gas passed just as the busboy dropped off what was by far the largest dish on the menu, a fistful of pasta resting on three pieces of shaved pastrami. We slurped and fought over the third piece of meat like animals with forks.  And guess what? It tasted just like pastrami on rye. Except it was smaller and more expensive.  I’m waiting for the restaurant that serves you an empty plate for 50 semolians.  Mark my word, the day is coming!

I contemplated turning the chef in to the The House Committee on Un-American Activities for devising a menu of American food with Communist ingredients, such as ‘pigs in a blanket’ made with Chinese sausage.  Good thing for him the “Bay of Pigs in a Blanket” were delicious, unlike the most insipid dish of the evening: pickled beets. Even the waitress’s enthusiasm waned when we ordered it. There’s nothing much to say about this dish… other than charging $14 for half a beet, a dash of ricotta, and some freeze dried green thing takes balls.   Remember that guy that just free-fell twenty thousand feet out of an airplane recently?  Those sized balls.

We ended our meal with a dessert, the peanut butter cake with black grape sorbet. I can feel my dick going limp just describing it.  The cake was a gussied up version of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup surrounded by a satanic circle of grapes and marble-sized scoop of ice-scream. But what did I care? Robbie was happy. He blew out his birthday candle and I farted- hey, it’s a gastropub.

Address:

157 Second Avenue
Between 9th and 10th Streets
New York, NY 10003

212-539-1900

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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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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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