Tag Archives: restaurant reviews

Beauty and the Beef

BEAUTY & ESSEX
by WOLF

I’d picked the Actress up at LaGuardia – she had just returned from her bi-annual exhaustion retreat  – and she said there’s a place she simply insisted on trying.

We arrive in the Lower East Side to a big sign reading “Beauty & Essex” in bright bulb lettering that looks like it was previously on the set of “The Price Is Right.”  So, already, I’m thinking “classy joint!”

With my date by my side we stride in and see… a wall of guitars?  I look around and notice a bunch of jewelry in the window.  How on earth did we end up at a pawn shop?  I think Yutzi previously sold a sword at this place.

The lady behind the counter quickly sensed my confusion and asked if we have reservations, and pointed us to a back door.

We walk in, and man is this place swank.  Luxurious chandeliers, spiral staircases, lovely…what are those couches called… banquets?  Ah, that doesn’t sound right.

Anyway, whatever they’re called, they’re filled to the brim with dames in short skirts and high heels, surrounded by strapping men in fine blazers.  I can already feel my wallet crying in agony.

Before getting sat, I take a gander at the drink menu…14 dollars for a cocktail!  I order up an “Old Dirty Bramble”, whatever that means, as the Actress goes downstairs to powder her schnoz.  The bartender was friendly, and makes a mean drink.  Mulled smoked blackberries?  I’m loving life.

We get sat, right as my date returned from the can with a glass of pink champagne, which she said was handed to her by a bathroom attendant.   I ran downstairs to see if they were doling out bourbon in the little boy’s room, but nothing doing.

Anyway, this was also a bit of foreshadowing, because I’m pretty sure most of the food came from the toilet too.

Godammit! Wrong photo…

First let’s talk about my appetizer.  I had no idea Hormel made carpaccio.  This flavorless batch of commodity meat was enhanced with what I think was crunched up Funyuns and leafy greens from a Chia pet, and served up to a sucker like me for $15.

Then came the Thai-influenced lobster pot pie, which was served in a crock pot that looked like a poodle’s dog bowl.  I dig in and the whole top crust comes off like it was a manhole cover.  Now, I admit they were generous with the chunks of the good stuff, but for 25 smackaroos, I want to see a lobster doing a goddamn backstroke in here.  Instead I’m trawling through bisque like the Gorton’s Fisherman for any meaty morsel I can find, even though its so heavily infused with lemongrass, you’d think the recipe called for Pledge.  Cheapskates didn’t even put crust at the bottom of the pie, just the giant confessional wafer at the top.  Meanwhile, the Actress made about 7 trips to the bathroom.

Walking out I finally ask The Actress how we ended up at this ridiculous place.  She said it was recommended to her by the stewardess on her flight.  She said it was “trendy” and that Kim Kardashan likes to go here.  Is that that broad with the big ass?  Ay yi yi, I’d let her pound my carpaccio.

Anyway, the lesson here, folks: don’t take advice on restaurants from a person who passes out bags of peanuts for a living.

Beauty & Essex, 146 Essex St., New York, NY

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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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