The Death of My Discovery (Gus’s Place)

We all want a place where everybody knows our name. Where mailmen and fat guys drink beer and Shelly Long dishes with Ted Danson about Rhea Pearlman’s perm. And Woody Harrelson plays a character named Woody.

The charm of “Cheers” I think is that there’s the sense of propriety—this is OUR bar. Our secret spot. We’re like a family.

And I think most New Yorkers have a few secret spots up their sleeves. Their favorite secret coffee shop, their favorite secret sushi shack. (Sushi shack?) (Quiet, it’s late).

Me? I found my favorite secret spot two weeks ago next to my favorite secret coffee shop, Joe’s. Except overnight my favorite secret coffee shop was voted Best Coffee Shop in The Village Voice and it was no longer secret (it was jam-packed and I can never get a table there.)

And as for my secret eating spot? Well Gus’s Place–for that’s what it is–is now out of business.

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How sad! I ate two things at Gus’s Place, both of which were spectacular. The first time it was a Greek salad that was the most thoughtful Greek salad ever put down in front of me. The perfect distribution of oil and vinegar; and the most lovingly placed array of lettuce and tomatoes and feta cheese and olives.

The second time it was a salad sampler of blended Greek salads like hummus and eggplant salad and tatziki and, my personal favorite, some kind of caviar salad that was just like heaven in a mound. The pita bread that accompanied it was sheer perfection–toasty, fresh, firm. That was a glorious meal.

Who knew it would be my last? Well, my last at Gus’s place. Farewell, Gus’s place. I’ll miss you!

Remember the lyrics: “Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got…”

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