Nibbles

– First a purge then we’ll binge. I just watched “Celebrity Duets” and seeing and hearing Xena The Warrior Princess sing a duet with Michael Bolton for judges Marie Osmond and Little Richard makes me want to purge. (Though I did enjoy it when Hal Sparks, who sang a duet with Gladys Knight, rebuffed Marie Osmond for calling his style too white. “Look who’s calling me too white,” he said.) (The fact that I am quoting this show suggests that I need medication.)

– A show that did not make me want to purge or medicate myself was “[Title of Show]” which I received free tickets to last week. For theater buffs, this is a fun evening. The ensemble is terrific and many of the show’s numbers had us laughing quite loudly. You can sample the songs on iTunes, those of you who live far away.

– Hey isn’t this a food blog?

– Yes, sorry, doing non-food business first. Let’s move on, shall we?

– My friend Kirk of The Daily Kirk who is moving far away quite soon joined me for lunch last week. He suggested we go to Westville. I’d never heard of it but I recognized it when we got there as the place I always walk past when I’m in the West Village.

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We each had a sandwich and shared the other half. Kirk had a BLT:

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I had the waitress-recommended chicken with mozzarella:

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We enjoyed our sandwiches quite a bit. And Westville is a very cute Village joint worth checking out.

– Diana and I journeyed out to Park Slope this weekend to make sure we liked it before choosing an apartment there. Before leaving for the day, I Googled “food in Park Slope” or something like that and I got to Ed Levine’s post about fancypants burgers. He concludes his post with this statement: “One burger I wish I had checked out is the Stone Park Cafe in Park Slope. I will get there shortly and report back to you.” So that was our destination.

Diana and I had a plan to meet up in Park Slope. She was boarding the train at 8th Street, I was boarding at 28th street. The plan was this: “I will get on an R train at 28th and sit in the middle car. When it gets to 8th Street you’ll either get on and we’ll ride together or, if you don’t get on, I’ll assume you got on an earlier R train and we’ll meet at Union Street.” This was a very good plan and when Diana didn’t board the train at 8th street I assumed she’d gotten on a train further ahead. Well at Union Street, when I got off (30 minutes later) she was nowhere to be found. “Funny,” I thought. “I guess Diana was running late. She’ll be on the next train.” So I waited. Another train came. No Diana. Then another. This was nuts. I was waiting for her 20 minutes.

So I climbed the stairs and called her number. She answered. How was she answering if she was on a train? Had she never left?

“Where are you?” she begged.

“Where are you?” I replied.

“I’m in the train station, where are you?”

“Which train station?”

“Union Street.”

“I’m at Union Street.”

A long pause. “Oh no!” she said. “I rode the N train so I went too far and I had to ride it back so I must be on the other side of the tracks.”

And so she was. At Union Street there’s a big divider in the subway station so you can’t see the people on the other side. Diana was on the other side. We were sitting directly opposite each other for 20 minutes waiting for the other one to show up. We both found this funny.

Anyway, the Stone Park burger. Here it is:

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Let’s see how it meets Ed’s standards:

– the bun was toasted

– cheese was melted

– the meat was of high quality and freshly ground

– there IS lettuce, an Ed Levine no-no

– the onion was raw: another strike

– pickle was not present

– cooked to order, yes

– no mustard or mayo, check. Instead there was a smoked chili dressing that worked nice.

I didn’t love this burger. I found it to be too big and it reminded me of a diner burger, my least favorite brand of burger. This is a burger on the order of Soup N’ Burger, a fine brand of burger for a Hungry Man, not a Dainty Man like me. I prefer the softness of a Shake Shack or a Burger Joint burger. I enjoy the slim beauty of a Blue Ribbon burger or the punchy intensity of a Spotted Pig burger. But this was just a big slab of charred meat. And though Diana enjoyed my fries, they didn’t please me. I can’t tell you why–I’m not a food critic–they reminded me of camp french fries, take that as you will. But the environment was nice: we sat on a patio overlooking a small park. And when I become a Park Slope resident I’m sure I’ll return. I just won’t order the burger.

– That night, Diana and I desperately tried to get some culture. I wanted her to see “Sweeney Todd” before it closes this week (it’s the last week) and we tried to get student tickets, but the only ones they had were awful seats at the very very very back. So far back they were in a different theater. So we decided we’d go see dance. “I love dance,” said Diana. “I always feel like I should see more dance living in New York.” We hopped on a C train to 14th street and exited on 8th Avenue, walking north to the Joyce. But the Joyce had bad news on its marquee: “Fall Season starts September 17th” (or some date that was far away.) “Now what?” we asked each other, disappointed. We decided we’d do the natural thing for food blogger and friend: we’d eat dinner.

There was talk of Fatty Crab, but we didn’t want to spend a lot of money. We considered the Village. But then I remembered the cute little restaurant in the Chelsea Market, the Green Table, which I was to a few times by myself for lunch but never for dinner. Diana gave the “ok” and we entered the market, enjoyed its emptiness the way you might enjoy an empty mall. And sure enough The Green Table was open. We entered and studied the menu.

“Hey,” said Diana. “This is very reasonable.”

And it was. It was so reasonable we ordered a bottle of Rose for $15.

“It’s cheaper to order a bottle than to order by the glass,” we discovered.

The waiter, after we ordered our rose, returned to tell us that “some idiot” opened two bottles but both were more than half full. “So I’ll just keep pouring and you’ll probably get more than a bottles worth,” he said.

“Fine by us.”

For dinner, Diana ordered a chicken pot pie:

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I had baked eggs:

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Unfortunately for everyone involved, the yolks were overcooked. Had they been runny this meal would’ve won big. Runny egg yolk is what makes a baked egg dish like this what Michael Jackson might call “devilish.” But the devilish factor gone, it felt a little too much like breakfast. But a good breakfast. And the wine helped.

Afterwards, I beat Diana at Scrabble even though I opened up a Triple Word Score with the letter “J” and she spelled the word “Jar” and got more than 30 points. I better stick to food writing and watching Lea Thompson sing with Smokey Robinson on TV. That’s my life and I’m sticking to it.

11 comments

  1. I will be in Brooklyn (near Park Slope, actually) this weekend. I will not order the Stone Park burger. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Do go back to Stone Park– especially for brunch! Also, in terms of GREAT food in the slope…go mexican. Tacos Nuevo Mexico is really fabulous.

  3. I live in Park Slope (15th St/Prospect Park F stop) and I recommend above all the Thai restaurant Beet on 7th Ave. It’s not groundbreaking cuisine but they have a honey duck dish that is very delicious and reasonable.

  4. Yes, definitely go back for brunch, excellent biscuits and gravy and they make a mighty fine Bloody Mary.

  5. there’s great eating in park slope…al di la, convivium osteria…but above all, i love a place called miriam’s for brunch. they have a dish called mediterranean crispy dough which is topped with eggs, pickles and harissa (spicy paste) that is addictive.

  6. Did you think you were going to get away with bashing XWP? She looked marvelous! And if you understood what Little Richard was saying, then I want some of your medication!

  7. all too often, your adventures about town make me want to take a trip over to new york! it certainly has been a few years since my last time there–i miss the subway as means to get around.

    and, i take issue with your declaration that you are not a food critic, i disagree!

  8. Hi:)

    Been a loyal reader for over a year now – thanks! Am coming to NYC next weekend and am planning my trip, which entails deciding which restaurants i want to visit. I relise i’m probably to late for booking a table at many of the most popular places but my trip was only decided yesterday. Now, I seem to remember you posting a list of your favorite restaurants a while back, but i can’t find that post – and yes, I already tried using the search function. Could you please give me the link to that post? (that is, if i remember correctly that there ever was one)

    Many thanks, and greetings from Iceland.

  9. Hey that Kirk guy is cute. I wish i could find about more about him and have a meaningful and sexual relationship with him. Who’s with me?

  10. Baked eggs!!! Oh, I haven’t ever seen them in a restaurant, I’ve always had to suffer the indignity of overcooking them at home!

    Baked eggs with rose sounds like the perfect meal.

    You missed nothing by not seeing The Todd. It was really sort of pretentious and weird.

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