Friday, February 27, 2009

The Eye of the (Blind) Tiger

Pete and Bill "Spaceman" Lee decided to take advantage of the nice weather so they ventured off to the Blind Tiger on Bleecker Street in hopes of getting one of the much-loved street-facing window tables (they did, the middle one in the photo) so they could people watch--tourists (Look, I have a Yankees hat on and I'm waiting in line at John's Pizza!), pretty ladies (Hi.), neighborhood archetypes (crazy, ex-socialist grandma with a big-brimmed hat and a bike with a basket), and the guys from Ottomanelli's Meat Market--while snacking on the Tiger's delicious mini Bahn Mi (pork, daikon, plum sauce, and spicy mango slaw on a hard, crunchy roll) and sipping on a pint of pilsner.
Pete also took a chance on Rafeal's Seven Pepper Chili with pork shoulder and sirloin; he was glad he did. It was spicy but not in a Mountain-Dew-totally-extreme-my-mouth-is-on-fire-dude way--it was just real flavorful. Pete and Spaceman could have people watched the rest of the day away but work--and gelato--beckoned, so they headed around the corner to L'Arte del Gelato on Barrow Street. Two coffee and spicy chocolate gelatos in hand, Pete and Spaceman satiatedly strolled back to the lab--probably looking a little like an odd gay couple with their matching gelatos.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sir Mex-a-Lot

Pete likes tacos and he can not lie,
You others lunchers can't deny,
That when a fish taco with a bit of cliantro taste,
Gets put in your face,
You get sprung, wanna pull out your tongue...

With the scent of spring dresses in the air, Pete headed to Pinche Taqueria on Mott Street between Prince and Spring Streets for some taco love. ("Pinche" means "a cook's assistant" but it's also a colloqualism for "fucking.") Pete likes the second translation better since the tacos are pinche good. Everything is super fresh--no cans in the kitchen--and they're served on a soft corn tortilla with onions, cilantro, and guacamole; the carne asada and carnitas were good, but la ultima was the pescado--crispy breaded fish garnished with cabbage and cilantro dressing. Since it was so nice out, Pete headed over to Balthazar for a coffee and chocolate donut, which he noshed on in the park at Spring and Mulberry while daydreaming about spring dresses.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Puffy's the Magic Tavern

Alidoro on Sullivan between Prince and Spring Streets in SoHo makes a fantastic sandwich, but the line can be long and they don't have "Coffee...lattes...half sandwiches...mayo...pepper...chips...pickels (sic)...glasses of water...knives...plates...BATHROOMS...GRAZIE". And they are prone to saying things like, "Just look at the menu, how do I know what you would like?" However, Puffy's Tavern on the corner of Hudson and Harrison in TriBeCa has Alidoro sandwiches made to order and most of those other things, as well as service with a cute smile, and, drum roll please, three dollar drafts with your sandwich if you dine in. They get the same delicious stirato, semolina, and  focaccia breads from Grandaisy Bakery and the same exact meats, cheeses, peppers, greens, etc. Pete enjoyed a Daniela--Italian tuna (oil and vinegar instead of mayo). smoked mozzarella, hot peppers, and arugula on white stirato--and a couple of cold Sierra Nevadas for lunch this afternoon. Pete shared his lovely meal with some other classics: the lunch-ing ladies sipping chardonays with boutique bags at their feet and the construct-ing dudes power washing their lunch with bottles of Bud in constant motion like the jackhammers they will soon--scarily--be using.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Change You Can Put in Your Pocket

To show solidarity with our new President on the day of his pseudo-State of the (Bleak) Union Address, Pete decided to show fiscal responsibility and bring his lunch. A simple mixed green salad with tomatoes and broccoli, and a chicken burrito from Trader Joe's. Pete wonders why in these post-racial times that a company with such a clear liberal bent insists on naming their ethnic lines of products in Looney Tunes-like terms such as "Trader Jose's" and "Trader Ming's". (What, no line of tequilas named after Slowpoke Rodriguez?) Nevertheless, a fairly tasty, nutritious meal and a cup of coffee from Joe: The Art of Coffee on Waverly and Gay is proof to Pete that yes, Mr. President, yes, we can eat lunch for less than five dollars.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Not Even Stevie Nicks

could deny the deliciousness of the carne asada burrito at the Vendy-winning Calexico cart at Prince and Wooster in SoHo; Pete finds its beauty simple--its simplicity is beautiful: steak, beans, and rice. Though, Bill "Spaceman" Lee agreed with Pete that a fresh pico de gallo might be a nice addition. And Stevie Nicks could not deny that New York may be the only city in the world in which white guys serve Mexicans burritos and tacos. And the brothers Calexico will be opening a proper restaurant in the old Schnack spot on Union Street in the Columbia Waterfront district, not too far from Pete LaCock's home base, at the end of March. Pete thinks he might get a belly going on this verano.

Linner Is the New Brunch

Why settle for the breakfast-lunch combo when, Pete thinks, he can combine the two best meals of the day: lunch and dinner? Especially when it means Pete doesn't have to wait in line with a bunch of dudes that wish they were in Death Cab for Cutie, and try to say interesting things out loud for others to be impressed by. After a late night celebrating a friend's 30th in Red Hook by drinking Budweiser's at Sunny's and the subsequent late wake-up time, Pete hit the Jake Walk on Smith and Sackett for a little bit of savory rarebit, or Welsh rabbit, which oddly has no Bugs in it--it's cheese melted with spices and beer and other shit served on thick rye bread--and stiff cocktails. Pete followed that up with more vintage cocktails at the Clover Club on Smith between Baltic and Butler. Needless to say, Pete walked home with a stiff-legged gait, and woke up with a rather heavy dose of the gout frustration, i.e. the simplest things seem maddeningly complicated.

Oh Nicky You Are So Mine

After a beautiful day of football in the crisp, dawn of spring-like sunshine--multiple touchdowns, game-changing plays, victory--Pete was famished; so he headed to Nicky's Vietnamese on Atlantic between Hoyt and Smith for some bahn mi(s). Yes, Pete did it like Ernie Banks--he played two. The first was the classic: roast pork, pickled carrots, daikon, cilantro, jalapeno, etc. The second one: pork chop. Succulent. The bahn mi is the encapsulation of why races should mix. European packaging, Asian flavor. Pete's one complaint about the bahn mi is that the bread cuts the inner roof of his mouth like Apple Jacks and Fruit Loops do (used to do). The owners' parents were there too. Pete loves when a cute woman is very polite to him--almost flirty--and then rips into a staccato, machine-gun fire argument with her parents in a language as foreign to him as light beer and skim milk.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ballgame On

In honor of his beloved heartbreaks--the New York Metropolitans--pitchers and catchers working out in the Florida (i.e. Flori-dumb) sunshine down in Port St. Lucie, Pete LaCock set out to eat some hot dogs and waffle fries from New York Hot Dog Company on Chambers and Church and then have a salty salute--and wash the nitrate taste away--to man's best friend at Nancy Whiskey on Lispenard and Church, where coincidentally Pete once had beers with 86 Mets star Ron Darling (really bad taste in music (Counting fucking Crowes?), but a nice guy). But New York Hot Dog Company has been economized, i.e. closed down. And with it, the ending of one of Pete's most embarrassing ordering experiences ever: They had a sign with "hamburger" above "hot dog." Pete was intrigued so he ordered one. The guy said, "Which one?" Pete said, "The hamburger hot dog." The guy angrily said, "It's either a hot dog or a hamburger." If they had a hamburger hot dog they'd probably still be in business. So Pete took off for the place where the recession (special) is always in effect--go get a late pass--Gray's Papaya on Sixth Avenue at 8th Street. One recession special--two dogs and drink for $4.75--later, Pete needed one more of their snappy dogs covered in scarecrow hair-like sauerkraut and not-found-in-a-Crayola-box colored onions which he washed down with the orange drink that tasted just like the orange drink McDonald's served in the 80s. They claim "Nobody but nobody serves a better frankfurter." Pete couldn't agree less. The lunch game was past the seventh-inning stretch so there was no time for beer so he headed to Grey Dog Coffee on Carmine Street for a little coffee. Bonus kudos for having Neutral Milk Hotel playing.