August 28, 2013
Where would you rather eat: a place with an extensive menu and generous portions of good food, or a pretentious place where on Sunday they only have a brunch menu which has as its highlight “warm donut appetizer”?
Now guess which one I got stuck in.
3:45 in the afternoon. Who is still serving brunch at a quarter to four? Better yet- who wants brunch? It isn’t breakfast, it isn’t lunch, you can’t get a T-bone steak (now THAT’S a man’s brunch) and if you go in and order oatmeal you deserve the scorn I will heap on you. The brunch menu was less satisfying than the breakfast menu, less satisfying than the lunch menu, but made me much angrier than either.
Before I name this place, I do have to give it a compliment. The service was good. My party of four had- no joke!- five different people serving us, sometimes three at once. The service was so omnipresent that if my soup was too hot there was someone over my shoulder to blow on it for me.
But seriously, there was one good thing about this place. Out table was in the front and we were right near the window. Just on the other side were outdoor tables and two of them were filled with nothing but cute busty blondes in sun dresses. I LOVE New York!
But the menu sucked.
We were in lower Manhattan and someone in my party who is not to be named because my brother is marrying her and I want to keep harmony in the family, suggested The Odeon. This is allegedly a well-known and very good diner. I call it pretentious because the one-page menu (what diner has a one-page menu?) listed the Executive Chef, whom I will not name due to the fact that he might start crying in his soufflé.
Meanwhile, if I heard someone at the table say that Robert Di Niro ate there once I heard it 34X108 times. Would you take dinning advice from this man?
I have pictures but, due to the fact that I currently have The World’s Worst Cell Phone (I think it was made in pre-war Italy) the pictures came out awful. I’ll post them anyway and try to give you the highlights.
The appetizers included Goat Cheese Salad, Steak Tartare, Mixed Green Salad, and French Onion Soup. The Saturday specials on the sidebar included the aforementioned warm donut. Who in their right mind would call a warm donut a special? In that case my local Dunkin Donuts is full of special donuts (mostly lukewarm, some stale.) My brother and I both had the French onion soup. It wasn’t that good. We both had better french onion in Outback Steakhouse, of all places, and I have no clue if they have an Executive Chef or just pour it out of a bag. And this soup had some dry crunchy things topping the cheese which were especially unwelcome, both in taste and texture.
Note that the menu then has an egg section and a cereal and griddle section. We all skipped that since we wanted food.
The lunch entrees section contained nothing to get excited about either. I will let it speak for itself that our party contained a lawyer in a well-known firm, a director of a non-profit organization, a banker, and me, a high-level supervisor at a Company I Am not at liberty to name, and three of us ordered the cheeseburger.
I ordered mine medium and when I lifted it to take my first bite, the grease dripped out and ruined my shirt.
We are not without class. We are well-educated people, but normal people. We live in New York but not among the hipster doofus hoi-poloi. We wanted food. Cheese curd would not do it.
And that lousy French onion soup? $12.