Sunday, June 15, 2008

.....and the food isn't much better

Earlier today, I had the fabulous displeasure of having brunch with my boyfriend in Rue B, a low-key restaurant in the faux-hipster dwelling East Village (ooooh, don't even GET me started on the East Village and how a place which may or may not have been interesting at some point in time has definitely turned into the destination du jour for manorexics in skinny jeans and girls who treat Sex and the City like a how-to life manual).

After 6 months in New York City, I'm starting to wonder why I've been having so many shitty meals in what is allegedly one of the "food capitals of the world" (feel free to add the name of your favorite travel mag rag here). Is it me? Do I give off the vibe of someone who doesn't enjoy every morsel of tasty, tasty food that I shovel into my mouth? You would think that even the most cursory glance at how my tree-trunk legs fill out a pair of jeans would alert the wait staff to the fact that I know my way around a good meal, yet I find myself surrounded again and again by bad food.

This week's offender is Rue B, another in a seemingly endless line of "cute and hip" (honestly, who the fuck says "hip"?) NYC restaurants that somehow survive and thrive on ambiance while offering actual food that would probably inspire a walkout from Mom's Diner in Pigs Gullet, West Virginia. Dining out to me is an experience, a treat, and I try to order a little differently at these NYC restaurants because #1 I'll probably never go there again, and #2 the chances of it still being there in a year are right about in line with Carnie Wilson really losing that weight this time.

Of course, it's father's day and the place is fairly busy. While there appeared to be a booth open in a corner, it was in the direct sight line of some 5th ave. Stepford family and their weird silver-eyed spawn and I didn't feel like having my brunch discussion relegated to one of those strange close-quarters restaurant conversations where you try to sound smart and shit because someone's within earshot. So, while sitting at the desolate bar with my boyfriend debating the difference between slasher flicks and zombie movies, the cute redhead waitress came, and I decided to be bold and order the Eggs Corleone, finding the delectable mixture of "poached eggs, prosciutto, and a special hollandaise sauce" irresistible. Imagine my surprise 20 minutes later when my food comes, and there appears to be poached eggs and proscuitto over some old-looking rye bread trying to escape from under a gravy-brown mess of nearly congealed sauce that has been rather unappealingly splattered over it.

So, after spending a few moments being a bit transfixed at this strange mixture of Jackson Pollock and Julia Child that sits before me and cursing the brunch menu for offering Mamosas instead of jello-shots, the thought occurs to me that I have to actually eat this. And eat it I do, but I don't like it. In fact, I hate it. The poached eggs and prosciutto taste like, well, poached eggs and proscuitto, but the sauce has an awful gravy-sweet taste that somehow seems influenced by the grease-traps that undoubtedly surround the grill in the kitchen, as if whatever this sauce was supposed to be was mixed with a healthy spoonful of grease fat runoff from the hundreds of omlettes and bacon strips that were made in the same area. As for the bed of Rye Bread that this monstrosity sits on? It is so hard that my poor butterknife can't even cut it and I give up on it, but perhaps it is for the better.

After all is said and done, after the awful sauce is sequestered to a corner of the plate like an unruly child, after I have finished the poached eggs and proscuitto and vowed to only eat in in this city whenever I can help it, I have only 6 words to say to the other poor soul next to me who has wandered into the wrong place looking for a meal who leans over me conspiritorially and comments: "The service here is awful". Those words, my friends, comprise the title of this post, delivered in real life with as much acid as I could muster while summoning for the check and the end to yet another awful meal in this great city.

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