(Greek Salad – food photos uncreditted)
No one goes to a diner in NYC unless you live in Staten Island and don’t know any better. I know Seinfeld did, but he went with a TV crew and George Costanza, and then made comic history. All I can think is because of that awesome show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, the people from Jersey made a trend of diner fare and the insanity somehow seeped into Manhattan. Good for Jersey.
The other night we wound up at a diner in Midtown Manhattan. I was starving like marvin and the place we went to has a menu that’s like nine pages. I ordered a Greek salad, fries with cheese, extra white sauce on the side, and a Diet Pepsi. Also, one of the first things I did after we sat in a corner booth, was pour a dollop of catsup on my finger, just to make sure it was Heinz and that they weren’t filling the bottle up with something lesser–
Oh, I also ordered a side of falafel, which I plopped on top of my Greek salad. Do you care? Yes you dooooo!!!
Now don’t ask me what everyone else ordered. The pizza and Chinese delivery guys(aka num and nuts) don’t speak a language I can understand. Benny, “the cigar store Indian,” is small and unassuming as was his meal, and though lady friend(LF) was right across from me, my food was piled so high and I was so hungry, I ate like a nut and hardly lifted my eyes.
The walls were mirrored, which is so cheesy. Though each booth had its own jukebox, but we just talked. No music. Oh, I’m wandering, or at least there was a point to this post.
(Tzatziki aka Greek white sauce)
We went to the diner to meet someone. Benny set the thing up. He didn’t say if it was a guy or a girl, just that they had insight into NYC’s darkest paranormal secrets, and that they would enlighten me in ways he couldn’t.
But the food was awesome. I floated away on a garlicky cloud replete with Greek salad and white sauce. Oh!!! I ordered a side of half sour pickles, too. I like to dip them in the white sauce, just like I do the cheese fries. Though after I dip the fries into the white sauce, I dunk ‘em in the catsup. It’s delish! It would be great if somehow I could keep the cheese gooey the whole time. I wouldn’t mind a heat lamp hanging over the table while we ate. Nothing is more exciting than gooey-cheese fries, because once the cheese goes hard, the excitement goes away.
Oh, sorry, I was there to meet someone. Benny, who is an old homeless man and seer, said this person lived a bunch of past lives and crap.
Over the meal we had this long conversation and I was making like I was paying attention, and was talking, but have no clue what the heck we talked about. I was so into the food; *my body sang electric yums! Thumb cocked, I kept pointing at my food. I don’t know why. Well, actually I do, ’cause it was sooooo guuuud!
After I finished, there wasn’t a crumb or bit of lettuce left on any of my plates, just wads of crumbled up napkins. In the mirror I saw my face was blotched.
(The bigger pickles in pic are the half sours I like)
When LF went to the ladies room, num and nuts followed, because that’s what they do–follow, follow, follow. I was left at the table with Benny sitting next to me. I caught him in the mirror looking at me expectantly.
“Where is this person I’m supposed to meet?” I asked, turning to give a sweeping glance at the diners. Heads bent over meals, drinks, and conversation, no returned my gaze. “Are they coming or not?”
The cigar store Indian met my gaze in the mirror with a smile, and continued to smile when the waitress handed me the bill, which I paid. On a side note, the one positive thing I’ll say about num and nuts, they will pay the bill next time, no questions.
“Let’s get out of here. That guy’s not coming,” I said to Benny, and slid heavily out of the booth.
“Here’s here,” Benny said.
I stood tall and looked around once more. No one seemed uncanny. Just as I caught my own reflection, Benny tapped my chest.”Here’s in here,” the old man said with a gap-toothed grin.
I wasn’t impressed. Sorry. Or at least I couldn’t process all Benny had told me. I ate too much and all the blood went to my stomach. I’m gonna have to digest this knowledge and get back to you.
(Mr Creosote – still from Monty Python’s movie “The Meaning of Life”)
Here are all the posts in this series: Episode Thirty-Seven
Brooklyn Bridge Park (Photos only)
DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge) in Brooklyn (Photos only)