October 14, 2007

The Unacceptable Tomato.

The Unacceptable Tomato

Don't put that thing on that thing on the plate!

This was served in New York City. So you New Yorkers, if you find yourself out in Middle America at some roadside diner or suburban strip mall, don't be saying that they'd never serve that in New York City. They serve crap like this in New York City all the time. Even in places like DUMBO where people have plenty of money and show off their good taste.

That tomato is saying Screw you! We don't care and we don't mind making it obvious! You don't have to look any closer. You don't have to detect that the red onion is dried out, that the roasted potato is shriveled, that the poached egg is nearly hard cooked, and that part of the egg looks exactly like a thick piece of cotton string.

I won't mention that the "live jazz" they were playing was an overmiked crooner singing America's Most Loved Pop Songs — "My Girl," "What a Wonderful World," etc. — while a football game played right next to him with the sound on. At one point it sounded like bobby soxers squealing over Frank Sinatra, but the squealing came from cheerleaders at the football game and "Frank" was having a bad day.

29 comments:

Windbag said...

The placement of the soiled knife used to explore that abomination makes the picture. If you could have captured the clean, unused fork off to the side, it may have driven home the point further. Or perhaps that would have been overkill?

rhhardin said...

Kroger has a microwave egg poacher that works by containing debris when the eggs explode. You get interesting eggs out of it.

In the depicted case, the second egg has tunnelled into the first egg's spot, producing what physicists call negative absolute temperature (entropy decreases as you add energy).

There is no question of stringy poached eggs with this midwestern invention.

In all fairness, if you put the microwave on 25% power, the eggs are content to finish where they start out, but you have to wait impatiently for six minutes. Meanwhile the microwave bacon is getting cold. Nobody likes cold bacon.

Joan said...

This is about the best use such an abominable plate could be put to, a tour-de-force of scorn. Brava!

Gedaliya said...

But Ann...you didn't taste it.

My problem with NY-purchased tomatoes is that they're generally tasteless and have a texture akin to a cardboard box.

Maybe it tasted good. It doesn't look that bad, does it?

titus23 said...

I am so sorry Ann. I couldn't agree more. That plate is unforgiveable. Was this supposed to be a fabulous place?

There are many restaurants in NYC that like to pride themselve in their fabulousness and turn out to be crap.

And their are many restaurants in middle america that don't claim to be anything and serve excellent fresh food at moderate prices.

Seriously, whenever I go to a fancy restaurant and pay and arm and leg and have crap food it drives me crazy.

I think these restaurants think they can mask the crap food by having fabulous interiors or bitchy wait staff etc.

Some of my best meals have been in Wisconsin where my meal costs the same as my wine at some place in NYC.

Trooper York said...

Please stay out of Dumbo, the mothership of pretentious crappy restaurants. The entire area is a wholly owned subsidiary of Two Trees Realty which is owned by David Walentas. I had a couple conversations with him about the space you probably went to eat. He said he wanted to create a SoHo vibe in Brooklyn, and when I told the Brooklyn vibe was just fine the way it was, he threw me out of his office. His deal is to offer concessions (i.e. free rent) to restaurants to put the type of menu and vibe he wants in the space. He basically has his head up his ass.Was it Bubbys. I bet it was. Please turn right instead left and go to Cobble Hill or Bourum Hill or Fort Greene or especially Carroll Gardens if you want to enjoy some decent food.

Ron said...

That squealing may not have been for Frank, but you know somewhere in Heaven Frank heard it and looked right down their tops!

blogging cockroach said...

looks pretty good to me

Zeb Quinn said...

Do they have Wafflehouses in NYC? They'd never be so gauche at a Wafflehouse. Go to Wafflehouse next time.

Windbag said...

Huddle House, yes. Waffle House, no.

downtownlad said...

I can give you the unpublished number of Balthazar if you want. They serve a good brunch, and the atmosphere is fabulous.

downtownlad said...

Prune also serves a great brunch, but the wait is FOREVER to get a table. Went to AquaGrill in Soho recently, and their brunch was surprisingly good. Westville in the West Village is good too.

titus23 said...

That is funny you mention Waffle House. I am going to Kentucky this week and the hotel Iam staying at has a Waffle House and Bob Evans near it. I am so excited about going to both. I have never been.

Are they horrible in a good way or just horrible?

Windbag said...

Bob Evans will be like a Shoney's. Waffle House? Grab a burrito out of the freezer at the 7-11 and heat on high for 60 seconds.

Gedaliya said...

Titus...

Waffle House is a grease pit. Eat there and you'll get the love handles that would quickly end your career as a fabulous boy.

Be warned.

Ann Althouse said...

Westville... I went there with my sister. Just noticed it and decided to go.

Bubbys... I know that's bad. I saw it and guessed that it was bad, then check the reviews and saw it is.

The place we went to doesn't even have 1 review in Zagat at this point. I could go write my review there but I actually don't want to be that cruel. Obviously, I'm avoiding naming the place.

ohwhatthehell said...

How ridiculous. A good Waffle House does exactly what's implied, and love handles result from repeated handling, not rare brushings-against.

ohwhatthehell said...

Only people who think "comfort foods" involve paying for individual ingredients that cost more than entire, wonderful, hearty breakfasts for four in most parts of the country think that way. These are the same people who think the tomato in the picture is acceptable in New York City this year, given the unseasonable weather everywhere, while still saying New York is ever and always the benchmark in all things. Silly people. Poor stomachs.

Maxine Weiss said...

gadaliya: That's not true at all.

Balducci's has some of the best tomatoes I've ever tasted, year round! Their fresh pasta is beyond!

Althouse has access to some of the world's best grocers Balducci's, Zabar's etc.. yet she manages to waste money on the worst possible choices.

Typical.

Palladian said...

Balducci's is out of business. There's a store on 14th street that's called "Balducci's: Food Lover's Market" (meaning: there's a Gristede's down the street for you downmarket food haters), but it's not the same; it's owned by some Maryland-based investment group. There's nothing worse than food shopping at poor-quality highly overpriced grocery stores in New York alongside people with far more money than brains. Fulvia, take these tomatoes back to the loft and put them somewhere conspicuous!

hdhouse said...

on the east end of long island where the farm stands are 1/4 mile apart on the north fork, good tomatos...i mean really good ones are 5lbs for $3.00 and you pay on the honor system.

Ann, you need a day trip to the wine area of the north fork. The restaurants are better than the hamptons, the farm stands and points of interest are amazing, and the small towns are really something.

Ann Althouse said...

I can find good tomatoes within a few blocks of my apartment. I have done food shopping in Manhattan, like the time I paid $32 for a 3 oz. jar of salt at Dean & Delucca, but I do fine in this neighborhood. I'm just saying that a restaurant should not put something that bad on a plate -- especially out in the open, as opposed to inside a bun or under some toast.

MadisonMan said...

I've had some very odd-looking tomatoes that taste fabulous, so I won't condemn for that tomato -- although it does look like it would have the consistency of cardboard. But that red onion. Yikes! One day from being brown in the middle.

B said...

Thou shalt speak with reverence when thou sayeth "Dean and Deluca"

The things this California Boy misses most from NYC:

1) Dean and Delucca on Broadway. Our Gelson's and Bristol Farms are still D&D wannabes.

2) Pizza - I'm ruined forever.

3) Dirty Water Dogs.

4) The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Most overated: Bagels. Great in NYC, but you can still get just as good pretty much up and down California these days.

former law student said...

Bob Evans is actually good. You can get scrambled egg whites if you're feeling healthy, or grits with sausage gravy if you're not. Shoney's does not have the same emphasis on processed pork. Bob Evans is also a lot tidier and cleaner than the Shoneys I have been to.

Skeptical said...

What the hell is that little cheese-or-hollandaise-or-whatever-it-is soaked noose at the top of the plate?

Gedaliya said...

Bob Evans is also a lot tidier and cleaner than the Shoneys I have been to.

Shoneys is a dump with the crappiest food outside of prison walls. I would rather go dumpster diving than eat at Shoneys.

Ralph said...

I went to the Bob Evans in his hometown in Ohio in May. A good tuna melt and fries.
I've gotten tomatoes with hard white centers in sandwiches. Always check first, it's like finding half a worm in the apple you just bit.

Finn Kristiansen said...

I might be a glutton but I think the food on the plate looks okay.

I bet you could take the same image, and depending on how it is described, get everyone to draw the same conclusion about the image.

Like if Ann were to say this was the most divine, down home tasting breakfast she has had in a while, nine out of ten people would wax eloquent about their favorite breakfasts and how the tomato looks tasty.