Sunday, October 01, 2006


...So that can feature me in "The New York Diet", which is a fun little rundown of a minor-celebrity's meals and the restaurants he or she frequents. This week they featured published author and Lower East Sider Gary Shteyngart, and based only on the smallest glimpse of his eating habits (and his subsequent feelings about them), I think I've found my soulmate. I would like to eat a meal with Gary so badly, and he can even bring his tiny beautiful Asian girlfriend! Although if she's busy the day Gary and I get together it's not like I'll cry about it!

In any case, I think I would be a good interview! I think this because I eat a lot and I have feelings about the things I eat and I've got just the right amount of hubris to think that this would interest other people (see: this blog).

For instance, today was pretty interesting foodwise: I knew I'd be having an enormous meal this evening before fasting tomorrow, so I tried not to eat too much during the day. It started with a lousy coffee at Juicy Lucy. I hate a lousy coffee! This one was especially lousy because it was lukewarm (unacceptable!), bitter (a shande!) and overly milked (let me milk my own, people!). I didn't even finish it, which means it was super-duper-pooper.

I tried to avoid "lunching", but got hungry at around 3pm. I stopped by my favorite local cheapo health food/smoothie place and got a vanilla frozen yogurt. They were out of chocolate, is the reason. It was yummy, but only in the sense that I was biding my time before the main event -- which was to be my gorging myself on Jewish-style cooking. On the Upper West Side. Of course.

Dinner started with a real-deal chopped chicken liver appetizer served with crackers. I felt bad for our hosts, because by the time my brother and I got to the liver we were starving and crazed and went at the liver so shamelessly that at one point my brother's girlfriend's mother started nervously moving the bowl away from us, explaining, "I don't want you to get too full!" I refused to take the hint, though, because I rebutted "I NEVER get full! Don't worry!" and I just moved the liver back into my Feeding Zone. "Really!" I said, my mouth full of moussefied organ meat "I can out-eat just about anybody! I come from hungry stock! I think we might need some more crackers over here!"

Dinner began with, you know it, GEFILTE FISH! I love this shit, people. It's basically a cold fish meatloaf, and it rules my world. Cover it with spicy, red, beet-stained horseradish and you've got yourself Jewish Manna. I'm not into the gelatinous "jelly" it's oft served with, but I've seen grown men (my father) go crazy on the stuff. Next was MATZOH BALL SOUP! This was delicious! I love soup to no end; give me foods I can eat with a spoon and I'm happy. The matzoh ball was fluffy and flavorful, and the soup was studded with carrots and turnips and dill and glistening pieces of white chicken meat. As I was drinking from the bowl, STUFFED CABBAGE was placed in front of me. Growing up I was the beneficiary of my Grandma Dotty's stuffed cabbage, and even though the dish itself is intrinsically good, Grandma Dotty's was aces. Take ground beef, mix it with rice, roll it into cabbage leaves, and then braise it in a sweet and sour tomato sauce (leave the raisins off my plate, please). I was so excited to have stuffed cabbage again after so many years without it that I ate both my portion and my brother's girlfriend's. She said it was bland; I said "Yum yum!" I like meat and I love cabbage so what am I gonna do let it go to waste? No way, Schlomo! Then we ate steak. This was a little weird. There was some controversy over the steak's preparation, and when the gray, steamed-looking rib-eyes got to the table, I could see the folly in "too many cooks..." They were tender and tasty, but also sort of floppy and sloppy, two words I DON'T think should be applied to steak. But I ate mine up, so as not to offend the host or my slave-driving stomach. "More!" it gurgled, though I was past being full, "Tomorrow...NOTHING...More! Eat MORE!" I supplemented the meat (served with cold, fried LATKES -- not worth describing) with lots of...CHALLAH BREAD. If you think dessert was out of the question after this much food then, my friend, you are clearly not Jewish. Because dessert was served IMMEDIATELY, and it was comprised of CHOCOLATE BABKA, CHOCOLATE RUGGELACH, and CHOCOLATE BLACKOUT CAKE. The former two were dry, but the blackout cake was a chocolatey, puddingy stunner that became the catalyst for a terrible joke. Here it is: My brother takes a bite of the cake, and then says, "I can't see! It's a BLACKOUT!" Look for his HBO special early next year. Oh, I'm going to sound like a big ol' jerk but I'm just trying to do honest reportage: all this dessert was served with LOUSY COFFEE.

The only thing that could have made this meal any more Jewish would be if it gave me guilt trips afterwards. Which it is in the process of doing, what with the stomachache and the brepsing. Oh! I almost forgot! As we were leaving the dinner I wet-burped into my own mouth 'cause I ate too much! That was DISGUSTING! And INTERESTING! Interesting enough to maybe get me a spot in Or just terrible enough to be something for which I atone?