Thursday, February 08, 2007

CHARADES

Restaurant. One word. One syllable:

Swich.

It's a new-ish pressed-sandwich shop on 8th and 15th and I took it for a quickie digestive spin today. It only cost me 30 minutes and $10.50 to be both ephemerally charmed AND enduringly creeped out. Way to multi-task my emotions, Swich!

My first impression of the place was that is was sleek, modern, and clean, all things I'm partial to when it comes to food purveyors. The menu is pretty varied and definitely appealing, but after I ordered my Hippie Chick "Deconstructed" salad with a side of coffee my optimism gave way to a vague feeling of anxiety. It started with the seating. Swich has just one long communal table, which can be awkward if you're a single diner and the only available seat is the one in the middle, facing in towards the back mirror, your back to the restaurant. I got dealt a lucky hand and was able to face the restaurant, but I had a stranger facing me for half my meal.

But besides that, what really creeped me the most were the two flat screen TV's next to each other, each airing two different "programs". The first was fine; it depicted a floating CD case whose function was to let customers know the current song selection, selections that included Alphaville's "Big In Japan" (why that and not "Forever Young" I'm still trying to figure out) and T Rex's "Cosmic Dancer". Now, I'll be honest: it is not easy to eat a salad with T Rex as the background music, at least not for me. I mean, we're all agreed that T Rex is music to make out to or shoot up some horsey to, or shoot up horsey and then make out to, but T Rex is not music to eat salad to in a sparkling clean communally-tabled panini place, right? A little unnerving.

But even more unnerving was what was on the other flatscreen: something called "Swich TV". It was UNBELIEVABLY WEIRD. It was...uh, like, some fucking future shit that, thinking of it now, still has my brows all a-knit. Basically, Swich TV is a series of different unstyled and definitely unkempt "actors" PLAYING CHARADES against a white scrim. PLAYING CHARADES VERY POORLY. And, what's worse, we, the audience, ARE GIVEN THE CLUE FIRST and are then made to WATCH THE BAD ACTOR ACT IT OUT EVEN THOUGH WE ALREADY KNOW WHAT THE ANSWER IS. So, this one girl, in a really terrible outfit that violated me with how wrong and ill-fitting it was, this girl, she had a terrible dye-job and a terribly-serious robot-face, she was acting out the clue DIRTY HARRY for about 10 minutes. And she went through all the trappings that a game of charades entails, including MIMING 2 WORDS...FIRST WORD...TWO SYLLABLES...EVEN THOUGH WE ALREADY KNOW WHAT THE ANSWER IS!

I could not tear my rods and cones away from it.

It was killing me, but I just could not stop watching. Then there was some other non-descript white guy not playing charades but MAKING FACES MEANT TO DESCRIBE WHY HUGS ARE IMPORTANT. I know this because THAT'S WHAT THE SUBTITLES SAID. During the course of my salad (which was fresh, delicious, and, ultimately, irrelevant), I broke into anxious sweats about three times. All because of what was playing on the TV. Plus, the people across from me were speaking some sort of unrecognizable foreign language (I am usually good at deciphering, but, honestly, whatever they were speaking was so foreign I became suspicious that they were just making it up to fuck with me). Not Swich's fault, but...not NOT Swich's fault either, maybe.

So, my tally for Swich is this:
Tasty food!
But: so weird!
And: Free lessons on how to play charades!
Totals: WTF?!

4 Comments:

Blogger Birch said...

Oh, I'm glad to see a review of that place! I've been wondering about it. Will you also try out that new Pinkberry yogurt place a few blocks up from Switch (8th Ave around 19th maybe)? I keep seeing TV show segments about it.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

birch!

i tried pinkberry (the one in koreatown).

it was EXPENSIVE. and kind of SOUR. yummy, but not delicious.

if i were more of a millionaire and/or really into frozen yogurt i'd go there often. but, because i'm neither, once was enough.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Fred Stesney said...

Hi Megan,

I found your blog while searching for Swich TV online. I like my art with a large dollop of WTF and Swich TV doesn't skimp. The food at Swich wasn't as interesting.

And I think I've seen you perform at the Variety Underground with Daughters of the Lord. It was a couple of years ago so I maybe I'm wrong.

Fred

11:21 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

hey fred:

i agree that the food at swich was ho-hum. but the tv was totally creepy.

and yes, that was me at vu!

3:12 PM  

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