Category Archives: Food and Booze

This Level of Customer Service is Just What I Need on a Monday Morning

This morning’s experience at Cafe Metro, a sub-par bagel/sandwich shop below my office in Midtown:

Me: Can I have an everything bagel with veggie tofu cream cheese?
Employee: Everything bagel with scallion cream cheese?
Me: No, everything bagel with veggie tofu cream cheese.
Employee: Everything bagel lightly toasted?
Me: No, not toasted. Ev-ery-thing ba-gel with veg-gie to-fu cream cheese.
Employee: Okay. [begins to prepare bagel for the next 20 seconds] Sir, we do not have veggie tofu cream cheese today.
Me: Fine, I’ll have regular veggie cream cheese instead.
Employee: Regular cream cheese?
Me: No, regular veggie cream cheese. Instead of veggie tofu.
Employee: We do not have veggie tofu.
Me: I know, I said that veggie cream cheese [pointing to veggie cream cheese in cooler] is fine.
Employee: Okay.

cafemetro.jpgEmployee makes bagel. He toasts the bagel, despite the fact that I specifically asked him not to. I step away for a moment to get juice, but as he finishes wrapping my bagel to give to me, I notice that it’s not an everything bagel. Employee hands me my bagel, wrapped in foil. I unwrap it before going to cashier.

Me: Excuse me, sir, I ordered an everything bagel with veggie cream cheese.
Employee: Yes, that is an everything bagel.
Me: Uh, no, it isn’t. This is a cinnamon raisin bagel with… uh… veggie cream cheese.
Other Customer: That was probably my bagel, but I ordered a cinnamon raisin bagel with regular cream cheese.
Employee: [rolls eyes, takes bagel back] You had everything bagel with scallion cream cheese?
Me: Veggie cream cheese.

Employee makes bagel again, this time with Me watching him very carefully. The end result is actually exactly what I ordered – an everything bagel, untoasted, with veggie cream cheese. I think he just forgot to toast it on the second go-around, or just didn’t feel like dealing with me any longer.

My boss had been warning me for months that their service was incompetent, but I had never had any real problem there, until I came across this “other bagel guy,” who I had seen many times before, but miraculously managed to avoid entirely until today.

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Filed under Food and Booze, General stupidity, Life in NYC

Fuzzy Math

I do math when I’m working. I drink beer when I’m not working. Sometimes, the two worlds even collide: I often do math when I’m not working, and occasionally, I drink a beer on the job. But you didn’t hear that from me… I wouldn’t want my friends knowing that I do math in my head while I’m sitting outside a bar much like this one:

beermath.jpg

Okay, let’s do some simple math here. This is a happy hour special at a bar near my apartment. It doesn’t seem like a bad deal, right? But where do your eyes go? Right to the “Bucket-O-Bud!” What a great idea! I can split a bucket with my friends and we will all be happy drunken fools.

Fools, indeed.

This is a pretty common set of deals for a New York bar, especially during the summer. But let’s break it down. There are 12 ounces of beer in a bottle of Bud Light. That means a “Bucket-O-Bud” nets you 60 ounces for 20 dollars. That’s 33 cents an ounce.

A draft beer is commonly served in a 16 or 20-ounce glass. In this bar’s case, it’s a full 20 ounces. Three Bud Light drafts will cost you $10.50… and get you 60 ounces of beer, at 18 cents an ounce. In fact, for $1 more than the “Bucket-O-Bud,” you can get twice as much beer.

I’m not being a cheapskate. I’m just saying that if you’re drinking Bud Light to begin with, you’re either looking to save a few bucks, or you’re looking to get drunk. And to those of you who think that comparing a draft beer to a bottled beer is an apples-to-oranges comparison, get serious. It’s Bud Light – you’re certainly not drinking it for the taste. Whether it’s in a bottle or a glass, it still tastes like shit.

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Filed under Food and Booze

Aged Like a Fine Wine

A conversation from a party last night:

Me: This beer… doesn’t taste like Bud Light.
Co-worker: It doesn’t?
Me: No. It tastes a little like Sam Adams or something. Only… not good.
Co-worker: That’s strange.
Me: Yeah, I can’t really figure out why. (Looks down at bottle’s “born-on date”)

badbud.jpg

Me: Oh, never mind. (Throws beer in trash can)

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Steal This Idea: A Molded Beer Cup

Men like their beer. But every now and then, having to use the can comes between a man and his beer.

When you’re at a sporting event, you don’t want to leave your drink by its lonesome. Your beer could get lonely! I mean, it’s not like most men worry about someone dropping a roofie into their beer while they’re gone, but a bathroom line at an event that is attended by about four times more men than women can get long and boring. That’s why a lot of men will bring their beer with them to the bathroom: they have to find something to do while waiting in a ten-minute line between periods at a 15,000-seat hockey arena.

But then what? You get to the urinal, and you have nowhere to put your drink. Instead, your beer ends up under your arm, or perched precariously on a urinal, much like this:

urinal.jpg

So, I have a suggestion: nearly every urinal is equipped with the same nut on the top of the flusher (as demonstrated above). I propose that beer cups at stadiums should be molded to fit snugly over the nut on top of a urinal. That way, the beer won’t budge, and no man will have to suffer the embarassing fate of having to save their falling beer while taking a whiz, leading to splashage, spillage, and perhaps even some angry, urine-soaked neighbors. Your beer is safe and sound while you pee, and ready to drink while you return to your seat!

You’re welcome.

And yes, I realize that the more obvious solution would be to install cup holders above all the urinals, but I was just trying to “think outside the box.”

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Filed under Food and Booze, Sports

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Observe this photo, taken in a restaurant restroom.

restroom.jpg

Fancy pants! A designer sink and faucet, a scented candle, glass tiles… what you don’t see is the recessed lighting and the vase with fresh flowers.

Which of the following menu items would you see when sitting back down at the table after leaving this restroom?

A.) Poached Chicken Breast and Roasted Thigh, with Root Vegetables in a Foie Gras Lentil Sauce
B.) Thai Barbeque Lamb Skewers on Preserved Mayer Lemon and Heiricorn Tomato Salad
C.) Cheeseburger Deluxe, served with cole slaw, french fries, lettuce, tomato, and pickle

If you guessed “C,” you’re right: it’s Green Kitchen, a diner at 77th and 1st. The Upper East Side is a strange, strange place.

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How Many Tools Can You Fit In One Town?

It seemed like a perfectly good idea at the time. One of the biggest drunkfests of the year for the Irish and wannabe-Irish alike is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Hoboken. I’m Irish. I like booze. I was free Saturday. I was willing to put aside the fact that people in New Jersey clearly don’t know how to read a calendar. I regretted this.

It was a beautiful day in Manhattan – sunny and 60 degrees. The weather motivated me and a few friends to jump on the PATH with visions of Guinness jigging in our heads. Things pretty much went downhill from there.

hobroken3.JPGYou can see Hoboken from Manhattan. Yet when we got to the street level from the PATH, we were shocked by the cold. It was about 15 degrees colder in Hoboken, and it was cloudy to boot. This was not a good start.

The city of Hoboken was pretty much a police state by the time we arrived. The SWAT team was stationed out on the street, ready to collect drunkards and toss them in the tank. Cops were writing tickets for open containers left and right, much to the amusement of our sober selves, who laughed at one cop’s exchange with a drunk:

Drunk Girl: How much is this ticket going to cost?
Cop: A lot.
Drunk Girl: How much is that?
Cop: Uh, a million, billion dollars.

Little did we know that we were about to be bilked ourselves.

hobroken2.JPGAs we started to walk further into town, we realized that essentially, McFaddens had left Midtown Manhattan to vomit all over Hoboken. McFaddens is full of drunken fresh-out-of-college fratboys and their slutty female counterparts. Hoboken did not have a single visitor over the age of 23, unless they were carrying a police badge or bagpipes.

McFaddens has an inexplicably long line with obnoxious drunks on cell phones at all hours of the night. Every bar in Hoboken had a line that was at least 30 people deep. I saw one line that stretched down an entire block. There is no way that any bar in Hoboken is worth that much of a wait. 

McFaddens charges a cover to get into a bar that has nothing special to offer, and everything pretty much sucks ass. Virtually every bar in Hoboken was charging a cover on Saturday. Not one that we passed in our hour of walking was charging less than $20. In fact, one bar was charging a $40 cover.

Me: $40? What does that get you?
Guy Smoking Outside the Bar: Uh, it gets you in.
Me: Is there, like, a band playing or anything?
Guy Smoking Outside the Bar: Nah, bro.
Me: Do we get open bar or something?
Guy Smoking Outside the Bar: Nope.
Me: Cheap beer?
Guy Smoking Outside the Bar: Nah.
Me: Then, uh, why did you come here?

These poor, gullible kids. I think next year, I should buy a couple 12 packs, hold them over my head, and run past the long lines shouting, “FOLLOW ME TO FREEDOM!” I would then run into the PATH station and go back to Manhattan. On second thought, this might not be a good idea – people who are willing to pay $40 to get into a bar in Hoboken should just stay in New Jersey.

Not willing to fork over that much money to go to a shitty bar in Jersey, we decided to turn around and go home, dejected and sober. But not before seeing two drunk girls in a gutter climbing over each other to try to get up, getting sideswiped by a drunk guy who was seemingly running away from the authorities, and seeing a fratguy puke onto the side of a building. Over the course of our two hours in Hoboken, the sidewalks had turned from a sea of green to a sea of vomit. After seeing all that, all I wanted to do was poke my own eyes out.

hobroken.JPG

Previously: How Many Tools Can You Fit In One Room?

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Filed under Food and Booze, What I Did This Weekend

Now That’s Some Synergy!

I ate at Ted’s Montana Grill today. It’s a decent little joint, even if the service seems a little disjointed. They’ve got Bison Burgers and some pretty decent fries – for a chain. It’s like a slightly classier TGI Friday’s, only without the fat red-state tourist traffic.

Why is it called Ted’s? Well, it’s owned by Ted Turner. As in, the Ted Turner of Turner Broadcasting, Turner Field, Turner Network Television, Turner Classic Movies, and Turner and Hooch. Uh, actually, scratch that last one. Even the meat comes from Turner’s ranches out west.

What’s interesting about the restaurant’s location is that it’s literally in the Time Life Building, which is owned by Time Warner, who merged with Turner in 2001. I guess it’s Ted Turner’s second big “F-U” to the company, after he jumped ship as vice chairman in 2003.

We ate at lunchtime, so there were a lot of businessmen, myself included, who want to keep abreast of what’s going on in the world over lunch. Sure enough, there were plenty of flat-screen TVs to inform us over lunch. And what were our options for teleivision viewing at lunch? Well, there was only one:

tedsmontana.JPG

CNN, of course. Founded by Ted Turner.

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Filed under Food and Booze