Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bovine Review #1

A very long time ago, i.e., maybe last year, DB Bogangles and I discussed the possibility of a cow blog, meaning posts consisting of nothing but inane ramblings regarding the almighty cooked bovine. This idea was dismissed back then, simply because Devra does not like writing blog posts and because I did not feel it was possible to even consider going to a restaurant not named Rare to sup on cow, since we had clearly find the ultimate hamburger. However, I am much more mature than I was back in my college days, and I can recognize the importance of trying new, recently deceased jersey cows on a regular basis. That does not mean that I am starting a bovine blog, but I AM forcing my loyal readers to endure my hamburger experimentation beyond the brief allusions I have made to it in previous posts.

That said, DB Bogangles contacted me last week about an article in the NY Times about a new restaurant/bar that had opened up in Alphabet City called Royale, which Times critic Peter Meehan praised as the home of the best new cow in the city. That is a very strong statement. One really shouldn't throw around dramatic phrases regarding bovine unless they have basically tasted every cow in the tri-state area. Even though the Times is a commie rag and I have a vendetta against one of their op-ed columnists whom I may or may not have rammed with my bike last fall, I decided this was an adventure worth pursuing.

Let me just say this. I really, really hate Alphabet City. I can't stand it. My RA in Weinstein organized this weird field trip to Avenue D on our first week in the dorm for some poetry reading event, and since I really had no conception of anything in the city yet, my geographical sensory perception was shot by the time we got to the Bowery. When we got to the place, there was a huge mother line, because apparently every hipster from Williamsburg had migrated across the East River to snap their fingers at a greasy-haired Bukowski wannabe. My Indian roommate wanted to go back to NYU for some Stern-related reason, and there was a new episode of SVU on, so we trudged back west, hoping we would just run into Washington Square Park accidently and thus end this horrid sojurn into indie country. We didn't run into that park - we ran into Tompkins Square Park. At 9:30 at night. With drug dealers and pimps wandering around scoping for new candidates for the harem. Two weeks later, after a nasty toilet overflowing episode stemming from her ingesting one too many bowls of curry from Spice, the Indian roommate moved to UHall, and I never saw her again, save for a few uncomfortable nods on Broadway. I hope she does not read this blog. Anyway. I don't like Alphabet City. It's dirty, smelly, has creepy people in it, and until now, I never had a reason to go back into its sewage-infested depths.

After biking over to Tompkins Square yesterday (WHEN IT WAS STILL LIGHT OUT) and oogling this amazing Italian greyhound sporting a doggie hoodie - no lie, the shirt had a hood. it was a hoodie. and it probably cost, like, twice as much as my puffy vest - whom I named Hoodlum Bojangles, I took a deep breath, which I held for two hours, and biked two blocks down to Royale on C between 9th and 10th. I'm not totally sure, but I think Royale is between a bordello and a hostel frequented by people who look like Vincent Gallo. While I was waiting for Devra to show up, I tested this inhumanly decrepit bench that had most likely been there since the heydey of the dumbell tenement, and then I remembered that Ally lived literally a block away, so I told her to get out of her slum apartment and sup on the cow too, which she readily agreed to do. <3.

As soon as we walked in, you could hear "Born to Run" blaring on the stereo. Incredible. I recalled from the Times review that part of the ambience of this establishment was its blatant Springsteen bias, which is always, always a good thing. Unfortunately, "Born to Run" was the only Springsteen song they played, and during the actual ingestion of the cow, I believe REM was playing in the background. It was not altogether unpleasant, but was not what I was led to believe would be taunting my eardrums.

On to the cow. We chose to sit in the garden area, which I enjoyed immensely. The bar area seemed perfectly respectable, but as this is probably the last week or two of quality weather, the metal picnic tables (eerily reminscent of middle school cafeterianess) were more suitable to our needs. I ordered a plain Royale burger, which cost $5, an incredibly good deal. Devra and Ally both ordered Royales with cheese. My cow was medium rare, as was Ally's, while Devra reliably ordered hers well done. The waitress was friendly and barely batted an eye when I literally ordered a plain cow. She got "it." Our burgers arrived promptly within about 10 minutes in little baskets, and we chowed down.
If I was rating this bovine on a scale of 1 to 10, this would probably be about a 7.2. It was very good, with the right juicy quotient, and we were all huge fans of the buns, which appeared to be toasted sesame with moxie. The french fries were those thick steak fries, which I am not a huge fan of, but they were only a little bit more uncooked than I like. A marginal thumbs up on the fries. Devra enjoyed the burger more than I did, declaring that for the price and size, it was better than Rare. She is entitled to her incorrect opinion. Ally seemed to look upon her own bovine with a positive view, though she did not make the dramatic, heretical statements that Devra did. Bottom line, it doesn't have that special something that sets burgers from Rare or Ulysses apart, with the right spices and meat grade, but it IS very good for what it is, and if I...liked Alphabet City, I would totally go back.


At 10:17 AM, Blogger Firestarter said...

"Toasted Sesame with Moxie..."

Some days, it's all about the toasted sesame with moxie...


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