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Union Square Cafe

So evidently, a recent poll in my RL journal decided that I should start this food blog. So here it is. For continuity's sake, I'll repost my story of last night's trip to Union Square Cafe. Since this is a new thing, it's bound to change here and there, appearance-wise, function-wise, whatever. However, if you have suggestions, ideas, or anything, please send them to me and/or comment. I'm new to this whole functional blog thing. So without further ado, my very first post as The Geeky Gourmand (don't laugh, I love aliteration).

Tonight I ate dinner at a very nice place called the Union Square Cafe. It had been recommended to me by a girl in my film class, so I thought I'd go there tonight. It was a little more upscale than I was expecting, but boy was it good. However, the amazing food is only the sideline of this story. The real point is that I was mistaken for a food critic and was therefore granted about $15 worth of free food/drink.

I enter the restaurant, alone, and I'm immediately greeted with a "May I take your bag?" I was carrying my new Manhattan Portage Bag in Navy Blue so I was intrigued, but I declined since my book and wallet were in it. I am seated towards the back. This is fine because I was going to read my book anyway. (I usually read my book or the paper when eating alone). First off, I get the menu and look at it and choose a glass of wine and an entree (grilled smoked shell steak with mashed potatoes and frizzled leeks). I open my book to do a little reading before my meal arrives. Then a waitress brings me "a summer salad with compliments of my waitress." Ooh well. It was one of the tastiest salads I've ever eaten. Hands down. Exotic baby greens, sliced peaches and black cherries, roasted peppered pecans, some finely grated mild white cheese, and a light raspberry vinaigrette dressing. After I had cleaned that plate (because, honestly, I couldn't leave any of that delicious salad to be relegated to the trash!), the waitress comes over and says "Oh good. You got it." OKay... She then proceeds to ask me how it was. I told her just what I wrote. Tastiest salad ever. She clears the plate, uses a little crumb scraper (I think those things are hilarious), and says my entree should be out shortly. So I pull the book back from the corner of the table and read some more.

Soon, my meal comes, and holy crap was it good. Perfectly cooked steak, the creamiest, softest potatoes ever, and well, I just love leeks. I actually think that leeks are a very underrated vegetable, but I digress. Anyway, I get several waiters and one guy in a suit who must've been the manager or someone, ask me how everything is. I'm telling them that it's just perfect and wonderful and every other good word I can find. About halfway through my steak, I hear (due to my supersonic hearing and eavesdropping skills) a pair of women a few tables down asking their waiter if I'm writing a review of the restaurant. He replied, "Yes, we think she is." I nearly laugh out loud. Me? What? Ha! Well, I don't do anything to dissuade them, I guess, but a casually dressed 20-something eating alone in a nice restaurant reading a Stephen King novel writing an article? Wow. They must get some real undercover folks. I had also noticed a few of the waitstaff talking and looking my way from their little area, but didn't think too much about it at the time. I just I finish my meal chuckling to myself and again, clean the plate.

My waitress returns to clear my plate with her crumb doodad and asks if I'd like dessert. Now, it's a very VERY rare day when I, or any self-respecting Teckman for that matter, turns down a chance for dessert. I take a look at the menu and decide on the special: Rocky Road Baked Alaska. As a side note here, I've always had a soft spot for Baked Alaska ever since I first had it at my church in Scottsdale in 4th grade, and I can count on one hand the number of times I've had it since then. Like the use of leeks, it's an often overlooked dessert. Anyway, I order it because hi, rich chocolate cake, underneath homemade rocky road ice cream, underneath a slightly torched meringue? HEAVEN! And it is. Really. Dad, you'd have loved it. A few bites in, my waitress arrives with a glass of dessert wine. "This is a perfect compliment to the Baked Alaska. It's one of our most popular dessert wines." Oh dessert wines....soooo good. So sweet and ah!

When she brought me the bill, the waitress, trying to be covert because she didn't know I knew, asked me, "Was this a special dinner? Or are you celebrating something?" Not to spoil the fun, I just replied, "I was told I could get a good meal here and wanted to see for myself." And with that, I paid my bill, tipped her very well for her troubles, and left...still chuckling to myself.

I was so full when I walked out of that restaurant. Good thing I was stopped at a cliffhanger in my book, so I just collapsed in the park to do a little reading. Oh man. What a dinner.

Union Square Cafe
21 East 16th Street
New York, New York 10003
212.243.4020

Rating: TBD (I still haven't thought of a clever rating system. Help me out here!)

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Comments

( 1 bites — Take a Bite )
nyahmeth
Jul. 14th, 2006 04:32 pm (UTC)
hi meg! this is gonna be amazing.
( 1 bites — Take a Bite )