Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sustenance, Ringo-Style

When I was 15 in '80 and reading all I could about the Beatles, I read about the group going to India in '68 for some spiritual awakening... And Ringo coming home early (after 2 weeks, as opposed to Paul's 4 and George/John's 6 -- ooh, the vast spiritual difference!) 'cause he said he didn't like the food.

When I was 15, and so into the Beatles mythology, I was horrified upon reading about the reason for Ringo's early abandonment. Now that I'm older, and on my own trek... I sympathize with Ringo.

NYC food sucks. Famous for their pizza? Their pizza's not good, regardless of what part of town you're in -- barely any sauce, flat and tasteless dough, sparse and cheap-meat pepperoni. Famous for their street pretzels? Their pretzels are almost always cold and cardboard-ish. Famous for their street hot-dogs? Their hot-dogs are BOILED! When you ask for one, the guy hoils it out of a luke-warm bin of water! UGH! NASTY!

As for real food like (1) brisket, (2) fajitas, and (3) chicken-fried steak: (1) I've yet to taste any real brisket in this town. Though I've gotten into an argument with a Jewish guy who claimed that brisket was a JEWISH thing!! (2) I ordered fajitas once from a restaurant in Chelsea called "San Antonio Star" or something... The meat was disgustingly fatty and chewy, and I had to actually send it back and ask for another dish. (3) There's NO chicken-fried steak in this town! :(

And the closest I seem to be able to get to "Tex-Mex" is the one or two Taco Bells that I can find... and those are hard to find! (So far: There's one in Union Square; one in Union City, NJ.)

Ringo, I now completely feel your gastrological pain. I miss my brisket and fajitas and chicken-fried steak and SIMPLE JUNK FOOD LIKE TACOS! No, not weird Dominican/Central American "shredded beef" tacos with weird, creepy sauce, or weird California tacos with shredded beef and shredded CARROTS... NO. I want the good old-fashioned GROUND-BEEF tacos a la Taco Bell: ground beef, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, a dollop of sour cream. THE END. No carrots. No weird Central American/Caribbean additives. How hard is that??

(As a side-note: I also miss Arby's, Whataburger, and Long John Silver's. Where the heck are these franchises up here?!)

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