Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Smoothie Operator

If there's one area of Gumby Fresh's coverage we'd like to improve, it's the section that covers restaurants. We go out a fair bit, we're reasonably adventurous, and out taste buds weren't too ruined by 14 years of smoking. But whenever we actuallly sit down to write something, it usually ends up as a dig at the decor, a brief comment on the signature dish, same as you'd get on New York Metro, a brief discussion of how much we drank afterwards, followed by "WE WERE THERE FIRST".

This is, to be frank, not up to snuff. While we are unlikely to scale the heights of the esteemed Bruni Digest, it would be fair to at least bring a little bit of knowledge and context to the subject at hand. We do the same with music, and it is by no means clear that our taste in that area is in any way suitable for public broadcast either.

So here goes. We went to Burrito Bar And Kitchen (the link will take you to whiny b*tches on Daily Heights complaining about the sign). We weren't the first to go there, and sorry, DHeightscrew, we don't think we'll be the last. Just because Burrito Bar and Kitchen lacks a coherent theme at present, does not mean that it will not acquire one in time.

Burrito Bar replaced City Lighting, this not really lamented food venture from the kingpins behind Boat/Buttermilk/Great Lakes. City Lighting was an inspired experiment in using a converted retail space, and an unispired one in food preparation. The food was only marginally better than that at Soda, and Soda's was much cheaper, and thus better for DRUNKS. And Flatbush Avenue is a very good place to be a drunk, despite its notoriously stupid drivers.

So the trendy bar kingpins go back to making thirsty hipsters impatient, and this joint moves in from Tribeca with a ginormous yellow sign. (Sorry to go back to the Daily Heights people, but what the hell kind of coherent Flatbush Avenue aesthetic that has managed to include Wing Wagon and a Subway, not to mention a Mobil and a Duane Reade, is Burrito Bar meant to be deflowering?). If this was a Times article, it would have the headline "In Park Slope, Burrito Bar Offers A Glimpse Of Changing Neighbourhood". And you'd be asleep.

What's at work here is either a complete Kamikaze restaurant venture, or the recognition that something IS happening to the Slope's demographics. We have a tiny bit of anecdotal evidence to back this up, noting that a couple of recently graduated people of our acquaintance have recently moved there. Which isn't to say that it's not a tad jarring, this little slice of the West Village (not the Joan Baez, tree-lined streets, raddled Sarah Jessica Parker out shopping Village, the Bleecker Street, naked-a*s fratboy one) dropped onto the edge of the Slope.

Inside, there's a ginormous TV showing Monday Night Football, and the music, when not coming out of a DJ booth is definitely Latin Cheese. Santana, Shakira, with no delicate Andean folkies in evidence whatsoever. The service, on the other hand, is excellent, the smoothies were most quaffable (can you quaff smoothies? No idea, and before you ask, it was one of our mandated nights off the sauce), and the maragritas were probably potent.

What's interesting, is that the food is a tad pricey, and that the ingredients were pretty fresh, but that the flavours weren't that challenging. We suspect that despite the rather impressive drinks menu, this lot might have the kids (you know those funny little things in football outfits that clog up Two Boots at peculiar times) squarely in their sights. Since the nearby Tex-Mex stalwarts Santa Fe and Lobo use worse ingredients but spice it up a bit more, this might be BB's Unique selling Proposition. For the record, we had the "For the Byrds Burrito" (red chicken), and Cutesome had some seafood enchilladas. We could barely move last night, and it was rather easy to sack the constitutional by citing the rotten weather.

We'll err on the side of this DHeightslet.

On another matter this post from a few months back has been pinging around the NY stoner rock community for a few days now, exciting more than a few monstrous libels against our vernacular. None of them as unpleasant as what we wrote about the Brought Low, of course, but hurtful, nonetheless. Me old china.

But it did bring forth an email from the disgustingly nice bassist from Federale, a band that we did like on a sonic, and personal, level. Timmy, not knowing that our reach is not only small but composed largely of Interpol fans, suggests we go to their myspace page for a listen to their new music. We had mentioned casually that their recorded work was not as filthy as their live show, and the new songs are indeed, as Timmy promised, much closer to what they do than the old stuff.

They're playing early on the bill at the Mercury Lounge on 11 November. We may have to go by, if only because we lost the damn t-shirt they gave us.


At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really liked your post. Very descriptive, humorous and intelligently-written. Keep up the good posting.


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