This Texan place was weird. Of all the dining that there is to be had in NYC, this particular restaurant is not one I would be particularly prone to visiting... ever. But I did. Yesterday I was fatigued, overfed, in a bleh mood, so of course as soon as R comes out of class: "Can we go get comfort food?"
In an ideal world, I should've convinced him to go to Egg, in Williamsburg. The duck with dirty rice and a side of biscuit was calling to me. Or at the very least Peter's where the mac and cheese would share a plate with spinach and ocra- vegetables!!! But instead I decided to trust in R's, "I know a perfect place near where I work." I thought he meant Comfortable Food, which looks really chic (it was where Andy and her bf make up at the end of Devil Wears Prada) and I was down for that. Really my priority was wine. But in any case... after we trek it up to 26th st. complaining about what a waste we both are... We walk into what looks like an old Texan salon, with a large flag of Texas painted on the back wall. It's cafeteria-style, like Katz's Deli, so we get out little cards where the servers note down what we've ordered and which we hand in to the register at the end when we're going to pay. We pick up a Shiraz from Texas (didn't even know Texas produced wine, it was sweet, but not bad) and R gets a ginger ale, served to him in a glass jar. Behind the bar, in little niches in the wall are jars and jars full of bottle caps, mostly from beer bottles but also from sodas. I watched one of the waitresses uncap some beers and toss the caps into an almost full bottle and decided, OK, this place can grow on me for the time being. We went on to the next stations.
While R got our Brisket Moist (we really should've gone for the Brisket Lean but more on that later), I went for some sides. I quickly decided against the farmer's salad in favor of the sweet potato bourbon mash, along with some green bean casserole and some corn bread. Meeting back with R, the brisket was wrapped in paper and in a basket. We opted to go to the downstairs dining room where it was quieter and less packed.
The brisket, as you can imagine, was dripping with grease and sported a layers of pink fat. It was barely warm and even barbeque sauce wasn't really helping it. The fat was what was killing it for me because the meat itself was soft and tasted all right. Like brisket. The sides were much better. The mash was stringy, so you could tell it was made from real sweet potatoes, the corn bread was tasty (not quite Peter's but good enough), and the green beans were awesome. The beans, cheese, crunchy onions, and mushrooms were creamy and tasty and rich.
When we left I felt a contradictory sensation: my legs felt heavy and I really wanted to levitate. Not standing up but just lie down on the air and float. So much food. It amazes and appalls me that people eat like this regularly. Or at all, really. I love a good steak and I understand the benefits of fat when it comes to flavor, but I don't understand eating grease-dripping meat with a layer of fat. There's no subtlety, no mystery, everything is out there and for the taking. Which I guess appeals to some people. But then think about your arteries for god's sake. Specially since after a meal like that, there's nothing else to be done but to go lie down and sleep.
Which is what I did. My stomach's not been happy with me lately and my energy level has been through the floor. I remember why I never liked spring. OK, almost, 7, what am I still doing here?