Manhattan is famous for its quaint little specialty restaurants. Some are enjoyable. Who doesn't love a Hungarian deli? But lately the lovable shops have become outnumbered by surreal foodie hubs that appeal to a total of four freakish palettes. The specialty shops have gone from specializing to festishizing.
You walk through the Village these days and encounter tempting delights like:
Crepes and Capers!
Cayenne Muffin Sliders
Mama's Grilled Cheese Milkshakes (served by poodles on mopeds)
None sound appealing, but because they're so specialized, foodies (who claim not to fall for America's unfortunate eating trends) can't help themselves.
A perfect example of this is The Meatball Shop. People keep harassing me to try it. I have asked those who have gone there: before The Meatball Shop, when was the last time you had a meatball sandwich?
I don't know, 15 years?
SO WHY ARE YOU STANDING IN LINE FOR 20 MINUTES TO GET ONE NOW?!
But all they do is meatballs! It must be good!!!
You hate meatballs! And you're a vegan!
Yeah, but you can get vegan meatballs!
If you have to get a fake version of the restaurant's specialty to justify going there, you shouldn't be going there. I don't care if Groupon had a special.
I'm going to open a restaurant that only serves school lunch food. That's right. The kind of crap that made you gag when you were in school...now it's at a restaurant! Complete with angry, wart-laced lunch ladies and warped plastic trays that have been in use since the Civil War.
Of course, too much choice is better than too little. Better to roll your eyes at New York's fetishistic cuisine than to be stranded in some part of the country where they really do Thank Goodness It's Friday.