A few weeks ago I received an email from The Travelin' Man that he would be working in NYC and wanted to put together a sweet contingent of Roadfooders for a weekend of epic eating. Numerous emails and restaurant suggestions later The Travelin' Man
, his friend Beth, Buffetbuster
, her son Ben and his girlfriend Kate, Chris & Amy (Ayersian
), the Professor and MaryAnn were all in for quite a bit more than a 3-hour tour of some of the city's great eats! Friday April 8th
- after buffetbuster's flight arrived I arranged to meet up with BB, TTM and Beth at P.J. Clarke's
in Midtown East for their well-known burger.
Not wanting to miss an opportunity I made sure to get a shot of these two epic RFers! And in true city spirit, BB had a sample of urban hospitality in form the form a really drunk guy having a smoke outside and attempting to engage us in conversation. While I don't remember the whole conversation, I do remember that he gave us all nicknames and said to me, "I think I'll call you Raoul!".
I already feel full just reading this! Clarke's has a well-worn feel and seemed to have a lot of locals in there chowing down. We managed to get a table in the back room and all I had to do was two-step past a cougar who was giving me the once over before she left. A bit awkward, but I would let nothing stop me from a good burger and from sharing my first meal with the esteemed Buffetbuster!
Upon spying the Lobster Mac & Cheese on the menu, we ordered one for the table. Rich, creamy and loaded with tender chunks of lobster meat and peas, this was a winner.
We also split an order of Buttered Home Fries. Very rich and I believe loved by the whole table. I really wanted a steak to go with these!
My favorite though, were the Crisp Parmesan Tater Tots (with a Red Pepper Aioli). I wasn't mad about the aioli, but those tots were just amazing! And they were made in-house. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, I could have gone for another order!
And my burger with Vermont Cheddar and bacon (ordered medium). When our waiter first brought it out I thought, "Gee, that's kinda small!". It's a burger of decent size but I think I'm still comparing it to Luger's. To paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson, it was a tasty burger! The bun was fresh and the flavor of the beef, cheese and bacon all came through nicely. The cold, crisp pickle was an added bonus. I'd definitely get this again and also come back to try a number of items on the menu that piqued my interest. Of note, check out the cool men's room if you go. Reminded me of a classic train station design.
Many thanks to BB as he picked up the check and refused to take any money! I can't believe I actually had a meal with him. So cool! Since their hotel was near my apartment, we took a walk to the subway and after getting lost underground we made our way to the Brooklyn Bridge station to wait for the 4 train to Wall Street. Since it was past midnight, the train schedule switches over and service becomes FUBAR (as they say) since late nights and weekends are when most track and electrical work is done. While we waited, we experienced another piece of live street theatre. Behold the following interaction:
Random Dude: Any of you into the NBA?
Us: (mumble) Nah. Nope.
Random Dude: Basketball? Baseball? Football? How about LeBron? He's gonna have a good year!
Us: (unintelligible muttering mixed with shrugged shoulders)
Random Dude: How about ballerinas?
Us: Don't dance.
Random Dude: What about the budget cuts? You got an opinion on that?
Us: Nope. Still have my job.
Random Dude: Oh, I see how it is! (Exit. Stage Left)
We thought about a slice of pie at a 24-hour place but we were all beat. To be continued on Saturday...