It is a truly American event that after a day of stuffing his face with cheese and bread and deviled eggs and salami, a guy would stop by Wings Over Amherst for half a pound of boneless wings. Especially when that same guy is doing a wings tour of Queens tomorrow night.
Remember when people used to use the word dinkus?
1) That I don’t really enjoy taking pictures of food (aka, I am terrible at it). On the upside, I will be getting my own photographer for EQ stories so I may never have to confront my shortcomings.
2) Speaking of shortcomings, I wonder if a guy who actively seeks out 2am chicken parm sandwiches from 7-11, has any place writing professionally about food.
I wanted to write about my drunken trip to Flushing in the snowstorm for stuffed chicken wings, as well as my brush with the criminal underbelly of Queens cuisine, but alas, this week has passed too quickly through the hourglass. It will have to wait for my return on Monday.
Eat well my friends!
To blunt the jagged edge of Christmas shopping in Manhattan, SK and I stopped into Ramen powerhouse Ippudo for lunch. Any day of the week, any time of day, this place has a one-hour wait, minimum. And rightly so. Typically I couldn’t give a good goddam about broth, the tepid saltwater that gets in my way while I spoon-hunt for meat and dumplings. But this stuff…surrounding things like pork belly, seaweed, eggs and scallions, Ippudo makes complicated, richly textured broths that absolutely steal the show. AMAZING.
Too bad I got food poisoning. I can’t blame the soup though; that would be too much betrayal for the holiday season. Instead I will point a finger at either:
A) The ill-advised steak-and-cheese spring roll I ordered as an app. (Seriously, am I from Teaneck?)
B) The handful of sink water I downed in the Ippudo bathroom to take a pill. The water was jasmine-scented, or just diseased.
SK suggests it is unlikely I got food poisoning from a handful of Manhattan tap water. So naive.
I’m growing weary of meeting cute. Let me finish my tale, then we’ll take a breather.
Obviously my proposal worked out; Leah assigned me three stories for the month of December, plus events and a short preview of the next print edition. I covered champagne cocktails at a cool bar, latkes at an old Kosher deli and cheap cuts of meat from three Queens butchers.
1) Sk joined me for the deli story, and promptly fell in love with Marty (cook in the below picture). It was adorable, she couldn’t stop squeezing his arm. Our matzo soup and ten-pound meat sandwich were amazing but the rugelach was enh.
2) The butcher story brought me way out of my ‘hood, to a cute and possibly evil area of Queens (Forest Hills). Brick streets. Imposing wooden archways. Hansel and Gretel houses. To ground myself, I ate at the Boston Market.
3) Reni joined me for the cocktail story, where we got tipsy and I spilled booze on my notes. I ate dry Irish sausages wrapped in filo dough and dipped in steak sauce. Unimpressive.
I didn’t get paid a dime for my stories but hey. The publisher of a classy food magazine is giving me a chance, based on sparse evidence of talent. I consider the first three months my job application. For now, I’m loving it pro bono.
9) I e-mail the publisher about her typo, nerdy and supplicant- “Sorry to be annoying, but I’m an editor by day, etc.” I finish by singing her mag’s praises.
10) Leah responds pleasantly and we start a chatty back-and-forth. This exchange evolves (like magic) into an appointment at her apartment, to discuss the future of her website and online newsletter.
11) I bike to her place on a Tuesday morning, in a semi-heinous high-rise complex in Long Island City (Queens, natch). Spectacular views, surely, though I don’t make it farther than the ground-floor community room.
12) Leah doesn’t remember who I am or what I’m doing at her house. I wait in the lobby for 20 minutes; when she finally comes down she says she has lost my resume and has an important conference call in 15 minutes. “But we don’t have much to talk about, do we?”
13) Unfazed, I lay out a list of things I could do for her magazine. I pepper my resume with glorious visions for the future of Edible Queens. It helps that my spiel is sincere. Leah forgets she had a pretend conference call and we talk for over an hour.
14) She tasks me with a proposal- send her a list of prospective stories for the next three months. Then we’ll talk.
15) I attack the project with gusto. My finished proposal has around 30 story ideas, ranging from “Samosa Bowl” to “Parts of a Pig.”
Time for work. More later.
The ridiculous steps to this food magazine gig
1- I start dating the ever-cute SK, a passionate cook.
2- She keeps classy food magazines like Gourmet (RIP) and Edible Brooklyn lying around on her gently scuffed vintage suitcase stack.
3- One Sunday whilst on a summer date (with me, duh), after buying a gross overpriced “home-baked twinkie” at a hipster bakery in Park Slope, SK finds an elusive free copy of Edible Brooklyn.
4- She spots a small ad near the back: “First issue of Edible Queens (I didn’t realize the funniness of that name until yesterday) now in stores.” I ride my bike home shortly after.
5- Using my blackberry I find locations in my neighborhood that carry the mag. The fancy burger place ran out but JJ’s Asian Fusion (amazing edamame potstickers in milky hot wasabi sauce) has a healthy stack.
6- Taking two home (one for SK), I am giddy at the prospect of my borough being taken seriously. Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert!* Over the coming weeks, I read every article and event and advertisement.
7- Exhausting the print mag, I go online- befriending Edible Queens on facebook, searching for Google news mentions, frequenting the website.
8- I find a typo on one of EQ’s online pages.
SO TIRED. I’ll finish this later.
* admittedly I didn’t know how to pronounce Ripert until 2 weeks ago.