Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Tuesday Tapas

I'm taking a cue from the meal I had sunday night and giving you the Tuesday Tapas. This means a few assorted pickz that you should take your time reading, and while you'll hopefully find them very tasty, you're ultimately going to still be hungry when you're done.

On the Road ($9) - A spicy classic

Sometimes I think that there's no such thing as traffic, just assholes. If you see a beautiful open world in front of you and seventeen cars riding up your Toyota's ass, that means it's time to move out of the passing lane. I'm not dancing to some song in my car and singing along to the very redundant lyrics-- I'm flailing my arms at you and screaming, "Oh my god, fucking pull over, oh my god, fucking pull over!" Who are these people driving exactly the same speed next to each other?? Do they really think, "Why look at this predicament! I just don't know what to do here!" Speed up. Slow down. Pull over. This isn't synchronized driving. I don't care if you've always wanted to lead a parade. Move. And you know they know what's up because they NEVER make eye-contact with you when you finally pass them. They're always fixated on whatever is directly ahead of them, which is usually lots of open space.

I've actually always wanted to have a dry-rase board in my car that I could write things on like, "PULL OVER!" or "USE YOUR SIGNAL, ASSHOLE!" or "I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE TECHNOLOGY THAT ALLOWS THIS BOARD TO FUNCTION! (and neither does the Insane Clown Posse)," but then I realized that it would make me The Guy Who Drives with a Dry-Erase Board and I'm just not ready for that kind of commitment.

Kracken ($8) - bold flavors with a subtle hint of vulgarity.

The Clash of the Titans is now in theaters and it features something that has been on my mind through the years of watching movies: The Kracken. Now, I don't really know what a kracken is, but it always looks like a manatee fucked a redwood tree and whether it's in Clash of the Titans or Pirates of the Carribean, everyone is always releasing it. It's always the same thing, too: some guy standing in an epic site dramatically demanding the universe to "RELEASE THE KRACKEN!" Well, why's everybody just releasing the kracken? Does anybody ever "TEND THE KRACKEN!" or "CALL AND SEE WHAT THE KRACKEN IS UP TO!"? Nobody seems to think about what's gonna happen once the kracken is released. It's all fun and games until someone needs to "FEED THE KRACKEN!" Who's gonna wake up at 6am to "WALK THE KRACKEN!"? And what if the kracken's been captive for so long that when it's finally released it doesn't even want its freedom like Brooks in Shawshank Redemption? It's a lot of responsibility, and I'm not always sure the people know what they're getting themselves into.

I'll say this: if I knew I had the power to release the kracken, like, if that was part of my job description, OH MY GOD would I constantly be waiting to do so! "Witz, you're in charge of photocopies, spreadsheets, planning the holiday party, and RELEASING THE KRACKEN." I'd jump the gun on that so quickly. "Is it cold in here? Maybe I should release the kracken." "Printer's broke, releasing the kracken now." "The Hurt Locker didn't arrive from Netflix today like it was supposed to, but I was thinking maybe we could have a nice dinner, drink some wine, and thennn maybe release the kracken?? Whattya think?" (Insert obvious penis joke here). This is why I can't have nice things.

Hecho en Dumbo ($12) - the house favorite

I don't trust Mexican places with clever or trendy names. I like my Mexican restaurants to have simple names like Dos Pinas (two pineapples) or El Farolito (the lantern) or places with very direct names like Margueritas, or Expresso Burrito. If I owned my own Mexican place, I'd probably just name it Burritos, but with an apostrophe at the end, as if the burritos, themselves, owned and operated the restaurant like a co-op. So you can understand why I'd be wary of a place that translates to "Made in Dumbo," especially when the place was no longer in the neighborhood of Dumbo, but rather the bowery. This place was no two pineapples.

We quickly learned from our waiter that Hecho en Dumbo was fancy and each dish was ordered like tapas, a few small things per plate. We decided to order family style, which to some people means the table orders a bunch of stuff and everybody shares each plate, but to me usually means that one person orders a lot of food for us and then we resent them silently the rest of the meal.

A quick look at the menu, and at the plates a short while later gave me a rough idea of how the place operated. Basically, they were saying that just in case Mexican food wasn't volatile enough already, have fun with the chicken, steak, pork, swordfish, ceviche, octopus, cactus, mushroom, queso fundido. It's like playing Bingo, only instead of getting to stand up and shout "Bingo!" you jump up and sprint to the bathroom as quickly as humanly possible. Our waiter was charismatic and I was both with the type of group and at the type of place where the guy could have said, "Our special tonight is the burritas humanos, which of course are made with the meat of human babies, but they are seasoned just BLISSFULLY! I HIGHLY recommend them," so we ate everything that appeared before us. And just for luck, I tried a Michalada Cubano at the beginning of the meal and was given a free one at the end-- because why not bookend the night with a couple of glasses of alcoholic worcestershire water?

To my Noah's Ark of a stomach's credit, it handled all the food well, including the octopus which tasted like a super salty string cheese (like how pâté tastes like meat-cream-cheese), and to Hecho en Dumbo's credit, everything WAS delicious. Still, I'm happy with a five dollar brick of beans and cheese any day of the week. And yes, I was hungry an hour later.

That'll Be Eighty Dollars Please,


IrishGal said...

I need a clarification from the judges: You're not one of those a-holes that rides my ass while I'm in the RIGHT lane, are you? Because I almost have purchased a whiteboard for those people. "COULD YOU PLEASE POINT OUT THE FIRE OR KRAKEN BEHIND YOU SO I FULLY GRASP WHY YOU'RE THISCLOSE TO MY BUMPER?"

Witz said...

IrishGal - Hahaha, YES, I am only referring to cars in the left hand passing lane and soooometimes in the middle of three lanes if all three cars are going the same speed, which is the Perfect Storm of traffic and makes me want do horrible horrible things to people....but foliage is nice!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, really. All above told the truth.