Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Anything But the Kitchen Zinc

We woke up one Friday evening in the blog-cave and decided to come up with a game plan. The game plan being that there would be no game plan. We decided the best way to enjoy a swinging Friday night on the town would be to drink and dine at wherever looked, smelled, felt, or sounded good at either the moment that we passed it, or when the thought of going there entered one of our Kahn-like minds (superior intellect friends). The first place we walked by was Kitchen Zinc. In our collective Kahn-like mind we heard the chattering of bad food, bad experiences, and saw many disapproving faces. “I warned you so,” they would say with flashlights under their chin. Regardless, it was all part of the non-plan. We entered with our minds and hearts opened like a Roman city.

The first thing that struck us upon entering is how much the decor of the restaurant looked like a Panera Bread. Same warm beige and light orange color scheme, same booths and tables. Hans wondered if this thought comes to the mind of every one who has entered Kitchen Zinc. Mendez tried to order a bread bowl. The restaurant was packed, but the host was swift with the table’s clear and reset allowing us to be sat promptly. Equally as prompt was the waitress. She took our drink order: a glass of Malbec for Hans, a Bailey’s and coffee for Mendez.

It must be cited that Mendez ordered a Bailey’s and coffee from the waitress with his mind still stuck in the mode of his favorite bar which, unfortunately, does not have an espresso machine. He glanced at the bar. An espresso machine. “Zounds,” he said to himself. After his glancing and wishing that he had ordered an espresso and Bailey’s, the drink of the gods, the waitress came… with an espresso and Baileys. Point of the story: the waitress at Kitchen Zinc can read minds. Mendez winked at her, she winked back. They did not speak a single word to each other, but Mendez knows her favorite Tone Loc song and why she doesn’t wear socks on Wednesdays. She told all of this to him... through mind power. Unfortunately she did not tell Mendez or Hans through telepathy not to order any food; to continue their culinary and literary searching away from Kitchen Zinc. Instead, in the middle of all of this ESP, Mendez and the waitress accidentally transposed one another's minds into the other’s body. Mendez now operated a grown woman's physic while the waitress was at the helm of a bodacious man-babes bod!

This was initially shocking to the two of them. For Mendez, it was a long ended childhood (who are we kidding) fantasy come true. It would certainly provide for a very rousing exposition if we were to say that upon being transformed into a woman Mendez dashed out of the restaurant and into the nearest woman’s locker room; giving you, the reader, a detailed account into what he saw behind those secretive and sacred doors. But Mendez is a professional. He looked around the restaurant only to see a packed dining room complete with a scurrying waitstaff and empty water glasses. If the waitress was now wearing a navy blazer and had a penis between her legs, it would be up to Mendez to take her position on the floor: to run the food and to take the orders! He rolled up his now girly sleeves and went to work.

While Mendez was busy working the floor, Hans went to work on the waitress. Picture this: a woman’s brain and a man’s body, the worst of both worlds. But where others would view this as an ungodly situation, reminiscent of many a high school spring fling gone wrong, Hans had an idea. He would interview the waitress knowing that she would be completely honest now that she had the anonymity of another person’s body. In order to keep the now tall, dark and handsome waitress from being completely star struck, Hans too remained anonymous. So as not to sign too many autographs Hans told the waitress he worked as a food critic for the Yale Gazette.

Hans: Walking in the alleyway one notices the goat on the banners, and inside a giant picture of the goat. What's with the goat?

Lady Mendez: Our management staff belong to the Free Masons. In order to keep the local economy moving, New Haven's mayor, another member, comes here and a goat is sacrificed. We keep the goats chained in the basement and the money to pay parking tickets buys the goat food. It's to remind our patrons that larger forces are at work.

Hans: And here I thought you were going to say, "Our pizza is the greatest of all time."

Lady Mendez: Well, that too.

Hans: Why another pizza restaurant in New Haven, where Wooster Street reigns supreme?

Lady Mendez: Say you are hungry and want pizza. Well, then you would come to us.

Hans: I don't follow.

Lady Mendez: I want you to stare into the eyes of the goat and relax.

(long silence)

Hypnotized Hans: It's just easier to get to...plenty of parking...artisan pizza....this is the best pizza place in town...John DeStefano should be the world's first living saint....what the? Was I just hypnotized by that foul beast?

Lady Mendez: If you know what's good for you, keep your trap shut.

Back on the floor, Mendez did some questioning of his own. “So what do you think about that tall, dark and handsome fellow over there?” he asked a female customer in his most feminine of vocal tones, pointing to his old body.

“He’s okay,” she replied, “but I really like that shorter guy whose sitting across from him. The one taking notes.” She, nor her girlfriends had their water glasses refilled the rest of the night. Their bottle of Cu De Brut was shaken before its arrival to the table, and her credit card information presented to pay for dinner was stolen in order to buy two matching pairs of hand made, Hong-Kong loafer shipped over night to an address written only as “The Blog Cave”.

You see it’s not that Zinc is a terrible restaurant. If friends were to suggest dining at Kitchen Zinc with enthusiasm we would surely go, but to go to Kitchen Zinc without a social purpose, but instead gastronomic is a mistake. We ordered a vegetable pizza. The pizza is weak like clock radio speakers. Pizza to us has a firm crust, and brick oven crispness. Kitchen Zinc's limp pizza is in need of Cialis or a better oven. Eggplant and peppers distract your tongue for two reasons: One, to make up for the lack of cheese, (you know, the purpose of pizza) and two, to give the impression of generosity in vegetable distribution. Paired with effete, white boy popped collar pop, a round of whiskey shots have to be ordered to survive the eating process.

The pizza comes in one size: microwave pizza small. When considering pizza options in New Haven, might as well take the few minutes to walk to BAR. Kitchen Zinc is ideal if you want to break up with someone. You don't feel any care going into the food, and growing impatient, might as well stick your date for the bill. At least the staff smiles.

Curious as to how the food was, Mendez walked over and investigated what his former body and Hans were up to. With his back to the door, he did not notice a six foot seven neanderthal walk up behind him. Telepathy is good to give drink orders, but the boyfriend was not mentioned. The boyfriend narrowed his uni-brow, and pounded his chest. "Kissy kissy," he growled out of his barely opened mouth to Mendez and planted a kiss on the lips. Lady Mendez, jealous, got up and slapped her former body. The boyfriend turned to Lady Mendez, his fists clenched. Somewhere in the distance a goat bah'ed. Hans covered his eyes. So strong was the level of irony, Mendez fainted.

Nursing a complimentary round of drinks, Hans and a black eyed Mendez shook their heads in disgust at Kitchen Zinc. A song repeating the line "bad day" seemed neverending and people pointed to a tooth lying on the table (another compliment of the house: dental work for Mendez). As Hans and Mendez strolled back into the wild night calling them, they brushed past New Haven's mayor, dressed in a blood red robe. "This is the best pizza in town."

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