Thursday, January 7, 2010

Amityville Horror: Spooners and Five Guys

Because New Haven Eats It is about exploration, and we wish to leave no tablecloth unturned, we cranked up the blogmobile and ventured into Amity. Amity is where New Haven dissipates into Woodbridge and other towns associated with the term "Boonies," or Boondocks. Amity is where Mom and Pop's no longer have strength against goliath corporate stores in the poorly paved strip malls of sleaze.

One such Mom and Pop establishment, Spooners, is tucked in, depending on traffic, an inaccessible street. Because of its proximity to the Merit highway, Whalley Avenue clogs with cars stalled on their way home.

Spooners at one time, may have been a hopping place. Norman Rockwell pictures hang on the wall reminding modern patrons there was once a time in America where children and police sat side by side eating ice cream. We were the only customers on the day we sat to dine. The employees wore winter hats; we kept on our jackets. Hans used the bathroom and noted a faint smell of litter box hanging in the air. On the table were paper placemats and Mendez sought out all 36 mistakes as invited by the cartoon town printed on them. Being a diner with traces of Eastern European heritage, Mendez ordered a Gyro and Hans, a tuna club. Both are classic diner staples.

The food tasted like diner food. The tuna was done just right, with bacon, lettuce, tomato and a wooden skewer. The coleslaw came in a tiny plastic cup and the french fries were warm, as they should be. The gyro was edible, but nothing to spend the postage it would cost to write home about. The sandwich is served with homemade yogurt sauce, which was delicious, but was misconceived. The yogurt sauce is only served with the gyro sandwich or gyro plate (french fries included) which are both heavily garnished with white onion. So why would a sauce made to be coupled with one heavily onioned item be prepared with more chopped onions? But this query is more Seinfeld, than an actual deterrent from visiting Spooner's again. Although once you've been to Spooner's there is very little reason to return, except for unsent alimony checks.

The next day, Hans and Mendez, inspired by Barack Obama's fandom, went to Five Guys. Five Guys is a fast food chain from Washington D.C,. It had planted a franchise in Amity years ago, but because of unfamiliarity was mistaken by the bloggers as a car wash, until notoriety was brought to the chain by the presidential election of 2008. If the boys were blogging in '92 they would have jogged to the closest McDonalds for an Egg McMuffin.

To note their reaction, a world renowned Canadian scientist, Lavvvy, and a mysterious Transylvanian millionaire, Count Burgula, assisted them in this experimental fast fooding. This is a transcript of their conversation:

Hans: These burgers are pretty damn good. More filling than a McDonalds burger. A little pricier than your average fast food joint, but one can actually taste a difference.

Mendez: The burgers are better than McDonalds, agreed. But why are the burgers put in a paper bag, and the french fries in a styrofoam cup? It doesn't seem this restaurant has any care for responsible consumerism.

Lavvy: Responsible consumerism aside, I love the fries. The complimentary peanuts make the time waiting for the food go by faster. These aren't pre-prepared. There are plenty of choices to dress your burger in.It reminds me of my favorite paper doll I had as a child growing up in...

Hans: The food portions are rather large. It's a good thing we have enough food to spread amongst three people. Are you sure you don't want a burger Count?

Count Burgula: I never eat... burgers.

Mendez: This is the type of place pinpointed for the obesity problem. You're right that the portions are large. Too large. The fries are overflowing out of this tiny cup all over the bag. I'm stuffed from eating this hot dog alone. Ack! I just cut myself...

Count Burgula: Let me see!

Mendez: It's nothing, Count, don't worry. Just some burger blood.

Lavvy: People should just stop eating this food. Fast food affects blood pressure, blood types, blood sugar levels...

Count Burgula: And the taste!

Hans: You're right Count, the food tastes really good.

Mendez: The responsible thing would be to provide readers with a survival guide. Limit yourself to only one item. If you must have both a burger and a dog, go with the half-burger instead of the regular sized, which has two patties. Only order fries if you have friends to share them with-

Count Burgula: Enough of zis! Zee readers must be able to enjoy a good burger! Pig out as often as you vant! [now standing on top of his chair yelling] They must eat! Eat! We only have enough fatty human burger blood to last us 'till zee end of zee month!

Knowing that his poor weekday tuxedo disguise has been seen through like a nipple slip at a red carpet event, Count Burgula transformed himself into a bat and flew towards the door to make his exit. But the door is shut, and in a high pitched bat voice he pleaded for a Five Guys customer to open the front door while flying into it repeatedly. The more he begs, the more the crowd of customers laugh. Some even began throwing complimentary peanuts at his manicured bat wings. "Somebody has to clean those peanuts up," he squeaked.

Hans and Mendez head towards the back door. Today they dine, tomorrow they jog.

1400 Whalley Ave

Five Guys
75 Amity Road
203) 285-3016

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