Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Today is a Good Day to Die: Geronimo

Food bloggers love deals, not gimmicks. In our last post we researched discounted food and drink at some downtown happy hours. To us free wings is bang for your buck, something to be celebrated. The recently passed "Restaurant Week," is an advertising gimmick, an effective one, but a gimmick none-the-less. The idea is for downtown restaurants to attract new customers while the weather is just starting to warm up, the Christmas credit cards are paid, and spring fever is swelling in the loins and wallets of New Haven's eligible bachelors.

By running synchronized reduced pre fixed menus and exhaustive advertisements the restaurants are trying to turn tourists and first time diners into regulars. For tourists and restaurateurs the week has been a success, but for those who have already been acquainted with the food scene, the week long festivities are long lines and pre-fixed menus that read and taste like boiled cliff notes. As literary ambassadors of New Haven, we visited Geronimo during restaurant week not as a result of planning, recommendations or fortune, but because Geronimo was the only place still serving lunch at 3:05 on a Thursday.

Geronimo is a South Western bar. The Mexican influence can be found on their drink menu where Tequila varieties outnumber the options one has for food or beer. The White Texan influence can be tasted in the low quality and lack of inventiveness. The name Geronimo applies not to the man whose remains are stored several blocks down the street (either at Skull and Bones or Hula Hanks), but to their food. Before we dove into the appetizers we looked towards each other, "Geronimo."

The Restaurant Week menu choices Hans and Mendez selected were for their appetizers; a watermelon gazpacho and spicy Buffalo chili. For entrees; a burger and crab quesadilla. For desserts; a tres leches cake and banana fosters. The spicy Buffalo chili was indeed spicy but didn't offer much asides from lingering on the tongue. The watermelon gazpacho tasted plain but felt, like young men in Daisy Dukes, one season ahead of being appropriate.

The Crabmeat Quesdilla combines two of Han's pleasures; cheese and crab meat. Unfortunately, like sex and deep water shark harassment, not all pleasures should be combined. The crab and cheese paring ended the same way the intercourse and fishing adventure went: tummy aches and several months of intense physical and mental therapy. The crabmeat was dry and flakey and the bits of corn didn't add much to the meal. The presentation of this dish would earn a newspaper to the nose if brought to the Westminster dog show. At least its not adoption by Michael Vic.

The burger that Mendez order was a perfect host for his ketchup. Because of the leanness of the bison meat it gave him even more of an excuse to drown his food in it. "But Hans, its so dry, just pass the bottle over one more time." He gave it another liberal squirt. Cutting through the ketchup he could taste the sweat, brown sugar cured bacon. The bacon was the best part of the burger being cooked to perfection drawing envious comments from the diners seated next to us.

"How did he get two pieces of bacon on his burger? We had to share one piece between the two of us." Apparently the only consistency at Geronimo is disappointment.

Geronimo's service lacked on this day. Hans and Mendez were one of two tables eating, two other tables were either finishing up or drinking. Spotting a waitress is like spotting Waldo; both are elusive but at least Waldo seems happier. Our waitress came and went, we assume, through the set of "Legends of the Hidden Temple" to get to the kitchen. She probably had to start over a few times before finding it, explaining both her lack of presence and defeated attitude [little known fact: Hans was the voice actor for Omar].

Another appropriate name for this business would be "Dear Lord what I have Gotten Myself Into." With a name like that the tequilla selection would double and mixtapes from ex-girlfriends would play softly in the background. We're sure that Geronimo's is a great spot on a Friday night to rub elbows, sip on Martinis, watch goons drag their knuckles, and spot Bret Michaels lookalikes. As a matter of fact Geronimo's by night is a completely different restaurant than it is during the day. By night its semi-private, semi-outdoor seating attracts large crowds. When we begin our consulting position at, we're filming at Geronimo's!