BOTM of the Barrel

7 05 2009

I was initially going to ignore the NY Times article about the ROM wannabe club complete with their own acronym. But seeing as it’s been on the “most emailed” list online since it was published two days ago I figure I’ll acknowledge it. So, in a nutshell, these dudes have created a club called “Burger of the Month” (BOTM) and get together once a month to sample burgers around the city. Their system is almost the same as ROM’s in that each month a different member chooses the venue and if it sucks, that member takes some heat. I’d like to take this opportunity to point out how much better ROM is as an acronym (or BOM if things go as planned and we have an outdoor barbeque this month) to BOTM. In my book, it’s much cooler to be mistaken for a club that pays tribute to gypsies rather than a rear end or gay personal ad (not that there’s anything wrong with personal ads, gay or otherwise). I like that the BOTM boys (haa!) introduced a rating system, something we have not thought to do, but could be interesting. Props to the dudes for reasonably good taste! Back Forty is their #10 pick. I have shared my love hate relationship with this restaurant before, but they do make one of the few burgers that I find tasty (I just don’t go for burgers in general).

I'd like to point out that each "extra" such as cheese, bacon, and fries costs extra, which I find kinda lame. Just serve it "deluxe" people. Jeez.

Back Forty's Burger: I'd like to point out that each "extra" such as cheese, bacon, and fries costs extra, which is so bush league. Get some class & serve it "deluxe!"

There are photos associated with the article although it’s worth mentioning that the #4 burger on their list from Primehouse looks like a cross between a scab and a bloodclot.  Gore aside, kudos to these dudes for getting it together. As we we ROMers know, the task of getting busy people together once a month can be herculean at times. So I suppose I’ll hang my hater hat up for a moment in order to give these dudes a dash of love. Although reactionary wannabe badass quotes such as this one try my patience:

“Vegetables are to be eaten by rabbits and liberals,” wrote Mr. Weiss, a lawyer who lives on the Upper West Side, “and the only form they should take is the fourth ingredient in a condiment.”

“Crow is to be eaten by wolves and the conservatives who wrecked our economy,” writes Maya, a baller who lives in the East Village, “and the only form they should take is the nouveau poor fleeing the city in the wake of the financial crisis.” But I digress . . . hatery aside, it’s nice to come across articles such as this one. It’s just fact that ROM could kick these guys’ asses.

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Cheap N’ Fancy

12 02 2009

Times is rough so I’m always on the lookout for a good happy hour. Thing is, to satisfy one’s thirst for the finer things in life, one either must be creative or have a hawk-eye for bargains. The following are two places in the East Village that I’ve turned to when a gal needs something a little bit above average for her palate.

Terroir, 413 E. 12th btw. 1st & A

Yummy wine! Beware of the sharp-elbowed yuppies

Yummy wine! Beware of the sharp-elbowed yuppies

While the fancy meets hipster sensibility is enough to make a gal’s stomach turn, the happy hour from 5-6 is worth leaving the office early for. This place really can get packed but you are certain to get a seat at happy hour. With 6 wines for $6 each (pretty sure it used to be $5), this is not the cheapest place to wash one’s work woes away but since wine at a bar often mean either the open bottle of Shaw your bartender digs up at your local watering hole, or $12 for a miserly pour, this ain’t a bad option. And the wine is fantastic. Also, it’s worth mentioning that this place services up tasty & creative little drinkie side-dishes and their olives are great. Be warned, coming here later in the evening often means being packed against yuppies of the loud and pink-shirted variety- despite the Bohemian sensibilities, you will not find any among the patrons. Also, it’s quite easy to run a tab that’s bigger than you bargained for. Website here, not recommended for those prone to seizures.

Back Forty, 190 Ave. B & 12th St.

Rustic, charming but see that little table on the right? Unless you're rolling 10 deep that's where you're sitting

Rustic. Charming. But see that little table on the right? Unless you're rolling 10 deep that's where you're sitting

People gush about this place: “local food!” “Great prices!” Meh. While the food is good enough, I find it’s a bit overrated as it really isn’t a huge bargain, nor are the cramped tables terribly comfortable. But this is a nice place to sit at the bar. Here the happy hour runs from the more reasonable hours of 6-8PM, as opposed to Terroir’s stingy 60 minutes, and the entire drink menu, more or less, is half off. The menu features 5 or so great microbrews served cold; at $3 each, it’s not too shabby but don’t expect a full pint. They have their own Back 40 wine from Long Island: the red is just OK, I haven’t had the white. As for the creative and delicious cocktails. My my! They’re good. On a recent night we had “The Back 40” which may have just changed my life: bourbon with lemonade and a splash of maple syrup. I might have to kill someone it was so good. Crappy cocktails are a dime a dozen and it seems like you have to pay at least $10 to get a decent one, $12 for call brands. At $4 a piece, I might have discovered a new vice. Happy hour used to include half-priced oysters which, tragically, we missed out on. Bar eats here are good though. When ordering off the menu for dinner, the problem is that their dishes are on the small side making a bit of an awkward dinner for two (unless you really just want to eat  four or five vegetable dishes or a main with no side, otherwise you rack up a bill quickly), but it makes for perfect bar snacking. The onion rings, with a light and crispy yet dense batter were about as good as onion rings get. The ginger-glazed donuts were warm and almost obscenely delicious. Website here. Their sister restaurant Savoy in SoHo has a similar culinary aesthetic but is a bit more precious.

So hold on to your pennies. Living the good life doesn’t mean lining up at the blood bank. Eat well, drink well!