Sunday, December 13, 2009

P.J. Clarke's

I'm not one who loves exploring the depths of New York. There are probably rats, or something else nasty. However, when I had just finished my high school application test, I was game for anything. P.J. Clarke's is exactly what you would expect from a New York establishment that has been around for more than 125 years. Businessmen drinking at the bar, 25 year old women fawning over their 60 year old boyfriends, and overwhelmed tourists are only part of the experience at P.J. Clarke's. The other ingredient in the mixture is the food. Despite the 30 minute wait, the cold table situated next to the door, moving tables, 20 more minutes for our food to come, and frustrated tourists asking us questions, the meal was still memorable. Now, you ask, how is that possible? Two words. Creamed Spinach. For those of you who have never met my mother, she can also be described in two words; Health Fanatic. While I do not participate in her strict diet prohibiting sugar, dairy, fat, meat, and anything else that makes the life worth living, I am sometimes unwillingly drawn in. So when I came home from school a weeks before and was told to expect creamed spinach, I was salivating at the mouth. As it approached, I noticed an abnormality among the greens. "Mom," I asked, "Where's the cream? You said that it was creamed spinach." "Oh no," she replied. "This is the white house special cream-less creamed spinach." Then came the dreaded words: "It's healthy." I could have sworn that I cried myself to sleep that night. Anyway, as the "real" creamed spinach came, life stood still as I watched the cream soak down and down into itself. I demolished it in the time that it takes my dad to make a tasteless joke and moved on to the next course, the burger. The hamburger is an American classic, but the one that I ate there was not. It was bland, the fries were dried and tasted like McDonald's fries, and the bun was too fluffy. Overall, it was a pretty horrible burger. At the end of the meal, the greatness of the spinach had evened out the badness of the burger, and brought it back down to 0. The only thing that gets this restaurant a good review apart from the spinach was the ambiance which was interesting, old school, and a new experience. P.J Clarke's deserves a 6.1/10.