Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mid-March Madness

Patsy's Pizzeria
61 W. 74th Street
New York, NY 10023
(212) 579-3000

Dive Bar 75
101 W 75th Street
New York, NY 10023
(212) 362-7518

366 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10023
(212) 719-0150

AFTER WORKING ALL morning on St. Paddy's Day, I was happy to head home early. I was pretty tired after three days of shooting with a documentary crew (which is at least more fun than a film or television crew), and after spending the entire morning taping inside a mosque, St. Paddy's Day seemed to lose some of its lustre. Today was, however, the third day of March Madness, we were finished early, and with 16 games on television part of me did want to sit, drink, eat and be with friends while watching the games.

Standing on the subway platform waiting for the E train to take me back towards Brooklyn, I literally turned around and walked to the opposite side where the cross-town E train was arriving--I would head east instead, and up to Dive 75. There, I could sit, drink, eat and, since Steph was working, have a friend to keep me company while watching the games. Perfect!

Now in the best of all possible moods, I arrived just in time for the last half of the Ohio State game. I quickly lost my appetite upon realizing OSU was losing by ten with a few minutes remaining, but shock and horror turned to disbelief as they rallied (and won in overtime), my appetite returned, and in this way Steph and I came to order some pizza.

Patsy's is arguably New York's greatest slice of pizza. There are personal favorites in every corner of the city, but it is generally agreed upon that either Patsy's (with a few locations scattered about Manhattan) or Grimaldi's (in Brooklyn, tucked away in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge) is the absolute tops.

We ordered a small white pizza with garlic and an order of fried zucchini and eggplant (which Patsy's will deliver until early evening, but check their website for locations, hours, etc. and remember that it's cash only.) We ate everything. And while I don't usually write about bars, technically Dive 75 does leave copious amounts of candy sitting about in martini glasses, which counts as food. They also let you have food delivered to the bar, which facilitates eating.

Aaron joined me for drinks later on, while Steph finished her shift and headed home for a bit. We proceeded to get ever-drunker, called Steph, and decided to all meet Mint and Natasha for dinner around the corner at Jacques-imo's.

Jacques-imo's is New Orleans food at its self-proclaimed most authentic, though I question that slightly. The food was good, but inconsistent. The fried green tomatoes were a bit stale, but the calamari was soft and damn good. My shrimp creole was way overcooked, but Mint's fried chicken was huge, audibly crunchy, and looked amazing. Aaron was wasted.

Our waitress clearly got a kick out of us, and decided to bring us key lime pie and a round of green shots to celebrate, then sat down and enjoyed them with us. Aaron was still wasted. Of course, I then spilled an entire drink on myself. So, you be the judge. All things considered, it was better than taking the E train home.

MIKE EATS NEXT TIME: Patsy's, yes; Dive, weekly: Jacques-imo's, maybe, but only if our favorite waitress is working.

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