105 First Avenue
New York, NY 10003
FIRST OF ALL, "Hot Fuzz" is the best movie I've seen since "Children Of Men," which was only a few months ago, I know, but I've seen a lot of great movies lately so let's not get too picky. From the master-creators of "Shaun Of The Dead," this cop movie send-up features one of the single funniest moments I have ever seen committed to film: an old woman getting flying-kicked in the face.
Now, Mom, before you yell at me, this woman is trying to shoot the film's hero with a shotgun and she's also responsible for the deaths of several other innocent people. She has it coming. Fast. And jumping through the air into her face. It's hilarious! And she's okay afterwards, she just goes to jail. I'm not ruining anything, I promise. I'm sorry, did you say, "decaffeinated?"
Aaron S. Hitchcock has a great take on this film also. You would all do well to read it and then buy up all of his artwork. It's good artwork and will appreciate in value at approximately 6% annually. Not a bad rate, I'd say.
After the film, Mint and I attempted to go to the Organic Grill since she was in the mood for vegan food (not a mood one is frequently "in" if one is not vegan, I assure you), but the two women working at the Grill informed us they were closed... twenty minutes before the sign on the door said they were so they could get home early. Which brings us to this very important announcement:
The Official Mike Eats Food! Boycott of Organic Grill is now at Day 1!
With two whole exclamation points, Organic Grill now joins the ranks of other such boycott-worthy establishments including the Pinnacle Deli on Third Avenue (for charging $0.10 to toast a bagel), Wasabi on Manhattan Avenue (for not being Sapporo Haru), and MacDonald's everywhere (for ruining modern civilization). Congratulations, jerks! I even started a Citysearch account to tell everyone how much you suck!
And so we ended up at Counter.
Mint had the meatloaf special (made with house-made seitan) with an order of Counter's enormous hand-cut pommes frites (note: you know you're paying to much for french fries when you have to italicize them in print), and I enjoyed the hearty, pesto-tastic soup au pistou and the East Side Burger made from light mushroom pate and seitan.
Everything was delicious and the wine selection was fantastic, but my main concern with Counter is that vegan food isn't necessarily its greatest as haute cuisine. I mean, this is the food of hippies and neo-socialists, folks with no money and no jobs. Seventeen bucks for an entree isn't exactly keeping to the budget, let alone the spirit of saving the world through food. That doesn't mean creating accomplished seitan doesn't require a four-star chef (double negative!). So, the anti-establishment needs an well-established one to do things properly? That's the kind of oxymoron that makes Counter's take on vegan cuisine ultimately confusing.
MIKE EATS NEXT TIME: I probably wouldn't, but the East Village is running short on organic options... eh, Organic Grill? I anxiously await your apology.
Photos from Rouge Pictures and Counter/Organic Wine Journal