I have seen many things at Pete's Kitchen. I've witnessed fights and the first tentative, groping moments of new (and no doubt highly temporary) love affairs. I've eaten shoulder-to-shoulder with famous folk, sprung for dinner for bums and had a group of transvestites buy me pie. I've been there on nights when I was the only one in the dining room who wasn't drawing a paycheck from Pete's, and on others when the floor was truly standing room only, when the crowds were so tight I could've lifted my feet off the ground and been carried around the place by the Brownian motion of the mob. Because I am the sort of fella who puts a lot of stock in such community activities as sobering up at the diner, I've visited Pete's more times than I can count. And because I'm always on the lookout for ways to edify the youth of this failing Republic, I would suggest that a boy could secure for himself a fine education in the esoteric arts of music promotion, car thievery, restaurant ownership and general hooliganism just by spending a couple of nights a week at Pete's, listening in on conversations and carefully observing its denizens. But there's one thing I haven't seen at Pete's for quite a while: a decent goddamn meal. I know, I know, this is a short-order kind of joint, and no one is expecting the Zagat inspectors to come walking through the door (although I know for a fact that one Zagat inspector does drop by on occasion). Still, that's no reason for the breakfast burrito -- which used to be one of Pete's champion plates -- to turn into something just short of a Mexican science experiment. I've had cheeseburgers charred so badly you'd need a forensic pathologist to identify the remains, oily soups, sour coffee and -- sin among sins -- slices of pie that were barely edible, lifeless and spongy and redolent only of fragrant, stale, refrigerated air. This tragic state of culinary affairs is depressing -- and normally, I remedy depression with an order of avgolemono soup and pie at Pete's. Now what?
Recommended For YouPowered by SailThru
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!