Friday, July 29, 2011


Today I went to check out George's Restaurant, at 57th Street, in Sunset Park.  The vivid turquoise of the exterior, and that nice, curling script, held out a lot of promise for the inside of the place, but it turned out to be pretty bland.  It was busy though.  Most of the tables at the front were filled, and there was room for a lot more customers in the back.  Service was brisk. I had a nondescript BLT, and sat there, glancing at Fox TV (a talk show Casey Anthony special) & wishing I'd gone to Munchy Coffee Shop, a few blocks north.  It would be silly to go to Munchy right after lunch, wouldn't it?  Yes it would, but curiosity overcame appetite & sense, & off I went.

Ah, Munchy.  The moment I stepped inside I knew it was more my sort of place.  A bareboned kind of joint, with a long, dull green counter, where a handful of solitary diners sat in silence.  Well, not entirely silent, as the guy next to me, with his crutches leaning beside him, hummed a Spanish tune as he stared down at his plate.  Sweetheart waitresses, one of whom was going for Winehouse style eye make-up, and a sad looking owner who wandered around eating an ice-cream cone.  People came and went, including a couple who sat down at a table (next to one of the lovely, diamond shaped mirrors that graced the walls) & then got up to complain about the heat.  After some consultation with the staff, the pair moved closer to an overhead fan.
I was too full to eat much, but got a coffee and a toasted corn muffin (butter, as always, on the side).  The coffee came in a paper cup, & was just about the strongest I've ever had at a diner.  I liked it.  The muffin was enormous.  This wasn't really a muffin place (only pre-wrapped corn & blueberry) but the one I had was fine.  A woman came in & sat near me, & her look was even more Winehouse than the waitress's, with a bouffant do & more dramatic eye-liner.  It was a good look.
I don't know what the food's like here.  A toasted muffin isn't much of a test.  I've heard they serve a good burger, & would like to try one another time. At any rate, the place is spotless.
There's a bit of a hard-luck air at Munchy, with everyone deep in their own thoughts, but it's a good place to sit by yourself & read the paper.  I didn't see one cell phone in there, and what conversation there was was muted.  If you want to be left in peace, and enjoy your food laced with a sprinkling of despondence, you've found your spot.  Fifth Avenue, between 53rd & 54th.

1 comment:

Marty Wombacher said...

Great descriptive writing about your stop at Munchy. I've never been there, but I think you nailed the mood of the place. And no cell phones? Heaven!