Thursday, November 29, 2018

Signs of Life on Chelsea's 8th Avenue

Some good news from the evanescent gayborhood. No sooner did the beloved (by others) Rocking Horse Cafe unceremoniously close up shop, Jack's Wife Freda opened in the old home of Mary Ann's at 16th and 8th. Damian and I had brunch there on Sunday and were pretty impressed. The food has a slight Mediterranean flair to it, but not to a fault. 

For instance: The rosewater waffles were fairly straightforward but came with fruit and Greek yogurt.

 Damian had the (Maya's) breakfast bowl, with scrambled eggs, red quinoa, kale, spaghetti squash, grilled tomato and avocado (that he gave to me because it's the ONLY food he doesn't like). They also have fairly traditional eggs Benedict, steak and eggs, and a variety of salads and sandwiches. Dinner leans a little more Mediterranean, with steaks, lamb, fish, Peri-Peri chicken, mussels and so on. 

The dining room is bright and airy ...

And the beardy host/manager type is an added bonus ...

... running around in slim-fit chinos and just being generally adorable.

Across the street is a new location of Ample Hills Creamery. It's the wrong season for ice cream, but we've been to the Gansevoort shop and liked it. Should mention both Jack's and Ample Hills are "chains," but local ones that have their roots in the city. (My beloved Westville started as a single location in the West Village and is now a "chain," too)

And since I'm keeping score, should mention that Sam [sic] Deli & Juice Bar on 8th between 17th and 18th -- which briefly housed the "Splash" sex shop before it moved upstairs and rebranded itself "Rainbow and Triangle" [sic] and now "Sexy Boutique" -- closed a couple of months ago, adding yet another abandoned storefront to the Avenue of Broken Gay Dreams. The place grossed me out because it doubled as a deli and "smoke shop."

And now from east of 8th comes this bombshell: In the old home of Radio Shack on the corner of 23rd and 7th -- just a stone's throw away from Crunch gym -- is a new Taco Bell Cantina! I've never been to one of those so I'm not sure if this is bad news -- that they only have that bullshit menu where everything has cilantro -- or even worse news -- where they have the original menu that I love so much! Damian despises fast food and will divorce me if it's the latter ... we barely survived that time I ordered Arby's.


Huff VanVonderen said...

The Taco Bell will be perfect for the meth-zombies that wander over from the BRC "hotel" on 25th street. It'll be a gourmet option compared to the Chelsea Papaya dump across the street.

Paul Denton said...

Yeah, the beardy host/manager's butt looks good in those tight chinos! Woof!