Sunday, June 11, 2006

Ph.d Stands for Phood

Dear loyal reader –

It is SUMMER. This means that it is time to GRILL. Specifically, it is time to grill, for FREE.

My relationship with you has always been light-hearted, dear reader, and I'd like it to stay that way. To that end, I try to keep my personal philosophies separate from my blog as much as possible. Sure, sometimes a derogatory comment about Germans slips through (because they're perverts), but mostly, you are my sunshine, reader. Why would I want to put a dark cloud of personal beliefs over a perfectly clear day?

But now, I say NAY. You deserve to know, dearest reader, so here is what I believe: I believe in Cheap Food. I don't just eat it. I think about it all the time and cook it when it's not handy. But it's always handy, because this is New York City – the Big Apple, for pete's sake. The whole damned city is edible.

Frank Bruni , the verbose author of the weekly highbrow restaurant review in the New York Times Dining Out section, once wrote: "Eating is not synonymous with dining." The other night, a friend and I ate at an empanada joint in the East Village. The furniture (not synonymous with decor) consisted of cafeteria tables, plastic banquettes, tile floors, and murky fluorescent lighting. We ate fried sweet plantains and their milder green cousins; pasteles, a cuban equivalent of tamales; yellow rice with earthy, spicy black bean stew; and Ajonjoli - a white sesame drink similar to Mexican horchata.

We split the bill. It came to $6 each. "We may not be dining," I thought to myself, "but eating ain't half bad."

Since then, I've realized that Eating is better than not half bad. It's awesome. There is a place for dining – but somehow, trendy obsession with food has overtaken the food itself. In celebration of real Eating, food prepared without posture or pretense, I've started a food blog called Low Brow Eating.

Low Brow Eating isn't just eating in Low Brow restaurants. If you make a meal out of free samples at Costco, that's Low Brow; if you go to a gallery opening for the hors d'eouvres, that's Low Brow; if you figure out a way to get a cheap meal out of a tony menu, that can be Low Brow. I'm a Low Brow Eater. Many of my friends, by necessity and preference, are Low Brow Eaters. They appreciate the subtleties of a sick Jamaican beef patty, and they'll venture into deep Brooklyn for a delicious taco. And, back to my original topic, they dig on a good summer BBQ. As, I'm sure, do you.

To that end, my first review on Low Brow Eating is up now, as well as a weekly calendar of free-to-cheap food events around the Apple. And just FYI, there is so much free and cheap eating available this week that with some determination, you could eat and drink all week and spend nary a $15 bill. And enjoy a crapload of barbecue. Because that is what free summer food is made of.

Yours in the force,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bless your soul Andrea. I consider myself a cheap eats-phile and I salute you.