Friday, February 5, 2010
I'm Hot 'N' Cold about Fire 'N' Ice
Guest post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman
Fresh off of last night's long-anticipated opening of Good Sports Bar & Grill on 2nd and Broadway, I heard that the other end of West Broadway had a new business up and running as well. I was thrilled to hear of another restaurant opening at Penn and Broadway.
That excitement in my throat quickly turned to a pit in my stomach, or more specifically, a breaded, deep-fried pit. On the one hand, we've had the old Bean Scene building sitting vacant for a while now, and I want to see new businesses spring up. Even so...
...this place really seems like just more of the same. Granted, I had heard rumors that the proposed name was "Wings and Things," or maybe the somehow more horrid-sounding "Wangs and Thangs." And there was talk at one point that they'd be applying for a license to stay open until 3 a.m. I shuddered at the thought; at 3 a.m. just about the only people out and about are those who left the bar at 2 and still haven't found their way home.
Still, I'd rather be celebrating a new sit-down restaurant than thinking, "Whew! Crisis averted!" Just because something isn't as bad as it could have been doesn't mean it's good enough.
On the other hand, I watched the guys behind the counter and they were busting their tails. I worked in food prep when I was in college, including a fair amount of time sweating over a fryer and stove. So I appreciate what it takes to do that kind of work all day, every day. It's not easy. And the food was decent, at least. So there's a part of me that watches these guys and thinks, "Any time somebody works that hard and puts out a decent product, I want to see them succeed."
But my biggest issue here is that even if I WANTED them to put my food on an ACTUAL PLATE instead of a styrofoam container, I COULDN'T. There are tables and chairs still in the place, but it almost seems like that's an afterthought. If all this restaurant had were the kitchen, counter top, and about 30 square feet for people to wait, I don't think that would affect their business model in the least. I was aghast at the idea of how much more junk will wind up as litter and then in our landfills because of the way this business is set up.
In fairness, I heaped praises on food from the Bangkok Market, and that came in plastic containers as well. But at least that food had far more nutritional value.
I hope the business owner finds success in NoMi, but I can't help but think that we deserve better on West Broadway.