Magical Realism Menu
August 14, 2014 8:12 AM   Subscribe

Tables For One is a collection of restaurant reviews "from another New York City" by A. Ponitus and illustrated by Evan Johnson. The restaurants include Frito-Lay themed places, salt-obsessed aliens, a gelato cult, notable NPR personalities, and a cafe for heartbreak.
posted by The Whelk (21 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

Best restaurant reviews ever. I want to move to this Magic Apple and eat at all of these places. Well, most of them...
posted by kozad at 8:18 AM on August 14

This feels like it would fit perfectly into a China Mieville novel.
posted by Fizz at 8:18 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]

This is exactly perfect. I have started and stopped a couple of similar projects because I always failed to hit this particular elusive flavour.
posted by 256 at 8:28 AM on August 14

This is exactly perfect. I have started and stopped a couple of similar projects because I always failed to hit this particular elusive flavour.

If you're looking for something similar, please find the following:

The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases
The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals
posted by Fizz at 8:45 AM on August 14 [3 favorites]

Invisible Restaurants
posted by mochapickle at 8:50 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]

The Library of Brie?

(These are wonderful fun)
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:51 AM on August 14

(This is wonderful.)
posted by mochapickle at 8:52 AM on August 14

Love it. The snark about Fritos-as-junk-food does remind me of something that my husband likes to point out. Fritos do in fact conform to Michael Pollan's snooty food rules--only three ingredients and all of them recognizable by your great gramma--so obviously they must be acceptable to well-meaning foodies everywhere, amirite?
posted by Sublimity at 9:12 AM on August 14 [3 favorites]

I imagined him telling me that his favorite episode of Star Trek was the one where the shape-shifting monster would leach all the flesh and bones from its victims and leave a pile of salt.

I am embarrassed by how much this is irritating me.
posted by blurker at 9:12 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]

But, honestly, these are terrific.
posted by blurker at 9:14 AM on August 14

I am in love with the idea of the tear-stained Cryptomonicon. I want the breakup cafe to exist.

This is fantastic.
posted by Hactar at 9:27 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]

"There are three menus at Utnsil—one for food, one for drink, and one for utensils."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:35 AM on August 14

Well, there goes my day.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:04 AM on August 14

Everything Guy Fieri has ever done belongs on this page.
posted by delfin at 10:21 AM on August 14

Everything Guy Fieri has ever done belongs at the bottom of an active volcano.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:24 AM on August 14

What did a volcano ever do to you?
posted by delfin at 10:34 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]

Didn't eat Guy Fieri before he started polluting the planet with his crap, that's what.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:44 AM on August 14

From "Paper Lantern," a short story by Stuart Dybek:
It’s a restaurant that used to be a Chinese laundry. [S]ince the proprietors never bothered to change the sign, presumably the Chinese characters still say it’s a Chinese laundry.

[The menu] has a surprising, welcoming heft [and is] hand-printed in Chinese characters, with what must be very approximate explanations in English of some of the dishes, also hand-printed, in the black ink of calligraphers. Each time we come here the menu has grown longer. Once a dish has been offered, it is never deleted, and now the menu is pages and pages long, so long that we’ll never read through it all, never live long enough, perhaps, to sample all the food in just this one tucked-away neighborhood Chinese restaurant. The pages are unnumbered, and we can never remember where we left off reading the last time we were here. Was it the chrysanthemum pot, served traditionally in autumn when the flowers are in full bloom, or the almond jelly with lichees and loquats?

Here, there’s nothing of heaven or earth that can’t be consumed, nothing they haven’t found a way to turn into a delicacy: pine-nut porridge, cassia-blossom buns, fish-fragrance-sauced pigeon, swallow’s-nest soup (a soup indigenous to the shore of the South China Sea; nests of predigested seaweed from the beaks of swifts, the gelatinous material hardened to form a small, translucent cup). Sea-urchin roe, pickled jellyfish, tripe with ginger and peppercorns, five-fragrance grouper cheeks, cloud ears, spun-sugar apple, ginkgo nuts and golden needles (which are the buds of lilies), purple seaweed, bitter melon…

Nothing of heaven and earth that cannot be combined, transmuted; no borders, in a wok, that can’t be crossed. It’s instructive. One can’t help nourishing the imagination as well as the body.

We order, knowing we won’t finish all they’ll bring, and that no matter how carefully we ponder our choices we’ll be served instead whatever the cook has made today.
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:18 PM on August 14 [3 favorites]

These really have the style down pat.
posted by kenko at 2:06 PM on August 14

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