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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Zaitzeff



I'm having blogger network problems. I'll update this post with a positive review and another photo and I'll explain why these reviews are so divergent later when the system is working better.

UPDATE:

Here's the other photo I couldn't get to load earlier. There are two of those tables and a couple of two tops. This is one of the few places I've been to in the city where it's completely comfortable to sit at a table with someone you didn't come with.

Which brings me to why it got such divergent reviews. This is not a New York City restaurant, so if you're going, prepare yourself first or you'll hate it. You can sort of make out the menu if you click for the larger view, but let me just tell you, they don't have much. It's basically, do you want a burger or oatmeal. And if you want a burger, there's Kobe beef or sirloin, and the day I was there, they were out of sirloin (I ended up getting a turkey burger -and by the way, it comes on an English muffin.)

The place has two people working, a woman who takes the orders and a guy who works the grill. When you order a burger, the woman takes forever asking you if you want ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce... blah blah... She works slowly and deliberately. When I was there, a real estate broker was picking up food, and the woman was talking to her about how much apartments were going for in the neighborhood, and she was in no particular hurry to take my order and I just stood there and listened to them talk.

Even once you get the order in, it's not clear if you're supposed to pay or go sit or what.

So you can see how New Yorkers might hate it. Somehow I found it the most refreshing and comfortable time ever. If you go in thinking it's some kind of diner, you'll go crazy. But if you go in with a section of the Sunday Times in your hand and a morning to kill and you're just looking for a place to eat that isn't going to send your money back to corporate headquarters somewhere outside the city, and if you think that sometimes flaws are a reflection (hell, an indication) of humanity, then you can do well at Zaitzeff.

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