I’m a simple girl. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. A beautiful sunset. The wag of a puppy’s tail. Red soled Christian Louboutins filled with Cartier diamonds hand delivered to the front door of my mansion in the Irish countryside by a newly single Johnny Depp. Okay, that last one’s negotiable. I would accept Cillian Murphy, as well.
But really and truly, I love simple, delicious food. And what is simpler and more delicious than a burger and fries? Not much, my friends. Not much.
My native-California friend Selina told me about a burger place in my Astoria neighborhood that supposedly rivals In-N-Out. Famished after a ballet class (yes, some dancers do eat), we trekked over to Petey’s Burger for deliciousness on a bun.
On the menu:
(AKA the cheeseburger combo #2)
Verdict: HELLO NEW FRIEND. These burgers are really… really… good. Really. As you can see in the picture, these are relatively thin beef patties topped with your standard tomato, onion, lettuce, ketchup, special sauce (which is probably mayo and ketchup mixed together), and cheese on a basic bun. I think the key is in the proportions, the stand-out flavor of the beef, and the crispy-crunchiness of the fresh lettuce and onion. I also have to give Petey’s major props for essentially replicating McDonald’s perfect, golden French fries. The meal wasn’t super greasy but it definitely hit the “I need some junk food in my belly now” spot. Too bad they deliver. There goes my waistline.
Tuesday night I attended a roundtable discussion at NYU with John DeLucie, co-owner of The Waverly Inn. DeLucie graciously gave up over two hours of his time to sit with a room of about thirty NYU students and alums to talk about how he got into food, his path through the gauntlet of New York City restaurants, and finally what it’s like to own one of the most sought-after restaurants in the country. “Brangelina hasn’t showed up yet,” he quipped. While the DeLucie discussion definitely stirred the “I want to be in food” feelings in me, it also taught me a couple things.
- Restaurants are the only businesses in the world where your boss can spit on you and burn you. And you just have to take it.
- Graydon Carter is another co-owner of The Waverly Inn and because of this, if you’re on the cover of VF, you get a meal at the WI. Sometimes I think my chances are better at being on the cover than getting a rez…
- “Food can change the world.” Apparently this had to do with sustainability, global warming, etcetera, etcetera… I like to believe he meant that if we all ate cupcakes daily we’d be a much happier planet.
- Servers at The Waverly Inn sign confidentiality agreements. The way he described the business actually gave me a greater respect for a bourgie, exclusive, celebs-only kind of place.
- John DeLucie thinks food blogs are dumb and diminish the effect that real food critics actually have on the masses. I thought that was… well… lame.
- Will Smith once asked a server at The Waverly Inn to sit down and join him. While this was frowned upon, let’s recap: homeboy sat down with the Fresh Prince and that is awesome.
- They are accepting applications.
Also check out John DeLucie’s book, The Hunger.