Last evening, my friend Pete and I ventured to Burlington to attend a rock show at The Higher Ground. We drove up early, and headed into downtown in search of dinner. Our first choice, Henry's Diner, now closes at 4PM on weekdays. So we decided to check out the Sadie Katz Deli instead. An alleged NY-style deli, the SKD is housed in a great old-stainless-steel diner with google Formica tabletops and cozy booths. It's the kind of place I love.
I decided on a burger, with a side of fries ($1 extra), but when I tried to place my order, the waiter spoke the following words, which I don't believe I have heard a wait person say in any American restaurant, ever:
"Sorry, but we're out of French fries."
I know you'll want to read that again, so go ahead. I'd imagine that even after reading it for the second time, you are as shocked as I was. First of all, as far as I know, French fries are America's favorite "vegetable." So I would guess that just about any restaurant that serves them always has plenty around. And even if prepared fries are not handy, you can cut your own! All you need is a potato and a knife. Keep in mind that we were in a deli, which featured a number of menu items composed primarily of potatoes. So they must have had spuds somewhere.
In lieu of fries, the waiter offered a latke. So I'm thinking, "OK, it's a NY-style deli. I can do that." But then the latke was delivered. It looked like it was manufactured by Burlington Department of Public Works, Manhole Cover Division. And the taste? Well, let's just say that if the word "latke" means "oily, rawhide-like substance that causes general nausea," then nothing was lost in translation.
So OK, we survived the meal, (don't go there, honest) but here's the freaky part. We went to The Higher Ground to see the show. There was a fairly extensive bar food menu. And the menu item "sweet potato fries" was crossed out." Conspiracy? You decide.