ChickenParm! November 17, 2009
I was fixed up on a blind date by a friend of a friend. She insisted I have dinner with her childhood friend who supposedly looks like Andre Agassi. On paper, he was a catch…successful, sweet, funny, nice apartment in the West Village…you get the picture.
Setting up the date is often very telling. Since I’m a food fanatic, I tend to judge harshly by the restaurant choices for first dates. For example, if a guy asks me to meet him at a Cosi, it’s a very bad sign. (I wish I listened to my gut on that one. I’ll never get that hour and a half back.)
For this blind date, “Andre” wanted to go to Arturo’s.
Hmm…interesting…I like it. Dark, old New York, classic Italian, free jazz. Oh, and pizza! Holy crap, I think I’m about to meet my future husband!
“Andre Agassi” ended up looking like a miniature version of the real deal. He was about half the size of me, tall and wide (and I’m not that wide). He was socially awkward or just extremely nervous. I felt like I was having dinner with a bald 12 year old. Okay, let’s get this dinner over with.
The waitress arrives at our table before we open our menu, and Andre says abruptly, “I’ll have the ChickenParm.” Just like that. “ChickenParm” blurted out as fast as possible as though one word. I’m a little annoyed because I don’t know what I’m having yet. “Is that what you always get when you come here?” I asked.
Here it comes…. brace yourself.
He says, “I’ve never had the ChickenParm here, but it’s the only thing I ever order.”
Um, excuse me? What do you mean the only thing you ever order?
“That’s right,” he says, “I love ChickenParm, and I eat it every night. I order it in restaurants, takeout, have it delivered, it’s even offered as a frozen meal in the supermarket, so I have a lot of options.”
A lot of options? I’m completely baffled and speechless. After further drilling, I learn that he only chooses restaurants that serve ChickenParm, and if he MUST go elsewhere, he’ll eat a steak.
I look for the hidden cameras, because this has to be a joke. Were my friends hiding in the bathroom?
In the end, I spend the entire meal trying to understand his food choices (or lack thereof) while I endure my intense food envy…that ChickenParm looked damn good! It was cheesy and greasy and sinful. But here I am again. Another blind date ends with a full stomach and a bizarre story to tell my foodie friends.
Arturo’s is a good first date place, but best to avoid Friday and Saturday nights, which are very crowded. Also, go with a large group of friends and share a few coal oven pizzas. Oh, and the ChickenParm looked good too.Arturo’s 106 W. Houston Street (corner of Thompson)