There must be a thunderstorm somewhere, for the on-demand episode of Glee kept freezing on the wide screen tv behind the bar and I am here to tell you that Kurt and Rachel, like the Duchess of York, are not people who look their best surprised in a still frame.
I was having dinner at the bar steps from my Dupont Circle apartment. The gay men who run this enterprise have no clue. The menu is long and generally badly executed. The few items that are good are either poorly named or poorly presented or both. Trial and error has led me to work out that one of the very few things worth ordering is the Farmer’s Salad.
Now what would you expect in a Farmer’s Salad? My paternal great grandfather and my maternal grandfather were both farmers (admittedly in Ireland where a potato crop was a triumph) and I can assure that they never came across arugula (rocket), goats cheese, butternut squash, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts. Not separately, not together, not ever.
This winegum colored toss up is neither rustic nor even particularly full of roughage but it is what the 17th street salad makers consider an agricultural staple. Both parts of the name are a problem. It is neither a meal eaten or produced by horny handed sons of the soil, nor is it the kind of appetizer loved by the 1000 calorie a day “toy with a lettuce leaf” brigade. It is neither allotment or tilled-acre outdoorsy nor really insipid and leafy. The welcome addition of goat’s cheese makes it satisfyingly filling and it tastes great, unlike those awful garden greens (dressing on the side) apologies for a square meal that show up sadly and pointlessly on so many menus.
The only problem with this salad is the name. It should be called the Salad of Queens or the Crown Jewels Salad or the Royal Wedding Salad or similar. It features the colors and frills of Dancing with the Stars. It has the taste and texture of vacations on the Med. It is a salad that is much more Gay Pride than Jenny Craig. Serve it boys by all means–but don’t lumber it with a name that demands cheddar cheese, weathered lettuce and sturdy slices of tasteless tomato.