March 26, 2009

The Mermaid Inn

After destroying my friend Ashley's camera last weekend, I was more than happy to help her move a microwave from her office to her apartment, 5 blocks away. After all, she lives/works only about 10 blocks from my office. MB was coming in from Queens so we decided to rendez-vous near our old stomping grounds around the lipstick building in midtown-east. Ashley had more work to do but MB coerced her coworker, Andrea, to join us. We met at Vero, a conveniently located, albeit slightly pretentious, neighborhood wine bar.

A little more than one glass of wine and a plate of cheese later, we'd covered some important ground. To start, MB and I are going to look into The Modern as a venue for our anniversary dinner. It's also quite clear that, barring some unforeseen circumstance, we're headed to Gramercy Tavern with Andrea and her husband, Adam, sometime in the not-so-distant future. But the most relevant decision was to vacate the premises and head to The Mermaid Inn in the lower-east side at the corner of 6th and 2nd.

It wasn't a tough sell. We were sold the second the words "lobster roll special" fell out of Andrea's mouth. $20 for a good lobster roll ( a lobster sandwich, actually) and a Blue Point Toasted Lager? Sign me up. Sadly, we arrived at 7:25 and the special only lasts until 7 PM but that didn't really have much effect on the outcome other than the size of our bill. After splitting a half dozen oysters, half east coast and half west coast, we dove into our sandwiches.

"Sandwich" doesn't really do the dish justice but it's decidedly not a roll. There's no traditional New England-style hot dog bun. Instead, The Mermaid Inn uses a flakey roll with a brioche-like crust and croissant consistency. The replacement is more than acceptable and compliments the lobster meat well. Kissed with just a bit of mayo and Old Bay, I liked the lobster consistency, although the meat wasn't quite as chunky as I would have hoped for. I also liked the chives. They got me thinking about Spring. Paired with the sandwich were some mediocre Old Bay fries; I'd give 'em a 6.5.

At the end of the meal, we were served a small cup of chocolate pudding - forgettable, but an appropriate ending for a simple meal - and a Fortune Teller Miracle Fish. According to that small piece of plastic, I'm either fickle or dead.

[Update] For some reason, I completely forgot to mention the soundtrack to our meal, which was nothing short of awesome. MGMT. Kings of Leon. Frightened Rabbit. Either they use an incredible satellite radio station or someone put together a kick-ass playlist.

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