Thursday, July 15, 2010

NY mag to Gross: No, seriously -- drop dead!

NY Mag's cheap eats issue is out this week...

...and unfortunately, it really looks great.

You have no idea how much this upsets me.

Here I was actually doing well on my diet -- exercising, eating right, getting my weight down to datable levels, etc. -- and now this happens.

Not only is Rob and Robin's list chock full of places I had never even heard of before, but the ones I do know are extremely well chosen (like, for instance, Pies 'N Thighs, or Bauhaus) -- which makes me extremely nervous.

In fact, I haven't even had the issue for more than three days, and already tried out the Mia Dona meatball cart yesterday afternoon. (This is a little cart that gives out meatball sandwiches for $7 and little bowls of meatballs for $5 outside of Donatella Arpaia's UES restaurant Mia Dona.) The meatball sandwich is amazing. The meatballs are moist. The bread is a nice and salty foccaccia. At $7 it is well worth the price, even if I felt bloated, logy and guilty for the rest of the afternoon.

But the guilt wasn't nearly strong enough to make me not plan future trips to at least three more of the 9 meatballs they showcased.

I want to sample a few more of these restaurants before I praise Rob and Robin to the skies.... and I will also say that (as always) the list is short on Queens restaurants. But otherwise it looks like a real tour de force. (I mean 18 magazine pages! Interviews with Sara Jenkins and Marcus Samuelsson! A survey of two dozen food trucks?! Quite a feat!)

But I would recommend going out and plunking down the money for this issue because there are at least three other articles I would recommend.

First, there is a terrific column by John Heilemann on why President Obama's immigration strategy is shrewder than people are giving him credit for.

Second, there is an almost heartbreaking account by Joe Hagen about the dissolution of John McCain's once great party bucking persona. It's one of those articles I sort of wondered why I hadn't seen... every reporter knows that the best stories never take place in the locker room of the victorious team: They take place amongst the losers. John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, of course, gave a wonderful account of the losing team in Game Change. But I had always hoped, when the campaign was said and done, that McCain would be a gracious loser; that he would do his best to reach out and reclaim his maverick status. You almost want to look away in this latest account.

Third, there is a nice interview with Gary Shteyngart.

There's also a piece about Avi Weiss, which I haven't gotten to yet, but c'mon. Give a guy a chance to breathe! In any event, hats off to Adam Moss.