Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Second Freebie

In my previous posting, about Kenny Shopsin, I lied:
"I never took a dime, or a morsel of free food, from any restaurateur...except Kenny."
I did accept one other freebie. There was a bbq place in Jamaica, Queens. It was literally a shack in a vacant lot, and it was insanely great; better than places down south. I raved over it in NY Press, and literally every other critic soon piled on, turning it into a SENSATION. Lines were crazy-long, and you'd spot food luminaries eagerly queuing in this ghetto nabe.

The owner, who knew me as a regular, managed to figure out that I’d made this happen. I waited in line there for an hour once, and as I entered the shack, and no one was watching, he came around from his station behind the building, touched my shoulder, and quietly handed me a single rib wrapped in paper towel. It was literally the best rib; I'll never have better till the day I die. He walked off wordlessly.

He didn’t offer to let me shortcut the line. He didn’t grovel or profusely thank me. He'd taken care to consider and measure his gesture; to make it pure.

I definitely ate that rib (and then paid full price for dinner).

I've added my original review of Mississippi BBQ Shack, from way back in 1993, to the Writings section of my web site. Here, FYI, is Eric Asimov's review from The NY Times

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