Circuit Court New York
271 W. 23rd Street/8th Avenue
question for you reader-eaters: What's worse than going somewhere lame?
After dining at Trailer Park, I've found the answer: being the only person
to think it's lame. Folks, I've been on the bench long enough to have
witnessed countless perjuries, but Trailer Park is a real sham, and believe
you me, deserves the maximum sentence. Life in solitary, if I had my way.
in my experience, restaurants are set up so that you can go in, eat some
füd, and if lucky, have a little fun in the process. Yet, there's
a sinister, persistent pattern of restaurants that try and force-feed
you their unique ideas of "fun," usually more than you can stomach.
Ever paid to be slapped around by an Ed Debevic's waiter? Ever see a Benihana
chef twirl his knife, cut himself and then bleed on your steak? (I have.
It was awfully sad, but the steak was tasty.) Did David Lee Roth's old
codpiece make your meal at the Hard Rock Café? Fun, huh? If I remember
correctly, the last time restaurant fun was served was at my 11th birthday
party at Chuck E. Cheese, and I think that was only because I got all
the G.I Joe's I had asked for. It sure wasn't the animatronic rat.
Park is oddly situated in Chelsea, around the corner from testosterone-packed
Big Cup coffeehouse and Rawhide bar. This area has plenty of quality,
somewhat fancy restaurants (Chelsea Bistro, Bottino, Monster Sushi, 18th
and 8th) many of which have some offshoot fusion cuisine, or things that
require garnish of some sort. I should have known from the brand-new retro
sign not to walk in. Once inside, my dinner buddy Katie and I were assaulted
by the mish-mosh of kitch, camp, crap, and irony. Ooh look: a bamboo-lined
bar, old country LP's on the wall, a clothesline strung up with funny
slogan t-shirts and...BJ and the Bear? Ha! I loved that show! Basically,
it was filled with everything you can buy at the "vintage" shops
near St. Mark's Place.
the décor, you'd think Trailer Park would have gone all out with
the menu. But no such luck. No Pork Rinds, Frito Pie, Twinkies or our
beloved corn dogs -- that actually might have changed things for me. But
instead, just burgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese and chili. I ordered a
burger with grilled onions, fries and coke.
And waited. And watched the trashily-uniformed waitresses make their way
through the crisp, fabulous, tucked-in lower Park Avenue advertising crowd,
all laughs and smiles, beers and high-fives and action-packed. How were
they having so much fun? What the hell is wrong with me? Should I have
watched Joe Dirt? We waited some more.
I noticed the pretty girls. Katie noticed the cute boys. We looked around
at them noticing each other. And no one noticed us. And after thirty minutes,
my burger came, already cold. It sucked. Big and juicy looking, but really
just wet and tasteless, and not even worth the measly $6.95. Grilled onions
usually make for a great burger. Unless you can tell that they had been
grilled 13 hours before. I also have the feeling that the seasoned fries
would've been delicious, had they not already formed a sticky mess at
the bottom of the plate. And that's when it finally dawned on me: This
wasn't about the füd at all. Trailer Park is just a bad sitcom: The
joke was on me and I wasn't even looking for one. Not fun at all.
Okay, so I've heard from other people that the chili is pretty good, as
is the mac and cheese (despite being described as "Fiskar's orange-colored").
Katie liked her burger well enough, but it certainly wasn't anything to
seek out. Really though, don't waste time or money eating here. There's
a Boston Market, a BBQ, and Subway nearby that'll do the trick for the
same or less money. Drink if you want. From the looks of it, you'd probably
get lucky. Well, luckier than me.
Magistrate Tavee at firstname.lastname@example.org