Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Old Man & the Cheese

Haven’t you heard? Looks like we’ve been eating poo (a lot of it). Good one, Moscow.

But mastication stopped being fun a looong time ago. I, for one, lost my appetite somewhere around Etazh, a nasty little cafe chain that’s managed to harness the city’s worst restaurant tendencies: face control, tacky design, shameless misrepresentation of the rich culinary traditions of Japan, Italy and Mexico. Also, it’s loud, and the waiters are mean.

Screw you, Etazh.

When eating is a constant struggle, it’s easy to lose hope. For guidance, many turn to an expat eating club. Such as:

Journo Clusterfuck Thursdays — When you were young, energetic and could still fit into size 4 jeans, you went to Propaganda Thursdays to make friends. Some of them were even Russian. Now that you can’t be bothered with new people and all you want is a chimichanga and a margarita, you go to Hemingway’s, even though chances are high you’ll be trapped at the end of the table with “Francis” from “Element.” I mean, "Matt" from "Jew News." I mean, I love you guys.

Wednesday Evening Food Critics Association of Moscow — The Skull & Bones of the Moscow expat social world, WEFCAM is governed by intricate set of dining rules, such as “Teresa must always pay 1,000 rubles.”

Turkish Women’s Association — Rumor has it they eat tartines at Le Pain Quotidien on Mondays.

Cheezeburger Klub — I’m not only the president, I’m also a member. The club generally convenes at McDonalds Pushkinskaya, Starlite Diner Mayakovskaya or my kitchen Aeroport. Contact me if you want in.

Then again you may not want to eat with expats. They’re mostly cheap, fussy bastards, like this joker who did amateur undercover reporting into Hemingway's lack of chili cheese.

If you really want to lose your lunch, check out his riveting "Four Russian Hookers" documentary. It's like Spike Lee's "Four Little Girls," except starring an aging expat loser and his hookers.

Hemingway's, 13 Komsomolsky Prospekt, Metro: Frunzenskaya,