Saturday, August 19, 2017

The other "Boss" from New Jersey

What could possibly entice a couple of hundred people to spend a Sunday morning lining-up, in intense heat and humidity, on a New Jersey sidewalk?

You guessed - The opportunity to pick up a box of chocolate eclairs and watch them melt in the car.

'Cake Boss' Buddy Valastro is a star of reality television. Each week, two million people tune in to watch him decorate wedding cakes and fold the almonds into the biscotti mix. 

The truly dedicated make the pilgrimage to Hoboken to snap pictures of the store and possibly have a 'consultation' with the great man himself. 

Pilgrims may also get the chance to clap eyes on wife, Lisa; right-hand man Mauro Castano; head baker Joey Faugno; bakery sculptor 'Ralphie Boy' Attanasia and intern Marissa Lopez. 

Less likely to be squeezing the icing bag on the premises is brother-in-law Remy Gonzalez, now embarking on a nine year stretch for aggravated sexual assault.

Now excuse me, I have to go get a muffin, and there's a seven hour wait.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The diners are dying

The Malibu - Hoboken

The New York Times ran an article a while back about the vanishing New York diner.  Here are my notes on the subject:

The Malibu Diner somehow manages to combine the stylistic elements of funeral parlour and penny arcade. I asked the waiter if they had Wi-Fi yet and he gave me a blank look before answering: "We don't do Chinese food".

The pastries and muffins on the counter are clingfilmed inside plastic cases that look like the fake flower domes you see on Irish graves. -- The bereavement is sealed in.

And then there's the Westway Diner on 9th Avenue
Twenty years ago, the city was full of places like this, but the waning popularity of the heart attack put a lot of them out of business. Back then, you could tell how popular a place was by the number of ambulances parked outside.