Saturday, July 25, 2009

Get in Line Westchester!

I had gotten a gift certificate at the Womrath Bookstore in Bronxville. I ordered a book there about a month ago and haven't been able to make it down there to pick it up.

They've called the house around five times asking me if I'm planning on picking up that gosh-darned book already. One time, Peter picked up and the lady from the bookstore said something like, "Is she still interested in coming to get the book?" She sounded really snide, so Peter couldn't resist and told her (very nicely even though she was rude):

"Well, she is interested, but the problem is that she's been very busy and your store closes very early."

I don't know who they expect to shop at their store when they close their doors at 6pm, right about the time when most people get home from work.

Today, I suggested to Peter that we go to Bronxville so that I can pick up that book already and we could go to lunch at one of the cute cafe/bistro type places in Bronxville.

So we went and walked around the four or five blocks around the Pondfield Road area in Bronxville and almost every restaurant we approached was full of meat dishes and maybe one or two salads. Or there would be one or two dishes with vegetables titles, but when you read the description, the asparagus is sitting on a bed of steak.

We were about to give up when we came across Wild Ginger. Now, we've already had a terrible experience at their sister restaurant Water Moon in Rye. The food at Rye wasn't good and they sat us in a plush seat where someone had spilled their entire drink onto the chair and so when I sat down, I got my pants completely soaked. And of course, when you're a girl, you don't want to be sitting in wetness for a few hours because that's the kind of environment my friend the pesky yeast infection likes to hang out in.

But, at least they served some things with tofu in it and so we went in. Then the miso soup came out and there was a red seaweed Peter was convinced was fish so he wouldn't drink it. When we ordered, I expressly asked if the meal was vegetarian and the waiter said yes. So of course Peter was grossed out to get two chicken dumplings in his bento box and a few pieces of california roll. I felt that the waiter should have been attentive to the fact that I asked for a vegetarian meal considering there were only two other diners at the restaurant at the time, but the thing is, Westchester does not cater to vegetarians and so it's probably much too much to ask for.

This is why we only go to three places in Westchester. It's so annoying to try someplace new and get upset and irritated. I don't blame the restaurants, but it's the whole Westchester vibe. In some ways, Bronxville is the epitome of Westchester, a place that's not really interested in doing a great job. When you go to a restaurant in Manhattan, most of the time, you feel like the people are trying to do their best. They take pride in the food and they want you to have a great meal.

In Westchester, there's a bit of a "get in line" attitude. As in: You want food? Well, we've got food! Get in line! What? You wanted food, didn't you? Well, didn't you get food? What do you want?

No one's competing to be the "best" restaurant around here. They're just all here, waiting for you to get hungry. They don't care that you said you wanted vegetarian. They don't care that you asked for a Coca-Cola and not Diet Coke. And THAT'S why we drive an hour into the city to get dinner.

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