Sunday, March 2, 2008

In Honor of Schnäck

I have temporarily added an umlaut to the title of this blog to prostrate myself before that source of Red Hook comfort food on Union Street called Schnäck. They tolerated my family on a night when we were in very poor form, my daughter dumping her gingerale all over me and the banquette where we sat, my son whining non-stop because of his cold, the two of them fighting with spoons over the last crumb of brownie with ice cream they were sharing. My son trying to shoot snot out of his nose not in rudeness but because he was having trouble breathing. Kids crawling across my lap like kittens as I tried to eat a salad. We don't go out to eat much for good reason, but I really wanted french fries last night. At one point a woman came in to pick up her carry out order and stared at us with a look I found somewhat inscrutable but which I hope belied understanding. Or maybe it was a look that said "Oh, so now I see." As we left I apologized for the mess under the table and the waiter said, as so many good people have said to me over time, "Don't worry about it."

Also in gratitude for the banana bread pudding dessert which was one of the best things I've tasted in a long time. And in understanding that when you add an umlaut to a word like shnack, it's not a pretentious but an ironic gesture as are the tremas in Mötley Cruë. Perhaps it's also a nod to the curiosity of the german spelling of Big Mäc.

I would have stayed home with the grumpy son, but would have had to miss seeing a friend for the first time in three years. She brought her fiancee to meet us. I wonder if they hope to have kids someday? Perhaps last night was very informative for them.

One of the last times we ate out we went to Pies and Thighs. We were there about a week before it closed, and I actually wondered if having my kids in the Rock Star Bar, which adjoined the restaurant, was in part what shut the place down. Thanks to the GL I soon learned that couldn't have been the case legally. So much for my grandiosity.

My daughter calls Pies and Thighs "The Hippy Bar," I don't understand why, and she still asks to go there because they had a great time eating comfort food and playing air hockey with a little kid from the Williamsburg hood. We didn't spill anything that night the only problem was the toddler wandering off to play on the stage on the other side of the space, for which the bartender, very justifiably, kept giving me looks. I too miss that big hippy bar in the sky. Hence the depth of my gratitude for the comfort food and kindness of that affordable Shnäck shäck in Red Hook. But don't worry, chances are you won't run into us there, it's just easier for us to stay in our crib.


Anonymous said...

oh my god - you're the reason i stopped going there! why bring sick children to restaurants??? what is wrong with you???

amarilla said...

Yep, I make mistakes, am not always as vigilant as I might be. But a lot of people go around with colds. Sometimes it's extremely hard to drop your life when you child is slightly ill, bearing no fever.

I know you NEVER make mistakes of any kind, do you? Thank God for perfect people like you.

But I'm worried about you. If you want to avoid germs, there's no where you can go except into a sterile environment. People go out with colds all the time. Even in classrooms many children are sent with mild cold symptoms. So what are you going to do? Where can you eat out? Poor you.

Brenda from Flatbush said...

The key word in your account was "apologized." The restaurant-hell parents who give us all a bad name are those who exude an air of beatific entitlement...the ones who seem to feel it's our privilege to share little Granola's developmental stages as demonstrated on a mozzarella stick with dipping sauce. The rest of us make occasional bad choices and grovel for forgiveness and understanding, and should receive them.