Wednesday, March 2, 2011

too many cooks


There's a place I know. A diner, Paco's, New York, sits out of the way off the street, where natural light never shines. Green sided brick front, not painted, green from moss. Small lemon-yellow sign. Paco's. I'll take you there. The place is cockroach clean. I went through a wrong door once and found myself in the kitchen. I don't know - should short-tempered, short order cooks have access to a sharp knife in a 107º Fahrenheit room? Three men wielding cleavers in an oven could get messy, yes. Maybe the cockroaches are anxious and go elsewhere. Yes, I was back there, briefly, long enough to see the rage in those wild magpie-black eyes.
It's pot luck. But the food's the best. And with all that screaming. 'I'll show you, you pork chop!' They take on the names of what they are preparing. Must be a trade secret, yes, it's funny. 'Hey, salmon, I show you who's boss!' Or, 'You! You stay away from me, stuffed eggplant! Or, 'What you want, Tournedos Rossini, heh!? Well, you get the picture.
Yet, there's never an empty seat, place is always packed, but I'll show you, my little lomo saltado. Once saw Joe Pesci there. Stayed clear from telling him he was funny. But get this - to meet any one of those three cooks on the street - like the one, the owner, Paco, white bible carrier with a sweet, gentle, old dog disposition. Saw him once in deep conversation with a pigeon half-way across a crosswalk oblivious to a horn-honking finger-flipping old woman. But at work, geez, how close with those clinched razor-sharp implements these three are from big block letters glaring angrily up from bound stacks at the newsstand screaming Berserk Bloody Broth?

6 Comments:

Blogger Tumblewords: said...

Vivid words - this is like a movie - fast moving and clearly seen!

3/03/2011 12:15 AM  
Blogger Trellissimo said...

Beserk Bloody Broth?
What a headliner!

3/03/2011 2:52 AM  
Blogger Berowne said...

Very well written...

3/03/2011 7:20 AM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

What a fun read, as always. I really like "cockroach clean" and "white bible carrier". Excellent, Phil.

3/03/2011 8:18 AM  
Blogger Reflections said...

What a fantastic write! Interesting perspective, scary kitchen, don't know that I would want to stumble in there... but the food sounds fabulous.

3/04/2011 12:26 AM  
Blogger Noelle Renee said...

This was delightful Phil. Your writing sings. It is filled with lots of vivid scenes and rollicking music. I can smell the stuffed eggplant in the kitchen. Great stuff!
Noelle

3/04/2011 8:10 PM  

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