Last night I ate with Jeanne, Greg and Jerry at the Rumpus Room. I don’t like the name of the place, Rumpus Room, doesn’t sound like somewhere I’d want to eat anyway, but in fact, I liked the interior. It bills itself as a gastropub which is a term I don’t really understand but that’s OK because we didn’t understand trattoria (not that we do now, a real trattoria in Italy is not like the lame, so-called trattorias around here anyway) but the point is that we understand words like cafe, bistro etc, mean restaurant here in the US and while I don’t really understand what a gastropub is, I do know it isn’t what the word sounds like because the word sounds like an intestinal disturbance.
I had the muffaletta sandwich. It came with crinkle fries. I don’t really care for crinkle fries on some childhood memory level but as it turned out these were not fully cooked (I ate them anyway) and then the sandwich was 90% bun. I won’t go on about it though. It wasn’t terrible and I ate it. But I won’t rush to get back there. Our server was sweet, I will say that and his service was good even if he didn’t refill Jerry coffee cup. Jerry’s a grouch anyway.
Unfortunately for them, my first experience with muffaletta was the gold standard of all muffaletta. Central Grocery in New Orleans. It was one of the most deeply gratifying, delicious and life-altering experiences with food I’ve ever had. I had to sit on a park bench (like about 40 other people were doing) and eat it dripping oil between my knees onto the ground. It was a warm butter slathered bun loaded with ham, mortadella, provolone and piled high with olive salad. And the whole thing was wrapped in parchment.
I wish I could eat one again for the first time. The heavens opened up and angels sang.