Day: September 30th, 2006

Rare Saturday

Saturday, September 30th, 2006 | All Things, Eats

This is absurd: since when does the holiday season kick off before October 1? Can the crystal UNICEF Snowflake at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue be far behind?


On this last day of September, SYB and I decided on a lark to try to cash in our “Free jar of peanut butter with sandwich purchase” coupons that we picked up from Peanut Butter & Co. at Time Out New York’s “Back to School Blowout” in Union Square a couple of weeks ago. The only difficulty would be in deciding which cutely-named peanut butter variety to pick: the standard creamy (“Smooth Operator”) or crunchy (“Crunch Time”)… or the quirkier blends: “White Chocolate Wonderful,” “Cinnamon Raisin Swirl,” “Dark Chocolate Dreams” or “The Heat Is On” (natural peanut butter blended with fiery spices.)

I was somewhat intrigued by that last one, figuring it wouldn’t be much different, from say, Chinese takeout Sesame Noodles (minus the noodles). And I like those, on occasion — ever since first being introduced to them in the 8th grade at DLW’s Upper West Side apartment. On the other hand, the combination was potentially really, really vile.

I decided to try out the blend in a sandwich before committing to an entire jar. The PB & Co. menu offers “The Heat Is On Sandwich” (“Spicy peanut butter and chilled grilled chicken, with a little bit of pineapple jam. Like a Thai satay — only better.”) Hmm, interesting… though I actually had my heart set on “The Elvis” (“A grilled peanut butter sandwich, stuffed with bananas and honey. Try it with bacon for that extra indulgence. Long live the King!” Yow.)

So after work, I hopped into a towncar and headed down to the Village. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying attention, and the driver — newly arrived in New York City — hadn’t yet built up the wealth of driving experience to know that one should never, ever, attempt to cross town on Bleecker Street on a Saturday night. Oh, he knows now. It took about ten minutes to get downtown, and another twenty-five of stops and starts to reach Sullivan Street.

SYB actually beat me there by subway from Sunnyside. I was sitting in traffic a few blocks away when he called my cell phone with the sad news: Peanut Butter & Co. had run out of bread for the evening. (?!) No bread meant no sandwiches. No sandwiches meant no free jars of peanut butter. Alas. Technically, the shop was still open, so we could still be seated for salads or milkshakes, but that just seemed to defeat the purpose of the outing.

Damn. That’s the last time I plan my night around a peanut butter sandwich.

We ended up at Rare Bar & Grill, the Bleecker Street offshoot of the burger joint located in the lobby of the Shelburne Murray Hill Hotel. Pretty good — and they actually prepared the burger medium-rare as I requested — but still not my favorite hotel lobby burger joint.

While we were picking at our side order of somewhat soggy sweet potato shoestring fries with too sweet maple dipping sauce, a seriously skeletal Kate Bosworth ambled past our sidewalk-side table, looking as if she hadn’t enjoyed a fry or a sandwich in quite some time.

Rare Burger

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