A trip into to the city, for whatever the reason, is nearly always an excuse to eat, especially if it is around lunchtime. Today was no exception. We went in to get the boy a haircut. I didn't really think he needed one, especially since he was beginning to have that 70's look. However, he had been complaining that it tickled his ears so I decided that a trim would solve the problem. Unfortunately she lopped almost all of it off, but I digress..
After haircuts, we usually go to Westville, an adorably small place with what I like to think of as a 'greenmarket meets comfort food menu'..Niman Ranch hot dogs with organic green beans, Brussels sprouts and milkshakes..To me it seems to be the perfect nook for lunch with child but I ran into another mom at the kiddy hair salon once who said she wouldn't dream of going there with her son because of the cramped quarters. We discussed it for a few minutes and then she left. Much to my surprise, we bumped into them eating there awhile later. The meal appeared to be going fine. Parents often underestimate the ability of their kids to adapt to restaurant environments..which brings me to our lunch.
Instead of Westville, I decided to search for something else. After all, the West village is filled with possibilities and I feared we were stuck in a Westvillian rut. Time to branch out.
As we ambled down West 4th Street I happened upon Mary's Fish Camp. Now this is one of those places, along with Pearl Oyster Bar and other tiny seafood joints, that has linesout the door at night but it had never occurred to me to try it during the day; nor had it even crossed my radar as a "lunch with the boy" type of place. After all, it was small, usually crowded and somewhat pricey. Nonetheless, I had to stop and read the menu, even though I already knew what I would have..the lobster roll. So we stopped, I peered into the window and saw that the restaurant was nearly empty. It was a sign.
I couldn't help but ask,"Would you like to have a lobster sandwich?" He immediately nodded yes and in we went. We had the run of the place but he chose to eat at the counter. He loves to be a part of the cooking action. We ordered the lobster roll, a side of asparagus and a lemonade. Our platter arrived along with a heaping side of shoe string fries which go so well with the mayonnaisey goodness of the lobster chunks. Unfortunately, the lobster made Izzy cough "Too peppery, mama". So after eating only a few bites he left the rest for me except for a few intermittent mouthfuls of the mayonnaise-covered bun which he nibbled on along with his fries and asparagus.
Despite my reservations, the meal was somewhat of a success. It had the added appeal of chatty waitstaff and I didn't even have to break out the restaurant toy bag. The dining experience was diverting enough, in and of itself. Something that seems to be occurring more and more.