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On a lovely, unseasonably warm evening, I had the novel idea of grabbing some oysters and happy hour drinks. As the sun set over the Hudson, my boyfriend and I decided to take a stroll through the West Village, and find a nice neighborhood spot to enjoy appetizers and cocktails, like any self-respecting New Yorker.
We settled on The Quarter, a restaurant on the corner of West 10th and Hudson, because it was close to my apartment, and they boasted $1.00 Oysters all night long.
We grabbed a table for two and waited patiently for the waiter to come. He had nodded at us several times, acknowledging our existence, but then appeared to proceed to avoid us for a full ten minutes.
Strange. We were in no hurry though, so why make a fuss.
Finally, our server made his way over. He, however, scurried away about as quickly as he came.
Our server seemed to continue to strategically avoid us, but we were ready to order, and eventually flagged him down again. After surveying the cocktail menu, we had decided upon two spicy Margaritas, and 12–no, 16–Oysters on the half shell.
After eyeing the fries at the table beside us for far too long and with what I’m sure was uncomfortable intensity, we figured we’d better order those as well.
Our Margaritas came, and we were dumbstruck. They were weak, almost undrinkable. Just downright bad. Neither of us are want to send back food willy-nilly, but this was underwhelming. We were trying to get our buzz on, dammit! So we asked to exchange them for a couple of beers. Because you can’t go wrong with that. We ordered two Lagunita’s IPAs.
Five minutes later, our server appeared, no beers in hand. They were out of the IPA.
Hey, we weren’t complaining. Good company, lovely weather…so we chose a couple of other beers and shrugged it off.
But after another few minutes of being on our best behavior, our stomachs started to grumble, and our patiences stated to wear thin. “What’s going on. Are they cooking the oysters?” we wondered, as we continued to wait for our food to arrive.
When they came, a strange yellowy film was magnified by the lights which had just been turned on, as it had grown dark outside. Oh well, we at them anyways. These creatures died for us! But, they were tasteless, and seemed engorged.
“This is the first time I’ve wished oysters were smaller…” My boyfriend mused. He also remarked on the confusing, tasteless, nature of our horseradish, cocktail sauce, and vinegar: “It’s like they just go buy normal condiments, and then put water in them…”
“I’ve never burned my mouth on something that’s also undercooked…” said my discontent date, “It’s simultaneously too hot and too cold!” And since when did it become acceptable to not offer ketchup with fries? Instead, we were presented with an alternative tomato based sauce, no doubt the restaurant’s attempt at home-made ketchup, which they hoped would elevate the meal.
Nope, they were wrong. Sorry folks, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Especially when your fix is something decidedly worse. Heinz would’ve done the trick just fine.
We suffered through the last moments of our meal, because we knew that no matter how mediocre everything was, it would also be expensive, and we felt inclined to consume our money’s worth. We giggled at the irony, stuffing our stomachs full of things that we really didn’t want or enjoy.
When the bill came, it was bad. Far pricier than we’d anticipated. We each left a 20% tip, because, despite it all…it was actually an incredibly good time. Weirdly, worth every penny.
It’s amazing how warm weather and hearts for eyes can transform any experience into a positive one.
Spring is magical, people.