“Off the Wagon with Joe Ricchio”
It went like this:
I peeled my eyes open, I felt the familiar unholiness that tells me it’s the next day and yesterday is now my enemy. The morning smelled like charcuterie and baby powder. As I began to mentally search my body for clues to as what terribleness I might have put myself through, it was overwhelmingly apparent that more than a few things were indisputably fucking WRONG. As I moved my arms to cradle the nausea of my belly couldn’t help but notice I had slimmed down a bit in the night. Hey, high five to me. When I then went to then cradle my next most comforting and most sensitive cuppables, I found to my distinct horror my junk was completely gone. Gone. Had I given it away? Sold it? Left it on the nightstand? Panic. As my hands rose to my face to weep, they knocked into a pair of breasts. Wait one fucking minute…
I looked in the mirror. I was like Tom Hanks in Big, except that I was now a fucking chick. And instead of screaming and running out the house and down the street, I may have paused. I did, then, eventually motion to further examine and appreciate my new breasts, only to suddenly feel violated and wholly unimpressed. Plus, the idea of my missing manhood not being able to participate really hampered the mood. How long is this ride going to be? I began to sweat more heavily.
From the floor came the ding of my phone. A panicked message from Katie Schier-Potocki glowed - “Guten Morgen - Where the fuck are you? Don’t worry, we have some extra Lederhosen for you here at Novare. JK. No, really, get here.” What the fuck did that mean?
Pocket Brunch. Right.
Continue reading “Food Coma Through the Eyes of Guest Writer Mariah Bergeron - Oxtoberfest” »
When one is about four bottles of red wine deep, there are certain questions that begin to formulate within the mind, shortly before passing out. Most commonly it begins with “Did I need that 4th bottle?” which is swiftly answered with a resounding “definitely” but then followed with “but why?” This gets me thinking back to the roots of my behavioral tendencies, and in the interest of being wildly self-indulgent I began to lay out an autobiography of sorts, revolving specifically around the fledgling stages of my most pronounced vices.
These translate quite simply to an insatiable lust for food, alcohol, and at times drugs that can actually trigger a fear deep down inside my brain that if I don’t manage to consume everything in front of me at that very second, I may never be afforded a second chance. Obviously I enjoy sex as much as the next person, but there is a certain appeal to being all-alone while indulging the demons and embarking on what Pantera’s Phil Anselmo would refer to as a “psycho holiday.” This, of course, is not to say that I don’t truly love and continue to relish all of the things I have mentioned, but rather to conclude that anything and everything can be over-indulged in to the point where it no longer feels good. This margin shrinks with each passing year after a certain point, and although I am perfectly fine with referring to my 20’s as “throw-away years” I could undoubtedly benefit from a bit of that missing constitution.
When analyzing my own background, it is apparent that overeating was my first infatuation. I recollect being on vacation with my family in Orlando as a young child and going to a Sizzler Steakhouse for dinner. Celebrated for its far-reaching all-you-can-eat buffet, it was an enchanted place where I could help myself to all manners of mediocre food in whatever quantities I desired. On this particular visit, for some reason, I also opt to order an additional basket of all-you-can-eat fried shrimp. In retrospect, I really can’t fault my dad for informing me that I was going to “turn into a goddamn balloon and float away,” though in retrospect I could have reminded him that balloons were generally filled with either helium or hydrogen, and even water or piss in some instances, rather than colossal amounts of delectable golden crispy shrimp.
This is not to say that “family mealtime” each night revolved around “spa food” by any stretch of the imagination. There was always the prerequisite mountain of dinner rolls with a tub of Country Crock Shedd’s Spread, and a squeeze bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch was constantly at hand to safely annihilate any possibility of a salad imparting any kind of nutritional value. After school snack time found me left to my own culinary devices, and during a particularly rousing episode of Chip N’ Dales Rescue Rangers I accidentally stumble upon one of life’s great pleasures, the combination of salty and sweet, in the form of pastel-colored mini-marshmallows and oyster crackers. Not only are these the ultimate petite fours when stacked into mini-sandwiches, but they are also delicious when washed down with an ice-cold pitcher of Country Time Lemonade. Really though, it tasted pretty fucking great, and I will stand by my gastronomic inventions until the day that I expire. Continue reading “The Road to Excess Part 1: The Formative Years” »
I am in no way ashamed to admit that, when searching for apartments in the Boston area, I was swayed by the very first place that we viewed based on its proximity to Vinny’s Ristorante on Broadway in East Somerville. I knew of this gem because many years ago an ex-girlfriend of mine had sworn by it, arranging special trips down from Portland (which suffers from a gaping black hole in regards to this style of cuisine) for the sole purpose of eating there. In fact, on my very first visit I was actually complimented by a neighboring solo diner who was “really impressed by how much I was able to eat.” Years later, when recounting this event, I am reminded of a quote from Jack Nicholson, who was reported to have told author Jim Harrison that “Only in the Midwest is overeating still considered an act of heroism.” Well I say fuck it, though there is very little that is heroic about being completely incapacitated after being murdered with food, there is nothing worse than the judgmental looks from those who are disappointed because you “eat like a pussy.”
To be honest, despite my obsession with the cookery of various Asian countries as well as that of Central and South America, there is nothing more comforting and nostalgic to me than old-school Italian-American fare. Red sauce, meatballs, lots of butter, and lots of garlic – these are things that comfort me even in the throes of the most soul-crushing hangover, especially when coupled with a sea of fruity and somewhat insipid cheap red wine and old episodes of Friday Night Lights.
Judging by the exterior, one of the highlights of which is a payphone all decked out like an Italian flag, one would assume that Vinny’s is simply a deli and nothing more. Though they do operate as a sandwich shop daily from 6AM to 8PM, the small dining room in the back bustles to life around 5PM, with seating overseen by a Maître D on busier nights. After passing through the gateway that seems to have been designed to give patrons the impression that they are entering from a street in downtown Palermo rather than a brightly-lit sandwich shop, one is greeted with the prerequisite cheesy décor of exposed brick, wine bottles, and a mural depicting the “old country.” Various statuettes, ranging from Sammy Davis Jr. to the Nutcracker, are both wildly confusing and perfectly complimentary to the setting – which is ideal for tucking a napkin into your wifebeater and going to fucking town on a mountain of food.
Certain things are a must-have for me on any trip to Vinny’s, the first being the littleneck clam appetizer with garlic and oil. The table bread has the perfect ratio of soft to crusty, making it ideal to transport every last bit of the insanely rich sauce to your mouth once all of the clams have been greedily snatched up. I find that the perfect wine to pair up with all of this is the Argiolas Costamolino, a crisp, refreshing Vermentino from Sardinia that is priced, like most of the list here, in the mid 20’s by the bottle. I like to enjoy the first half of the bottle at a leisurely rate, and then shotgun the second half in a desperate attempt to regain my appetite after the massive bowl of butter and clams. Continue reading “Somerville Food Coma Part 1: Vinny’s Ristorante” »
With Special Guests:
Chef/Restaurateur Barbara Lynch
Comedian Ray Harrington
Hip-Hop Artist Sonya Tomlinson A.K.A. Sontiago
Food Coma Muse and Pocket Brunch Co-Creator Joel Beauchamp
Directed by Dean Merrill assisted by Andrea Nilosek
We would like to thank the cast, crew, musicians, and of course, Nosh Kitchen Bar for making it happen!
Also - without our Sponsors we are nothing:
Allagash Brewing Company
Old Port Wine Merchants
Novare Res Bier Cafe
David’s Opus Ten
Maine Mead Works!
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