Breaking Up with Community Food and Juice

In Restaurant Review on January 21, 2012 at 6:00 am

The beginnings of relationships are always great.  Every action they make is performed with the utmost of grace and charm and you eagerly await the next time you can see them. They can do no wrong in your eyes. Then things start to change; the honeymoon period inevitably comes to an end. Their unique quirks that you once found so endearing seem less so, and begin to cause irritation. You try to convince yourself that they are just having an “off day,” but the reality of the deteriorating situation begins to set in. Things have changed. You long to go back to that time when everything was fresh and exciting, but those days are over.

Community Food and Juice, I think it’s time that you and I start to see other people.

You understand, right? It’s not that I won’t look back fondly on all of our memories together, but I’m tired of not knowing which version of you I’m going to get. One night you’re everything I know you to be — smart, generous, attentive — but then on another you seem withdrawn, detached, and I regret coming over in the first place. I remember a time years ago when I used to beg my parents if I could go out and see you. Now, after each subsequent visit, I feel less and less compelled to do so. It was perfectly fitting a few nights ago when I was over at your place and B.B. King’s “The Thrill is Gone” came over the sound system.

I really did mean it when I told my friends that I thought you had the best burger in the city. But now, each time I order it the size of the patty is smaller than the time before. It’s like one of those Russian nesting dolls made of beef, and I keep getting a younger sister.

And what’s with the prices? I understand that times are tough, but you used to be a haven for Columbia students looking to go out for a good meal. Now, it seems like fewer and fewer people stop by, and those who do are usually much older. You used to be packed until the early hours of the morning, and now you close the kitchen at ten o’clock. What happened? You used to be so cool.

Again, there are many aspects of our relationship that I will truly miss. Your brick chicken with Israeli cous cous was one of my favorites —  the meat was always tender, the skin crispy, and the cous cous rich and scented with rosemary and thyme. And you know I’m a sucker for your roast duck with spaetzle and shaved Brussels sprouts. It was so great when you added the confit duck leg to the sprouts, it added an earthy complexity to an already wonderful dish. That was the first time I actually ever enjoyed Brussels sprouts, and now because of you, I’m hooked for life. Oh, and remember that summer a few years back when you had grasshopper pie for dessert? My parents loved you for that.

So, don’t think of this as a breakup, just some time apart. I think we could both benefit from trying new things, seeing new people. Who knows, maybe once some time has passed we could go out and grab a bite to eat. No hard feelings, okay?


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