… because believe us, beer ain’t beer. But don’t feel bad if you thought it was. We did too. Until our new manager Andy Acker arrived.
See, Inez had just finished up an afternoon whittling the testicles off guinea-fowl, and had slipped out to the picnic table, having spotted a shard of sunshine refracted through a giant icicle dangling like the Sword of Damocles from the roof. On her way, she grabs a beer and shouts for Andy to join her. Which, shortly thereafter, he does:
Inez: Hey, I think Spring might actually be here …
Andy: What’s that?
Andy: I said, what’s that? (He points to can of Narragansett on the table)
Inez: Umm … it’s a beer.
Andy: Hmm. Domestic lager. So soon after the vernal equinox?
Inez: Oh, er … I dunno, is it? (smiles) They’re all the same, right?
Andy: May I? (gestures towards it. She nods. He picks it up by his fingertips. Holds it aloft against the sun. Presses it to his cheek, closes his eyes, emits a low hum. Finally, wafting his fingers like a thrush’s wing over the opening, takes a long sniff followed by several staccato snifflets. Silence)
Inez: You okay?
Andy: Oxidized. Because you drank the first third rapidly, the remaining liquid has reacted with pocketed air within the vessel, throwing off the pH and initiating the first stages of a reverse Haber process.
Andy: Whereby the surface of the lager is gradually becoming low molarity aluminium hydroxide in solution. Leave this can in the sun for fifteen years and you’ll be drinking bauxite.
Andy: Would you like me to titrate you an IPA?
Remember when beer was just the short and glittering road to being shit-arsed? The longer the road, the shittier the arse? When a word like ale was as snort-inducing as mead, flagon or i’faith, draw me a tankard of sack, buxom serving wench? The provenance of short, pudgy hermaphrodites who dressed in plastic armour to beat each other with nerf-swords in fields outside Leicester? Or pockmarked university drama lecturers playing the celtic drum in Wiltshire pubs, singing about bonny shoals of herring with fingers in their ears? Well not any more. These days an otherwise unretarded-seeming Williamsburger in his thirties will barely blush when referring to beer by its mouthfeel or quaffability: behaviour which (in days of yore) would have got you a firm dart in the middle of the forehead, if not a golden baptism down the toilet-bowl in the Gents whilst involuntarily munching on a slice of moist urinal cake. Being a hophead meant somebody was actually hopping up and down on your head. In the car park. Amongst the discarded rubber johnnies.
Not at Table on Ten though, by golly! There’s no prophylactics in our car park. Hell, we don’t even have a car park!
But we do have beer, and we also have Andy – our new Virgil, fated to lead us by the sweaty paw through the labyrinth of the Craft Beer Inferno. Where all names begin with DOG or end in WHALE. And where half a gallon of last-summer’s paddling-pool water, fermented up a cow’s uterus with a handful of Polish zlotys and stirred with a limp celery stick constitutes a fine idea for an after-hours Spring brewski.
First up in the artisanal small-batch wet t-shirt contest: Southern Tier ‘Nu Skool’ IPA, from Lakewood NY, a short ambulance ride from Buffalo.
This one is characterized by middle-school spelling, bringing to mind notes of sweaty snowboard boot, overnight-wetsuit-in-the-trunk-of-mom’s-Subaru and jockstrap. Originally in the category of awesome, it soon became rad before settling into lit with shades of amazeballs. The perfect beer if you’re planning on free-climbing the pizza oven, base-jumping from the garbage cans or wingsuiting over to Sal’s for a breakfast sandwich. Have two or three. Go cray-cray.
Burial Beer Billows Hoppy Kölsch out of Asheville, NC.
This one combines heavy alliteration (Bradley burnished Bobby’s biggest bollock) with implied European exotica, crowned with an umlaut. Kölsch was apparently a serious mover-and-shaker in the Dusseldorf bondage scene; combined with the name Burial, we’re looking at some serious goth undertones here. Sleeve-tattoos, ear-gauges and two semesters at SUNY Oneonta. For more insight, look no further than Burial’s own product description: ‘it is our smoke signal to all brewers, our brethren in craft, and all who enjoy a light quaffable ale with hearty aroma: this is your beer.’ Yes, they said brethren in craft and quaffable ale. Two tugs on the nipplering-o-meter …
Von Trapp Vienna Lager comes yodeling down the Vermont berghang in tight lederhosen, honking its alpenhorn with eidelweiss in its underpants.
No, you’re not hearing voices from your secret show-tunes days. That’s von Trapp, as in Maria von Trapp. As in Captain von Trapp, seven children and a mess of funny Nazis. Yup. This one features high-notes of raindrops on roses with back-end whiskers on kittens. Four Vienna’s shotgunned in succession will make you lay-ee-odl-lay-ee-odl-lay-hee-hoo like Julie Andrews getting a Jägermeister enema high on a hill from a lonely goatherd; the aftereffects of which include brown paper packages tied up with string and a dream that will need all the love you can give every day of your life for as long as you live.
That’s it. Our first litter of craft beer triplets, all meanly wrapped in swaddling bands. They’re here now, gurgling away in a refrigerated manger, awaiting the plump ministrations of your immaculate nipples. Come on down to Bloomville and express yourselves.
On December 31st 2016 the staff of Table on Ten were cryogenically frozen in hermetically sealed pods and shot into outer space. By bending the time-space continuum, each was afforded a full-life on Planet H2T in the phlebotic region of the Crab Nebula, where society is organized according to tenets culled from the lyrics of Barry Manilow. Laura learned to sauté protoplotids in the ink of the flabberjubulus, while Inez had triplets with a blob of slime before inaugurating the Disco revival and taking holy orders. She walked out, tentacle in hand.
All in the space of two months.
But we’re back. Two gallons of green semi-gloss, a spanking new doorknob, some postcards from the kids (Qblib is teaching Slime as a Foreign Language on Gammaglobulin4) and we’re in the kitchen ready to go.
Right now, that is. Even as we write. Hours are as usual. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday daytimes. Pizza Night Friday and Saturday. And every Friday and Saturday ’til the sun peels the paint and the seat covers fade and the water moccasin dies.
Thursday – 9 to 3
Friday – 9 to 3 then 6 to 9
Saturday 4th March – 9 to 3 then 6 to 9
Sunday 5th March – 9 to 3
Come on down. The price is right. What’s your name?
It’s that time of year. And it came like some an arctic lemur, with a scalpel of ice in its tail.
Hours for the holiday season are as follows:
Thursday 22nd – 9 to 3
Friday 23rd – 9 to 3 and 6 to 9 (pizza night)
Saturday 24th (Christmas Eve) – 9 to 3 but NO PIZZA NIGHT
Sunday 25th (Christmas Day) – CLOSED
Monday 26th to Wednesday 28th – closed as usual
Thursday 29th – 9 to 3
Friday 30th – 9 to 3 and 6 to 9 (final pizza night of 2016)
Saturday 31st (New Year’s Eve) – 9 to 3 but NO PIZZA NIGHT
From 1st January 2017 till March 2nd, Table on Ten will be closed while the staff scour the cosmos for good stuff and inspiration. We’ll be back for show-and-tell at the first hint of thaw, tails quivering like bunnies.
Brrr. Put a second pair of socks on. And The Clash’s Sandinista! or Wire’s Pink Flag. That’ll do it.
Hand-made by Gowanus Elves
• salted caramel apple
• black bottom pumpkin
• buttermilk chess
• chocolate pecan
• salty honey
• black bottom oat
607 832 4538 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve
We”ll be open specially from 6 to 7 on Wednesday evening (23rd) for pickup of reserved pies and maybe a glass of wine.
English polemicist Hobbes,
Took to bigamy in between jobs,
“I’d do less perspiring
And much more inspiring
If I had me four balls and two knobs.”
We’ve reached that bloodshot, coke-addled point in the political polemic when the Carnival of Assholes has become functionally unbearable. Last night the hours between 2.30 and 4.15 were spent gazing at the ceiling like Munch’s The Scream, sleeplessly contemplating the horror of being governed by a giant, bloated incubus muppet: whatever happened to the old chestnuts of financial destitution, lovelessness, cancer, infant mortality and the bomb?
We all need a break.
Friday night we register our protest at #peakdrivel by running screaming from our houses in pantyhose and fishermen’s cable-knits, wrapping the entire interior of the Table on Ten in newspaper and inviting Nate Smith and Sophie Kamin (from Bar Bolinas and Allswell) and Emily Elsen (from Four and Twenty Blackbirds) to man the existential barricades alongside Inez in a steadfast one-night cookathon which will employ every last scrap of vegetation remaining in Delaware County. Star Route, Berry Brook, Burnetts and Hellers will be rendered desolate wastelands. Further supplies will be pillaged from Key Training Farm, Cowbella, Bovina Valley, Greenane and Marguerite, along with the rude knobbly bits from fridges, shelves, sides of the road, Ollie’s matted flanks and the trunk of the Subaru. Scorched earth harvesting. What’ll remain when we’re done is rocks, stumps and grubby-handled toddler’s pull-toys, each missing a wheel.
No tickets, no invitations, tastings or pairings. No french linen sheets repurposed as tablecloths or backwoods banjo-string-quartets. You don’t have to simper like a poodle or prance like a dressage-pony.
No need to hashtag, like, follow, lie, cheat, namaste or lol. Neither to choreograph kittens or petals, crush persimmons, nor scatter ground-cherries onto beds of milkweed fluff. Leave your prohibition-era assless chaps, pomade and rolled-up cap-sleeves at home, there’ll be no biblical ram-slaughter. Hell, you could even contrive to forget your iPhone.
Call us up to tell us you’re coming, then come. Or swing by. Like any other pizza night.
The only difference is the whole damn menu.
And no pizza.
Chewin’ the Cud with Nate, Emily, Sophie and Inez
Friday 4th November, Table on Ten, 6 to 9
Menu will Quite Probably Include
SOFT BOILED EGG – $5
spruce aioli, garlic chives, tarragon
URSULA KALE AND APPLE SALAD – $12
Alderney cheese, armagnac prunes
WINTER CHOPPED SALAD – $10
beets, cabbage, celeriac, cumin koji maple dressing, cilantro, mint
CAST IRON SOURDOUGH WITH PRESERVED TOMATOES – $10
ROASTED VEGETABLES WITH RED MOLE (the sauce, not the insectivore) – $12
potatoes, cardoons, turnips
SPICED LENTILS AND NETTLES – $10
tomatoes, yogurt, mint
ROASTED BROCCOLI RABE – $12
TAMARIND PORK – $18
Cortland onions, pickled peppers
SALTED CARAMEL APPLE MINI-PIES – $7
maple syrup, fresh frozen yogurt, bee pollen
bring your own children and cigarettes
Sunday 23rd of October, 1 till 3 at Table on Ten
UPDATE ON LYME with MARGUERITE UHLMANN-BOWER
PREPARE FOR NEXT YEAR
HOW ABOUT THIS WINTER?
The following questions may or may not be addressed;
• what is it?
• why’s it here?
• as if I didn’t have enough to worry about?
• I feel like an over-caffeinated zombie, blundering through life embalmed in kleenex wearing oven-mitts. I can hardly form words. Have I got it?
• or is that just Delaware County on a Tuesday afternoon?
• if I’ve got it, what can I do about it?
• if I haven’t got it, what can I do to keep not having it?
• if I have a fear of not missing out, what can I do to get it?
• my dog looks like an over-caffeinated zombie and she’s wearing oven-mitts. Has she got it?
• same with my kids.
• does it look good on Instagram?
• was it dropped by the government to eat the flies that ate the tent caterpillars?
• what the fuck?
• is it just some upstate Brooklyn badge-of-honor thing, like looking maybe to build a cabin on some land?
• or burying a pig?
• if I found it crawling in my butt-crack, which friend would I call to come take it out?
• if I drink colloidal silver will I be able to join Blue Man Group?
• is it married?
• is it one of the 207 Greatest Insects in the World?
• is it allergic to cheap brandy in large quantities?
• can I use this as a defense against a DUI?
• can it be pickled to garnish a salad of shiso-fermented turnip greens?
• would it help if my pants were tighter? I’m not sure that’s possible, just asking.
• did the immigrants do it?
• I haven’t seen my genitals in half a decade, how am I supposed to spot a comma crawling across the folds of my back under six layers of Spanx?
• if we opened on a Sunday night, would it come and eat pizza?
• is this the first time it’s been kind of useful that I’m bald?
• will it make America great again?
• if I set up a long table in a field on an evening with candles and wine and crucified sheep, would everybody who attends get it?
• there’s an insect in Africa whose life-cycle involves burrowing into the eyes of children and blinding them by eating its way out. Explain this in terms of a benign, omniscient God.
• is it allergic to pomade?
• did you just fart?
• Jesus, at the dinner table?
Act I, Sc. i.
The Upper House of the Extraordinary Assembly of the Munificent Senate of O’rb. A patrician array of Senators gaze down from an amphitheater upon a single figure, isolated on the forum floor.
MAKYU G’NARTH: Fellow O’rbians. What you see before you is Earth; a minor planetoid in the Glabber Nebula of Galaxy N3541, dominated by a primitive life-form known as humans. These are carbon-based polyforms, increasingly fleshy in texture, adhering to a docile herd mentality. They have foresworn binary fission in favor of rudimentary reproduction praxis whereby a small protofrobulus in the median fuselage of one organism is rendered momentarily turgid before being inserted into the pre-moistened flabbulus of another. Gestation is approximately 43 quidlips. Offspring require an entire lifespan to reach maturity and usually fail.
PRABRA V’NUIK: Fascinating work, Comrade G’Narth. Are these creatures self-sustaining?
MAKYU G’NARTH: They process the atmosphere with filters in the upper fuselage. This is supplemented by inhaling the fumes of dried foliage rolled into tubes, ignited and consumed through a vacuole in the anterior facia-orb, foreshortening lifespan but looking cool.
VOP’R BLAHNIK: So the vacuole is used for both respiration and digestion?
MAKYU G’NARTH: Also communication and fornication.
VOP’R BLAHNIK: By the Sands of Garblon, this is truly a busy vacuole.
MAKYU G’NARTH: The orifice is irrigated, studded with small bones and contains a lurid fleshy protuberance not unlike an undersea nodule of Gloon.
(The entire Senate groans in disgust)
PRABRA V’NUIK: And the reproductive vacuole? Is it similarly embroidered?
MAKYU G’NARTH: Whilst irrigated, the flabbulus is not ordinarily festooned with bones.
PRABRA V’NUIK: Thank Jorplips for that!
MAKYU G’NARTH: Indeed.
ANCH’L BRABNOB: And are these organisms sustained by means other than respiration?
MAKYU G’NARTH: Yes. They propagate and consume the dead bodies of genetically inferior species around them.
ANCH’L BRABNOB: Consume?
MAKYU G’NARTH: Stuff them in the food vacuole, my Lord, whereby they are masticated into nutritional slurry.
ANCH’L BRABNOB: (appalled) Hence the small bones and irrigated nodule of Gloon …
(general murmurs of astonishment and disbelief)
VOP’R BLAHNIK: So let us be clear on this, Comrade G’Narth. These organisms systematically induce less evolved life-forms to reproduce for the sole purpose of placing them into suppurating bodily orifices and grinding them into nutritive matter?
MAKYU G’NARTH: Correct.
ANCH’L BRABNOB: And the propagation facilities? What kind of things are these?
MAKYU G’NARTH: They call them ‘Farms’.
ANCH’L BRABNOB: ‘Farms’? The same word we use to describe our excretory proboscis?
MAKYU G’NARTH: The very same, My Lord. Inferior organisms are often combined and alchemized with heat, before being ritually consumed upon a sacrificial platform known as the Table.
ANCH’L BRABNOB: So … ‘Farm … (disgustedly) to Table’?
MAKYU G’NARTH: Exactly. We have recently discovered what appears to be a religious doctrine etched upon hammered vegetative matter which elucidates the prime geographical locations in which these ritual acts of sacrifice are undertaken.
PRABRA V’NUIK: And what is the name of this odious screed, Comrade G’Narth?
MAKYU G’NARTH: ‘Where in the World to Eat’ by Condé Nast Traveler. ‘207 of the Greatest Restaurants in the World According to Those Who Eat, Cook and Travel for a Living’.
VOP’R BLAHNIK: Snappy title.
ANCH’L BRABNOB: Is it written in a language we understand?
MAKYU G’NARTH: Largely humanoid words of one syllable, my Lord, repetitive and replete with banal illustrations. It is easily assimilated.
PRABRA V’NUIK: Comrade G’Narth, can you provide us with examples culled from this scroll of horrors?
Makyu G’Narth places a metal briefcase on the stand in front of him. He disengages a secure clasping device and opens the lid. A hiss of stale air emanates from inside. The audience is rapt. He removes a small, loosely bound stack of papers, sifts studiously through a few pages, then clears his metal throat.
MAKYU G’NARTH: ‘Noma. Copenhagen, Kingdom of Denmark. Hand-throttled trouser eel, still wriggling, served raw with a rosette of arctic fart radish and a pickled hemorrhoid’.
(a collective gasp of astonishment from the assembly)
PRABRA V’NUIK: (defeated) One more please, Comrade G’Narth. We must know what we are dealing with here.
MAKYU G’NARTH: (turns a few more pages) Table on Ten, Bloomville, New York. The best artisanal pizza I’ve ever had, and herby salads so fresh you can hear them growing. Yes, the owner Inez Valk was a model, and everyone is beautiful and funny and there are movie nights downstairs and guitar playing all summer long and, and …’
ANCH’L BRABNOB: … and what?
MAKYU G’NARTH: Difficult to say, Anch’l Brabnob. The speaker may have been butchered and eaten before she finished her sentence.
VOP’R BLAHNIK: What in the Greasy Gonads of Krumpior is … Pizza?
MAKYU G’NARTH: A bland disc of flattened carbohydrate upon which chopped viscera are placed before being incinerated in a fire of trees. It is consumed with the pressed and fermented body fluids of other organisms.
ANCH’L BRABNOB: And ‘artisanal’?
MAKYU G’NARTH: We are unsure. Our scholars suspect it involves humans expressing themselves creatively with excrement.
VOP’R BLAHNIK: The description of screaming salads will haunt my dreams.
MAKYU G’NARTH: Priests and priestesses are known to mark their own skins with regrettable hieroglyphs and to promote the establishment of fungus around each others’ food vacuoles.
PRABRA V’NUIK: It is beyond comprehension. How can a culture become so debased? To have fetishized the merely functional act of nutrition to the point of pornography? What profound emptiness haunts their souls?
VOP’R BLAHNIK: They are beyond redemption and must be annihilated.
MAKYU G’NARTH: This should not be difficult, Vop’r Blahnik. Whilst savage in their appetites, years of decadence and cultural malaise have left them flabby and effete. Many even claim to be congenitally allergic to the tissues of the organisms they slaughter. Weak and infantile, addicted to vapid simplicity and two-dimensional prettiness, they will succumb without a struggle.
PRABRA V’NUIK: Arm the warheads. We must show no mercy.