I have a secret: I am a Lady Gaga fan. It is true; I am a "little monster." My musical tastes are eclectic but I never saw Gaga coming. Since the "Famed Monster" got downloaded, it has been a recurring selection. So when I heard Gaga was heading to the Big Apple, I was on the next thing smoking aka Amtrak.
I have had my fair share of Gaga vision. I have seen the concert more times than I can count.
Thanks to my favorite "Headbanging Harpist", I have even made it back stage to see and meet her more than once.
The show is AMAZING. From a small two bus tour started in 2009, the tour will end next month with a corral of tour buses, a back stage staff of 100+ and one of the most profitable tours in years. Gaga is quickly approaching MJ status.
Hanging with the stars I became privy to a beatnik hangout that attracts the industry's elite. The unsuspecting Cafeteria hangs on the corner of 7th Ave and 17th in the Chelsea District. Initially the word "Cafeteria" conjured images of meatloaf and green jello mold from high school. But I soon would realize, this is not your "high school" restaurant.
The plain lettering sign out front does not entice you to come in but the energy inside spills out and grabs you through the window views.
The whitewash, art deco-designed eatery is a fashion statement in itself. You can walk the catwalk over to the black-marbled bar for a specialty cocktail or vogue in the open dining room or nestle in one of the secluded nooks. Unabashedly, I am a "people watcher" so I got a table in plain view.
I heard rumors about the mac and cheese. Could there be one as good as mine? Let's just say, I forked through the ooey, gooey goodness in search of flaws and found very little wrong. I am rare to recommend a mac and cheese that didn't come out of someone's personal kitchen. The Cafeteria has been added to discriminating list.
With all day, breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, the rotation keeps the comfort food selections plentiful. Try the distinctive Croissant french toast for a glimpse into the breakfast menu. Dip the Cornmeal calamari in the house made Roasted tomato sauce for lunch or dinner. And end your meal with a very different Apple pie ravioli.
I am a big "breakfast-for-dinner" type of guy. I sampled the whimsical Green Eggs and Ham. Honestly this dish needs a little help. I get that this is comfort food but the attention to detail just was not given to the entire plate. The scrambled eggs with a proper blend of pesto and goat cheese took a thoughtful hand. They nailed that! But the "slab" of grilled ham was just that - a slab! And do I need to explain my sorrow when I have a less than cared for piece of pork? The fresh baked biscuit was a great scooper and compliment to the eggs. With a little focus, this can be great, hint-hint.
Wash those cafeteria memories of tater tots and hair nets with your own visit. You are. You eat -as the Cafeteria puts it.