Benny’s, B-Side, fat cat, and the Sadly Defunct Luca Lounge

Filed under all of my friends are prettier than i am, living in new york is neat, par-tay, restaurant ramblings, super furry animals

Last Friday night, a couple of my friends wanted to get together for happy hour, so we scoured and came up with Benny’s Burritos, because we pretty much want to drink giant margaritas all the time. And giant margaritas we had.

For $3, they’ll give you a tumbler of margarita. For $6, you get a Collins glass. And for $9? The biggest beer mug you can imagine. My friends Beth and Charles and I arrived early to take advantage of the deal, which is only offered at the bar, and by the time I finished my coconut-flavored margarita mug, I was giddy. Poor Boyfriend Kamran showed up all professional-like in his button-down and slacks to find me howling and slapping the table at everything Beth and Charles said.

Despite the fact that they live together, Adam has a hard time letting on that he actually likes Sonya.

This is Charles and Kamran’s attempt to look like badasses. SUCCESS!

Fake smile!

Everyone else really sucks at taking non-flash pictures on my camera. Why didn’t I become the steady-handed brain surgeon I planned to be?

And that concludes the Requisite Pictures of People Having Fun portion of this entry.

Not to make this a restaurant review or anything, but I have to mention that our food was pretty great. I’m on a corn kick right now and made Kamran share the corn fritters appetizer with me, which was a plate of little fried balls that resembled hush puppies. And the consistency of their filling was pretty hush-puppy-ish, too, only with CORN added. Best thing you can imagine? I thought so. The burritos were mission-style, so they were huge and full of the stuff you usually see as side dishes. I had the Grilled Mango Burrito, which came with enough mango salsa to douse the thing, and Kamran got the Chicken Chipotle Burrito, which was spice-AY.

Adam was in the mood for foosball, so we walked toward B-Side on surprise! Avenue B. Halfway there, Kamran brought up Luca Lounge, the bar he took me to on our first date lo those many months ago, where we admitted to the embarrassing bands we liked and I made a joke about his timing me while I went to the restroom before remembering that old cellphone commercial where the guy who asks the girl if she wants to time him on the toilet was supposedly a douchebag. Kamran described the red velvet Victorian couches, the backyard garden, the whoa-clean restrooms, and our friends were hooked. And then we got there and found THIS:

Sadly, no!

It was CLOSED! Like, for GOOD! Just then, my best friend Tracey called from Ohio, and when I told her about our bad luck, she reminded me that she and her last boyfriend went back to their first date restaurant on their fourth anniversary, found it had closed, and broke up soon after. NOOOOOOOOOOO! But she’s engaged to someone way awesomer now, so it’s cool. Kamran and I agreed that if this means the end of the line for us, it’s been a good run, and we’ll part without tears and bitterness. Plus, their menu was still lit up outside, and that has to mean something.

We returned to the original plan of B-Side, where we opted for the $5 PBR-and-a-shot-of-the-cheapest-most-painful-going-down-whiskey-you-can-imagine deal. We went to the back room, which was twelve to sixteen hundred degrees but made up for it by having a hugely huge wraparound couch with no apparent rat damage and concert posters for rad bands on the wall. We chugged our whiskey as a group (OR SO WE THOUGHT, UNTIL SOMEONE FOUND A FULL SHOT GLASS LOLLYGAGGING ON OUR TABLE LATER) and then played several thousand rounds of foosball, all of which resulted in outrageous wins for Adam, because he has a foosball table in his office and is a bastard. My camera battery had almost completely died at this point, so I kept turning the thing on for a second and snapping a picture as fast as I could, which resulted in a lot of shots like this:

Yes, Charles is indeed wearing an entire suit. And Beth looks like a mannequin.

Sonya and Adam knew I was starting to get a little sleepy and grumpy, so they dragged us to Le Royale for Robot Rock, ’cause I loooove dancing to some electronic indie whatnot. We ended up having to wait in line for 20 minutes or so, during which time the same guy walked by twice with his girlfriend and said mocking things to us like, “Did you get in yet?” and “I heard this place really sucks.” And when we got to the front of the line, they were trying to charge us $10 to get in. And even though Kamran was going to pay my $10 like the gentleman he is, I refused. WE DO NOT PAY TO GET INTO BARS!

Except when the bar is fat cat, which charges a mere $3 for hours and hours of entertainment. Sonya has tried to get me to go there a million times before, but I’ve always denied her because she’s way too excitable about these sorts of things, and I figured it’d turn out to be super-lame. But there’s pool! And ping-pong! And chess! And Scrabble! And live jazz! And a bunch of dorky hipsters everywhere! It’s a massive (at least by NYC standards) basement with a bunch of tables and chairs for drinkin’ and gamin’, individual netted rooms for ping-pong, and the sort of music that makes you feel like wearing a flapper dress and smoking from an obnoxiously long cigarette holder. It helps that I totally killed Kamran at ping-pong manymany times in a row, but that’s neither here nor there. So I started out my fat cat visit feeling miserable and wanting to leave immediately and ended it by being the last one to want to go.



  1. jessica m. says:

    Please tell me that had one of those beasts at every table. You’ll have to take us there next time we’re in town.

    When are you in Columbus again?

    • I wish! Did you hear about the 44-pound cat they found wandering in Jersey the other day? Kamran and I were watching videos of it this morning and were like, “Actually, um, that thing isn’t cute at all.” We decided that fat cats are a lot like fat humans–they act surly and mostly do nothing but lie around. That makes me very happy.

      I’ll be home August 29th for a wedding and September 20th for a wedding, or one or the other if I can’t afford both. Whee!