The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Peppa's Places...Second

While the smoky drums jerking birds behind Peppa's may approximate the Kingston vibe, they were no match for the exquisite chicken of Exquisite Express on Church near Nostrand, so says a piece in a certain weekly of a certain age. Never been myself. The People's Choice on Parkside was an offshoot of Exquisite for a hot minute, and I did sample their signature delicacy and was somewhat impressed. The fact is though, Peppa's does a beautiful bird - charred skin and moist meat (ew...did I really just write that phrase?) So why would I hoof over to the very reaches of the hood just for a slightly better mound of meaty morsels?

All this must sound utterly revolting to vegetarians. Actually, these chickens and the ones at my other fave joint "Melany," a Dominican treasure on the corner of Lenox and Flatbush, are probably the LEAST organic farm fresh cage free birds on the planet. They seem to be made almost entirely of breast, which suggests they didn't have a lot of room to frolic. I know for myself that when I don't get exercise I too seem to turn entirely to breast. I'm already white meat, so it's the breasty part that troubles me. Somehow, I've twisted it in my head that it's okay, since it's "ethnic" food. Ever LOOKED at the pork in chinese food? What is that exactly? The burger at a Greek greasy spoon? The chunks of lamb in Indian take-out? They almost all scream "Forgive me Jonathan Safran Foer, for I have sinned, and I know you're Jewish and this confession must seem a bit strange coming from a complete stranger, but for the love of Jehovah take away my carnivorous shame!"

Back in the real world, the one where the Village Voice has lost nearly every ounce of cultural currency it once had, but still chugs along as sort of a Triple A farm team for the majors (actually, if the VV is Triple A, what is the Q? Tee-ball? Hmm...maybe bloggers in glasses shouldn't throw other people's glasses, or whatever Billy Joel implied*), a piece comes at us judging the relative merits of the Jerks in the area. Give it a read and see if you agree!

Village Voice Jerk

* Ever notice how hits ABOUT Rock 'n' Roll are often the worst sorts of rock 'n' roll? Forget the Velvet Underground song...that was most definitely not a hit in its day. But Billy Joel's "It's Still Rock and Roll To Me" from the above-mentioned Glass Houses album; Huey Lewis and the News with "The Heart of Rock 'n' Roll," Boob Seeger's "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll." Kiss's overrated "Rock 'n' Roll All Night" hardly rock 'n' rolls at all...more of a Grand Funk Boogie. "We Built This City (On Rock 'n' Roll) is closer to Broadway than Little Richard. I'll even go out on a limb and say Led Zep's "Rock 'n' Roll" is WAY not rock 'n' roll. I don't even think it's that good, frankly. It barely grooves at all. Only the "lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely time" has any pizazz. The rest is all fuzz and muscle. I love John Fogerty, like LOVE John Fogerty, but "Rock 'n' Roll Girls" is completely sexless. Check out Peter, Paul and Mary's outstanding "I Dig Rock 'n' Roll," and as great as it is you can't accuse it of making you want to jitter bug. Even Joan Jett's version of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" is lifeless if you listen close. Slow, lumbering, the beat plods along and only the guitar sound and her voice have any life at all. Ever try to dance to that song? It's near impossible. Embarrassing even, cuz you get up going "yeah, dude, Joan Jett!" and then you start dancing and pretty soon you look like a slow-mo caveman stuck in La Brea Tar Pits long before there was a museum there. I mean LONG before there was a museum there.

Songs with rock 'n' roll in the title that actually rock include: Rock 'n' Roll High School by the effin' brilliant Ramones, Any others? Please share. (Without dropping names, I had lunch with a certain rock "n" roll critic the other day with whom I was once em-banded, and told him despite my past I NEVER blog about music, but then, in classic my-generational fashion said to myself "rules are for schools" and did the exact opposite. So there, Mr. Critic! Now, sir, I challenge you to write about Community Board Committee Meetings and then see how many twitter followers you attract. Not so easy, is it?


James said...

My wife and I went to Melany a couple times to sit down and eat and both times the service was so passive-aggressively hostile, we left before we could even order (BLARING music - they even turned it up shortly after we entered, major side-eye from the clientel, the staff ignored us and then finally came around with the pained expression of "are you really gonna ruin my day by ordering some food? Oh, and NOW you're going to ask me question ABOUT the food??? Aaaauuuuuggghhhhh!!!!"), etc.

Anyway, sorry to rant, but has anyone else had that experience at Melany or was it just us?

Anonymous said...

Your definition of a song that "rocks" is very specific. But I would say that David Bowie's "Rock n' Roll Suicide" certainly rocks.

And Peppa's is so damn good there's no need to wander beyond our nabe.

-Paul G.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

To James: That's exactly the experience I've come to expect and I love it like crazy. The music too, though it's not always SO loud. See, I have little children, and at Melany's I don't worry that they're a little rough around the culinary edges. It is most definitely not a date place, but the rice and beans and nearly all the dishes are scrumptious. Again, keep your expectations low and you won't be disappointed in the slightest.

To Paul: Good choice! Not really a hit though...and I make a distinction between "rocks" and rock 'n' roll, which to my tastes needs to have at least a sprinkling of the may queen, or rather a sprinkling of r 'n' b from whence it came. Like Be Bop a Lula is one of the greatest rock 'n' roll songs ever, but AC/DC's "For Those About to Rock" rocks, but doesn't roll. "To be a rock, and not to roll..." Where have I heard that before...oh well, I'm going to sprinkle my may queen...

diak said...

The Community Board Committee Meetings? I heard their album. Nothing special; another derivative indie.
No wonder they don't get a lot of followers.

Meanwhile, have to love Chuck Berry's "Rock and Roll Music" and the Stones' It's Only Rock 'n' Roll"

On the other hand, "Rock 'n' Roll Hootchie Koo" by I'm happy to say, I forget

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Shoulda known Diak would come to the rescue...nicely done! Two great RnR songs about RnR...

Totally disagree about CeeBeeCeeM, as they're known to fans. Their derivative thing is totally ironic, and if you can't see what they're getting at I suggest you try some entry-level stuff first before trying to pontificate about CBSeam, as they're known to REAL fans. Check out their latest mixtape on cassette-only...if you even OWN a cassette player, diak, which is short for Don't Indie Albums. Know.

The Snob said...

Melany is also hilarious on the phone, should you try to order delibery. There's another dominican place just north of them, used to be Castillo de las Rosas but now is called Charmelyn (same phone numbers) that are much nicer and food is pretty comparable.

diak said...

I do, in fact, own a cassette player so on your recommendation I will look for that mixtape next time I'm in North Brooklyn.
Is that tape the one with the extended alternate take of "Please Read the Minutes (of Last Month's Meeting)" or the one with the dubstep remix of "Safety Committee Report"?

James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.