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Halloween Horrors #5

(The final installment of Halloween Horrors, an examination of the five monsters who truly give me nightmares)

#5) Goldfish

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I’m not a big animal fan. It doesn’t mean I hate them but I firmly believe that they should go their way and I should go mine and we should just have nothing to do with each other. I don’t want dogs or cats coming around me and sniffing me because when the revolution comes I want them to remember that I was always scared of them and gave them a wide berth and that the people who dressed them in sweaters and reindeer antlers were definitely, positively, not me.

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This fear of animals can be traced all the way back to the primal trauma in my life: The Goldfish Attack. I was young, maybe nine years old, and I went to the kitchen to get something (probably food). We had a fish tank in our kitchen back then, because we were naive and didn’t understand the dangers. I’m in the kitchen and I hear a noise: “Flap.”

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My blood runs cold. There it is again.

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“Flap.”

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I look down, and on the ground is a goldfish that has leapt out of its tank.

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“Flap?”

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And as I watch in horror, it sees me…and it comes at me.

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“Flap. Flap. Flap. Flap.”

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I back away, but it starts coming faster.

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“Flapflapflapflapflapflapflapflap.”

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I run in terror, screaming from the room, the goldfish flapping along the floor right at my heels. I finally lock myself in the bathroom until someone can capture this homicidal goldfish that was going for my throat and put it back in the tank. But after that, I don’t go in the kitchen for a long, long time. And to this day, on quiet, dark nights, I can still hear it flapping…flapping…flapping…

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(Of course, goldfish aren’t all bad. For instance, these Japanese goldfish live in a deep fat fryer and keep it clean!)

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Now We Are One…

One year ago today – terrified, months late, over-budget, and without gas – Dirt Candy served its first paying customers. Building this restaurant was almost impossible and nearly killed more than one person, and the idea of trying to serve my kind of vegetarian food in a 350 square foot space was one that didn’t look like a natural winner.

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One year later, Dirt Candy is far more successful than it has any right to be. And while it’s always nice to have the support of the press, what’s far more important has been the support of every single customer who’s eaten here. By opening up your wallet and plunking down the price of a meal, each and every one of you has kept the lights on. I know Dirt Candy isn’t for everyone, but enough of you love it that you’ve made it what it is, and I can’t tell you how much that means to me and to all of us who work here. We’ve seen customers become friends and friends become customers, and it does our heart good when the names of our regulars appear on the reservation list.

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So from myself and from Jesus, my sous chef, from Kristen, my server, Antonio, my dishwasher and Danielle who does daytime prep, a huge thank you to all of you who’ve kept us in business for a whole year. There are things we wish we could do better but can’t because of limitations imposed on us by the size of the restaurant. There are things we get wrong because we haven’t figured out how to get them perfect yet. But apparently we’ve gotten enough things right to keep a lot of you coming back for more, and that means more to us than you’ll ever know.

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And, just for fun, here’s a quick summary of what’s happened here in the first year:

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Read the rest of this entry »


Halloween Horrors #4

#4) Contractors (specifically plumbers)

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contractors

Two contractors discuss the best way to kill me

and hide my body.

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The people who make my skin crawl and my flesh creep. You can read about my horrifying experiences with these most chilling and gruesome year-round monsters here but a warning: not for the faint of heart. Maybe this entry is keeping things a little too real.

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Birthday Party Sold Out

Just a reminder that the Dirt Candy Birthday Party night on Thursday, October 29 is officially booked up, sold out and we can’t take any more people. While there may be a few cancellations, I don’t think anything’s going to open up, unfortunately.

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But don’t forget that the other nights this week feature a consolation deal for anyone not able to get in on October 29. If you come to Dirt Candy on Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Friday night or Saturday night each table will get a free order of hush puppies and a free slice of our birthday cake, the Red Pepper Velvet cake (one per table). It’s our way of saying thank you for all your support over the past year.


Halloween Horrors #3

(A series on the monsters that make my blood run cold and give me nightmares)

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#3) The Easter Bunny

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A giant rabbit that hoards chicken eggs and then eats them. This one speaks for itself, people.

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Halloween Horrors #2

(As promised, in the days before Halloween we’ll be looking at the monsters that terrify me the most and have given me nightmares throughout my life)

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#2) Casper the Friendly Ghost

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I think people make a lot of assumptions about Casper, but what do we really know about him? And I’m not talking about what we’ve heard about him from our friend’s cousin’s brother, but I’m talking about cold, hard facts. He’s dead but he can still move around and do stuff and he flies and talks. That’s enough for me to want to put plenty of distance between myself and this so-called “Friendly” ghost. He’s always flying through walls and floors and into bedrooms and houses where he’s not invited and basically he seems to have a lot of boundary issues. Children trust him, but what do they know? They can’t even drink legally. No, I say, Casper is some kind of supernatural sleeper agent who worms his way into our affection and then blinds us by spraying a bunch of ectoplasm in our face and stealing our wallet.

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Thank you!

All of us at Dirt Candy want to say “thank you” to everyone who voted for us in the Citysearch “Best of NYC” poll, and to everyone who has eaten here. Thanks to you guys, in the past week Dirt Candy has:

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– been voted “Best Vegan Restaurant in NYC” by Citysearch. (Go DC customers!)

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– been selected “Best Vegetarian Restaurant in NYC” by amNewYork

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– and been selected “Best Grits” by the Village Voice in their “Best of NYC” issue. (Even more awesome – if you Google “best grits” DC comes up second!)

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To thank all of you for all your support, we’re going to start a photo series in honor of Halloween in which I reveal my personal scariest monsters.

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#1.) The Leprechaun

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lepers

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Oh, god, it’s horrible. What are these things? Nothing more than kleptomaniac, Irish midgets who only wear one color like your crazy great aunt. Can you imagine – you’re sitting there minding your own business and suddenly a pack of these dirty little creatures swarm you and steal your shoes? Leprechauns are the worst. Plus, they have outrageous accents like tour guides at Epcot Ireland and they drink green beer. And I bet they smell like rotten potatoes.

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Closed Today

Just in case you didn’t notice, Dirt Candy is closed today, Tuesday October 20, because we’re prepping for a special event tonight. We’re doing our part for City Harvest’s Bid Against Hunger.

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We’ll be open again tomorrow, Wednesday, October 21.

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In the meantime, scans from a surreal Japanese cartoon about a cat who runs a ramen shop. Bonus Round: a trailer from the movie adaptation of same. With puppets.


Coming Soon: Potato Soup

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Red Pepper Icing

Right now the Dirt Candy labs are racing against time to get our Red Pepper Velvet cake ready by the end of the month, if not sooner. Yesterday we finally made what is some of the craziest icing I’ve ever tasted. A spoonful of this and the taste of red peppers crackles up and down every single neuron you’ve got that’s devoted to flavor, almost as if your entire skull has been transformed into a giant red pepper.

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menu


Menu

Snack

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Jalapeno Hush Puppies $6
served with maple butter
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Appetizers

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Mushroom $13
portobello mousse, truffled toast
pear & fennel compote

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Cucumber $12
roasted cucumber hot and sour soup,
black sesame, garlic chili oil, wood ear
mushroom, cucumber jelly

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Tomato $13
tomato cake with smoked feta,
yellow tomato leather, herb puree

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Potato $12
warm potato salad, crispy Japanese
yams, grilled sweet potato, olives,
bitter greens, apples

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Entrees

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Beets $20
salt-roasted beets, thai green curry,
beet gnocchi, whipped coconut galangal cream

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Pepper $18
fennel & pepper tofu,
parsley spaetzle, grilled
yellow pepper broth,
mustard crumbs

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Broccoli $21
smoked broccoli dogs,
broccoli kraut, salt &
vinegar broccoli rabe

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Corn $19
stone ground grits, corn cream,
pickled shiitakes, huitlacoche,
tempura poached egg

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- everything on the menu can be made vegan on request.

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Dessert

Rosemary Eggplant Tiramisu $12
grilled eggplant, rosemary cotton
candy, mascarpone

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Ice Cream Nanaimo Bar$11
sweet pea, mint, chocolate

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Popcorn Pudding$11
salted caramel corn

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Celery Cheesecake Roll$10
celeriac ice cream, peanut filling,

& candied grapes

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- vegan dessert selection changes regularly, please ask your server.

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Our wine list (and other beverages)

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Gift Certificates

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