I hate people who are not serious about their meals. -- Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Revisit: M. Wells before their Hiatus

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Due to the open kitchen at M. Wells, I leave smelling like a fryer. In this case, I smell delicious

I still don't know what the hell you are...like a fancy pants Moose thing...minus pants apparently

I pay little attention to places shuttering and closing mainly because they were not places that I frequent or bluntly put, were not really good or om nomz worthy places to eat it. But in the beginning of August, when the Motorino Brooklyn abruptly closed due to the Earth trying to sallow the building, the next day news of M. Wells closure was a shock. Due to a dispute with the landlord, they have no choice and close their restaurant at the end of August and find a new place. Not knowing when they will reopen and I have no plans to visit the great white north, I went to M. Wells for brunch before they closed.
Apparently, the rest of New York did not have plans of going to Canada anytime soon because by the time I arrived at 9:45am, fifteen minutes before the start of service, the line was already snaking past the front of the building and rounding the corner of the restaurant. I almost did not make the first seating, and I went to go do brunch solo. I gave my whole order to the server the second I got seated, a practice I generally reserve for dining at Shopsins which was good because M. Wells was packed and they tried to fit everyone they could in their boxcar diner. Food after the Jump, ehh!

Maple Pie

I sort of went Tarantino in this meal and started off with the dessert and had a slice of maple pie while I wanted for the food. I was seated at a communal table where a mother blurted out, “You are going to have pie now?”

“Hells yes, I am hungry and I want pie, and it is not really any different than you eating that doughnut before your meal” I replied.
Knowing I was right, she took quiet defeat. I think this made the pie taste better.
The Maple pie came out piping hot and slathered with maple syrup. The custard based pie had a firm pudding texture and even though it had an extra hit of maple syrup, the maple flavors were subtle but regardless, it was not too sweet so it would have been a great sweet bite at the end of a meal or before. 

escargot and bone marrow
 Where else can you get escargot and bone marrow at 10:30am? Basically nowhere else so I got the escargot and the bone marrow. The escargot and bone marrow came out steaming hot and a smart person would have let it cool down for a couple of seconds, but the savory vapors temporary hindered any intelligence I had and I attacked the rich hot gelatin bone marrow that resulted in roof top burning but comforted by the combination of the meaty marrow and tender escargot made it worth my seared mouth. The phrase, “hurts so good” comes to mind. The escargot topped with a red wine, parsley and shallots puree compliments and tied the flavors of the snails and the bone marrow.
Finally I had what I think sums up why M. Wells combination of quirkiness with great execution: the Spaghetti Sandwich.

Ordinary looking...

The Spaghetti Sandwich, which I suspect is a play on the weird Disney culinary creation of the Spaghetti taco from a show called iCarly (no I do not watch the Disney channel in a Miranda Law way, just read about it, honest!) is exactly what it sounds like. The sandwich comes out and on first look; it looks like maybe a burger or an egg sandwich. Cutting into the behemoth is a surprise by a “patty” that is densely packed with Spaghetti in a Bolognese sauce. The Spaghetti Bolognese is made and portioned out then gets an egg wash batter and deep fried and the result is this awesome creation. I can hear the cries from stereotypical Italian Grandmas calling blasphemy on this creation, but that is because they have never tried it. The pasta is perfectly cooked and each bite comes with bits and pieces of meat and chunks of mirepoix, the Bolognese can stand against any Red sauce Italian American joint or Grandma’s cooking and I can say that because mine is Taiwanese and does not know what a Bolognese is.

That aint ground meat, that is Spaghetti. Spaghetti Sandwich
The crisp egg exterior and the addition of the crunch lettuce and toasted bun offer a great contrast to rich spaghetti filling and a good sandwich. It hits on a nostalgic factor, of grade school days eating the government issued cafeteria food and I think it was Wednesdays was pasta day, composing of single serving of salad, pasta in meat sauce and buttery garlic like bread. I was a messy kid and the bread, pasta and salad would inevitably get mixed together but the food was bad anyways, that this actually was an improvement. This instantly reminds me of that food and is taken to a level that makes it actually taste good and the satisfaction achieved is beyond words. 

M. Wells is a brunch joint and the food and gratification that result when eating their food fits the box car diner that they soon will be shuttering. Sure they do dinners and currently doing outrageous farewell dinners on the weekends before shuttering but to get a true sense of the place, you should get up from your hung over (or drunken for some) slumber and get out to Queens. M. Wells does get ping as a restaurant that has items done for shock value or gimmicky but the undeniable fact is that the food is good and as far as it being shock value or gimmicky, these words are only warranted and classify food that are not executed properly or taste good and the times I have been to M. Wells, this has never been the case. Already securing a location in Long Island City, hopefully M. Wells hiatus will be short and will be back in business in no time.

M. Wells Diner
21-17 49th Avenue (till the end of August)
Long Island City, NY 11101

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