Category Archives: Service

Project Pork Shank

It’s been my goal to post here much more responsibly than I do to my personal blog, which goes decades without an update. However, it’s been only weeks since this blog was born and I’ve already dropped the ball. To make up for it, I’ve decided to share with you something so appetizing and delicious that you’ll always want to come back for more hardtack and swill.

Monday some friends and I met at the Red Lion, a local fake German biergarden in Silverlake. I say fake just because the beer garden is kind of like drinking in the Germany section of Epcot Center. It’s full of faux ivy and painted on bricks and a semi-working fountain and signs pointing out the direction and distance to Berlin. But despite its facade, it actually makes for a quaint little sun-dappled place to sit and have some good beer. And the service is authentic. They’ve brought in actual Germans in full costume to ignore you completely all afternoon. Monday being labor day, I called ahead to make sure they were open. Here’s a transcript:

Mean, heavily accented German bar wench: RED LION, WHAT.

Me: Oh, uh yes – I was just calling to see if you were open today.

MHAGBW: YOU ARE LIKE ZE 10TH – NO, 11TH PERSON TO CALL ABOUT ZIS TODAY. CONGRATULATIONS.

Me: So, you’re open?

MHAGBW: WHY WOULDN’T WE BE OPEN????!

Me: Because it’s Memorial Day and you were closed last Fourth of July.

MHAGBW: WELL WE ARE OPEN. ZAT IS ZE ONLY TIME VE ARE CLOSED, OK? IS THAT OK?

Me: Jesus, yes, ok. You don’t have to yell at me. (click)

Happily, the same cheery and loving beer wench who answered the phone was also our server. I call her Sunshine.

They serve what I can only assume is fairly authentic German food, meaning flavorless sausages of varying kinds. One comes hanging limply out of a giant glass stein filled with dishwater-flavored pea soup. We call it the Lipton Cup ‘O Dong. It is a sight to see. I’ll order it next time just for the photos and post them.

This time I didn’t eat, but my friend Nick bravely ordered the pork shank. Here’s what arrived:

Now, if you’ll notice, there is a small patch of hair protruding from the skin in one spot:

Nevertheless, Nick soldiered on. He cut that baby up and went to work. And actually, the meat looked pretty good. Then again, Nick has a fascination with bums. So who can say.

The final result: Nick 1, Pork Shank 0.

My favorite server, Sarah, a very attractive and hard-working red-headed American girl, wasn’t there. However, a very pretty slim blonde woman showed up and began WORKING the room. I’m telling you she was focused. I was instantly smitten. Perhaps 25 years of terrible reviews have finally led to a change in service staff policy. Or maybe two or three girls have figured out that they can earn 138 times the tips of a German by simply trying a bit. Sorry, but Germans, you build a fine automobile. You are not cut out for the service industries.

Of course we were forced to leave at that point because another friend with us (the only female – I’m just sayin) wanted to go immediately. I never get to stay for the pretty shift. Ever. I really need to stop hanging out with couples.

Perhaps next time I’ll bring more than my camera phone and take some pics with the wenches. I’ll say I’m a food critic. A bachelor food critic. I think I’m onto something here…

I just won’t order the pork shank. I don’t think it’s a very “sexy” food. Then again, neither is the Cup ‘O Dong.

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