Congratulations. You did a month on the Whole 30, or you worked out every single morning this week, or you simply made the choice to not get cheese in your lunch salad today. You’re a pillar of health. Pat yourself on the back.
And now it’s time to say, well, f*ck it.
Here at The Infatuation, we believe in living a balanced lifestyle, which is why we went to the trouble of making a whole Guide To Being A Little Healthier. But we also believe that living a balanced lifestyle means that bouts of healthiness can certainly be followed up by bouts of unhealthiness. So when the time arises that you can’t look another steamed vegetable straight in the face, we’re here to help you make good choices. This is not the time for a garbage dollar slice by your house. We all know that place is terrible. This is the time to get after it with the city’s best BBQ, or the city’s best fried chicken sandwich, or the best new burger in town. When we’re ready to say, f*ck it, here are the first places we head.
Here are some of the things you’ll find on the menu at 4 Charles Prime Rib: a plate of thick-cut bacon, a pasta that’s somehow both cacio e pepe and carbonara, and three different, all very large varieties of prime rib. And that’s not to mention their outstanding burger - the place is run by the same owners as Chicago’s legendary Au Cheval, and they make a similar burger here. The dark, underground, small, old school-feeling space in the West Village is also the absolute ideal setting in which to say eff all the green juice.
You finally did it. You swore off bread. At lunch. You’re so much more productive when you eat something healthy in the middle of the day, you don’t even know why you didn’t think to do it sooner. Oh wait. Now it’s coming back to you. Because it’s 2pm and you haven’t eaten anything since your iced coffee this morning and all of a sudden you are so hungry you’re worried for your own hand because there is a very real possibility you might eat it. And that’s when you know. You can’t escape it. You need a f*cking sandwich. When this moment arises, don’t sell yourself short with some sad bodega creation. Do it big. Do it with Faicco’s, the old-school Italian deli in Greenwich Village that serves what is, as far as we know, the best (and biggest) chicken cutlet sandwich in the city. Your hand thanks you.
On the surface, you might have thought Sadelle’s was an “elegant” place to eat. And on the surface, it is - your smoked salmon will literally come out on a silver platter. But let’s be clear, this is where you come to eat the city’s best (and most expensive) French toast, and where you come to eat bagels in unlimited supply. So yes, sure, go ahead and put on that cashmere sweater for brunch at Sadelle’s, but then say, “Ah f*ck it,” and order an extra plate of cheese blintzes.
If you get into the habit of eating healthily, you start to delude yourself into thinking certain things. Like that you love quinoa. Or that you really could be a vegetarian. Or that gluten-free bread doesn’t taste different. Or that you actually do need a Vitamix. But at some point - and there is always a point - something happens: you go on a second date with someone who picked a pasta place and you’re not going to be that person who asks for gluten-free pasta, or you stumble into a burger spot when you’re drunk and get high on meat fumes and take one down in three bites. Or, someone suggests Emmy Squared for dinner. You can’t fight the power that the thick crust-crispy edges-molten cheesy pizza has over you and you know it. Go ahead and give up. It’ll be worth it.
For some people, it’s burgers. For others, it’s pizza. For others, maybe it’s mozzarella sticks dipped in ranch dressing at a bowling alley. Whatever floats your boat. But if the thing you dream about at night and the thing you wake up thinking about is barbecue, you already know that the second you let up on the healthy thing, you’re heading straight for Hometown. Between the beef rib larger than most newborn babies, to the brisket that could trick you into thinking you were actually in Texas, to the cornbread that’s 99% butter, you can’t do much better for your weary, kale-stuffed body than a meat feast at Hometown.
There’s no pretending you’re being healthy at Pies N’ Thighs. Even if you go for the salad (which you shouldn’t), you’re still going to sit there and breathe in little particles of butterfat and gluten. So you might as well just have some fried chicken and a biscuit. The little dining room also looks like it’s from the 1950′s, which make s this place feel like a little vacation to a land where low-fat foods don’t exist.
Root & Bone is where you go when you want to eat fried chicken and not feel as bad about it. Not because it’s healthy, but because you can eat it in a nice space off an antique-looking plate. That somehow makes it seem better for you. But, actually, skip the fried chicken altogether and get the shrimp & grits. The recipe is about half grits and half butter, and we’re fans. Also, have some biscuits. They’re doughy enough that you can mold them into little animal shapes before you eat them.
You’ll feel like a kid at Queens Comfort, and apparently a lot of people like to feel that way. You’ll also have the chance to eat things that take saying “ah, f*ck it” to new levels. For example, there’s a burger with peanut butter and jelly on it, as well as deep-fried French toast balls, and a Captain-Crunch-crusted chicken sandwich. There’s always a big wait, so consider coming for a weekday lunch or dinner. After your meal, you’ll feel the urge to sprint around the block a few times then immediately take a nap.