Saturday, March 14, 2009

An adventure off Broadway

At the end of work yesterday we hit the Three Deuces for a beer and then had another beer at the R&L Lounge. Above please find a picture of the R&L Lounge. We also had their famous fish fry and pierogies.

Here is a closeup of the upstairs window.

It was nice walking into a place where they knew it was Friday. Everything was stuff you could eat! The pierogies were potato, sauerkraut and cheese. Bon appetit! I am noticing this kind of Friday courtesy is disappearing even in small mom-and-pop restaurants. They run down the specials and there's all this meat. Hello!

Airborne Eddy joined us at the R&L Lounge. We drank Genny and he drank Sobieski. Here is Eddy talking to Howard on my ancient cell phone, trying to get Howard to join us.

Eddie has begun peeking at my blog. He found it by accident. I never told him to read it.

"I was looking for a phone number for some place and it came up," he said.

Then he said: "You blog every day! You are so disciplined!"

Jane looked at me and made this sappy face.

"That's because she does it for Leonard," she said.

Then Eddy with his Sobieski started teasing me and calling him Leonard Pinnochio and not Leonard Pennario. Does any other pianist's biographer put up with this kind of abuse? I do not the authorized biographer of Gary Graffman....

... would get this kind of abuse from people sitting around the R&L lounge tossing back vodka. This stuff only happens when you are writing about a pianist from Buffalo.

Howard could not make it to the R&L so I brought him a fish fry to go. Listen to what you get for $6. You get a gigantic slab o'fish. Fried, not broiled. They do not broil fish any more at the R&L because it is too much trouble. You also get mac salad, potato salad and a slice of Al Cohen rye. It is a triple-starch meal! Plus they give you a pile of home-cut French fries. I know the French fries are fresh cut because Lottie, who is the "L" in "R&L," once let me operate the French fry cutter.

Here is Lottie in the kitchen last night.

Here is the sandwich board outside the R&L. It is on Mills Street, off Broadway.

We befriended our fellow diners.

Here is a better picture where you can see Lottie's husband dishing out the tartar sauce.

This family was the greatest. The couple's names were Ed and Barbara and they go to St. Paul's in Kenmore which is safe from Bishop Kmiec's church closings. Their son Joe, visible front and left, was visiting from Temple University, where he is going to dental school. It is a great Buffalo priority when you take the kids being home from college as an excuse to herd the whole family to the R&L Lounge.

Ed and Barbara's family is Irish/Italian. You expect people who visit the R&L Lounge to be Polish. One thing that is great is that Lottie and her husband speak in those old-time Polish accents. You do not get that much these days. Click on the Pennario link above -- heck, here it is again -- and you will hear Pennario playing Chopin. That is because today we are celebrating Polish culture.

All good things have to come to an end and here are our fish fries waiting to go. Observe Eddy, grinning, at the right.

Today I have to work off all those calories!


Unknown said...

No better Fish Fry on earth than on the East Side of Buffalo!!!! It is good to see some of the best places in the neighborhood still remaining. Oh, to the way "things used to be".

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize who my dad was talking with at the bar until we were already home! I am a big fan of your writing and enjoyed your always optimistic outlook about the city.

It was my brother in law's first time there and he couldn't believe two thing: Lottie butters the bread for you and they still have regular Genny's in a bottle. Talk about an absolute diamond in the rough!

Mary Kunz Goldman said...

David, you're right, that is the biggest and bulkiest fish fry!

Joe, I was drinking Genny too! Another thing I like about these old places, they give you a glass. Everyone else assumes you'll drink out of the bottle. Thank you so much for the nice words on my writing. Some time when you are here we will all have to meet again at the R&L!