The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, November 10, 2005  

Straight Eye for the Queer Food

Instead of heading directly home this evening I decided, my thin wallet notwithstanding, to stop for something to eat at a modest little, and very straight, restaurant and pub at the edge of the Northern Liberties neighborhood here in Philadelphia.

One of the pair of gentlemen to my left ordered the chili, a dish that, upon being served, caused one of the pair of men to my right to observe, “That looks good!”

And, indeed it did. The chili, you see, was served not in a ceramic dish of any sort but rather in what is known as a bread bowl, with a small cup of cheese to the side, surrounded by four thick and smartly toasted slices of buttered bread.

“How is it?” the man to my right asked. “Good,” the gentleman answered curtly, clearly intent upon cutting off a pointless conversation.

“Looks almost too good,” the man to my right offered. “Looks like faggot chili to me.”

Awkward silence all around.

“You know how faggots are. They gotta dress everything up. All fancy and [expletive deleted]. [Expletive deleted], in the ’hood they just slop the chili on a plate and throw a coupla slices of white bread on top. I take my chili that way. You eatin’ faggot chili, man!”

Season me speechless.

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