2019-10-09 - Take All You Want, Eat All You Take


It's open plate night at Luke's, who's hungry?

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Oct 9 22:57:38 2019
Location: Luke's

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Theme Song



Luke's is apparently getting it's food on, either that, or there's some kind of party going on inside that very few people knew about. The bar has a cornicopia of bar food staples slathered across it on plates, seperated out into groupings, each different and yet the same. There's a trio of different sorts of nachos, there's a grouping of fried potatoe offerings one would loosely refer to as fries, there are 3 mashed potatoe bowls, each different from what is beside it, and finally there are four plates, each holding an entire rack of ribs cut down into 2 and 3 rib 'slices', which would feel like getting cheated if they weren't sizeable enough to make a child think of Flintstones.

Standing behind the bar, a black apron with splattery stains over it and a towel tossed over one shoulder, is a hipstery looking man in a pair of mirrored shades, pacing. He walks one end of the bar, then the other, pausing to lean over a dish from time to time, and inhale sharply, wafting a hand over the food as if waving the aroma to him for better effect. Then he mutters, and paces some more.

Noteably, there are also seven empty whiskey tumblers close at hand. And one full one.

Angela doesn't come to Harlem as much as she used to when she first came to New York, but she does love herself some good music, good food, and good drinks. Fortunately, this seems to have a plethora of all three. She blinks a bit in surprise at the spread, then arches a brow, saying over towards the hipster-ish looking guy, "Well, this definitely looks like quite a spread."

You know those cartoons where food is set out, and the steam seeks out some random nose, entering it, before giving the person a come-hither beckoning crooked finger to lead it toward the food? That. Duela is sitting behind a small table on the street where a man had been trying to fill a petition, until he offered Duela five dollars to watch it for him while he ran to get dinner. Now, however, Duela is sitting behind the table with a repurposed poster board that reads, "I probably need a lobotomy. CHANGE MY MIND."

That is, until the vaporous arm and finger beckon her. Then, a young woman floats down the sidewalk, and into the door of Luke's, still floating, dressed in her steampunk cabaret best - corset, stockings, purple velvet bolero jacket and top hat with goggles, and an unnatural smile. She drops to the floor, closing her eyes and sniffing. "Holden!! Did you cook all of this?? It smells like Nirvana."

Hod's doesn't respond to the entrance of either lady in any real way, merely grunting at each in turn. "Bet it does." he mutters to Angela as he continues to pace, then comes to a sudden stop and reaches for his tumbler, he has to reach three times before finding it… perhaps the other seven empties were his pre-game? He hardly seemed to know where that tumbler was, all the patpatting about. He points with a finger, "You." he says in Angela's direction, "And you." as Duela slips in behind her, "Sit." his tone imperious and lofty.

He then turns around and fishes under the bar for a bit, more groping, before coming out with a pair of plates that are unceremoniously, and with a clatter, dropped atop the bar. A single napkin wrapped roll of utensils drops beside each with a clatter, "Open napkin. Put food on plate. Put food in face. Critique." he commands with a waving hand. "And I want detail! None of this 'oh that's good' or 'could use more salt' like you were some troll attempting intelligent conversation. Gimme feedback ladies. First drink is on the house." he just gives away Luke's booze on a whim. Fuck it. What's he gonna do? Punch a blind man? Of course not. Cause Luke is a good guy and therefore a bit of a sucker.

Angela blinks a bit, and then laughs, "Gladly." She takes the offered seat, pausing a moment only to pass a wry glance to Duela, then follows the instructions proffered. Napkin opened, utensils secured, and she thus she gets a sample of each of the different nachos first. After sampling the first set, she hmms, "Okay, I like the heat here, but perhaps one thing you might want to try is urfa pepper. It's not from Central America, but I found that for a long, slow burn… it's very good. I think it could give your seasoning here an extra dimension of flavor." With that, she takes a small sip of whiskey, nursing it a bit as… well, it's not like she can get drunk, but she doesn't want the liquor to overpower the food, or vice versa.

Duela just stares at the food for a long moment. "Critique?" This is more food than she can ever remember seeing in her life. When one gets food every few days, one should not complain. Nor does one likely have the capacity to do so. But it seems to be a requisite for the eating, so maybe she can come up with….something.

"I should stick with water, to drink," she says matter-of-factly. "I have terrible visions when I drink." She is filling her plate with a little of everything hastily. "You have perfect timing. It isn't eating day till tomorrow, but I was ready today."

Hod makes a face, "I have a-" and he says the next word as if it were a curse or some kind of horrible apocalyptic fate, "budget," washes his mouth out with the bourbon in his hand, "that I have to come in under. Doin' what I can with what I got. I hope." he muttermutters. The nachos are unique in one way above all others. Every. Single. Chip. is loaded with toppings. As if each were individually stacked, then cooked, or something. Nothing is missed. There's a little of everything on every chip, making each bite a single continuous flavor explosion. But each /type/ of nacho is different. Seasonings, meat choices, cheese offerings, one even has a sort of spiced sauce on it, maybe with a chipotle base? Each of the dishes is like that, consistent, but each different from it's fellows, as if he'd been trying all the recipes at once.

He pours out a whiskey for Angela and a water, with ice, for Duela, adds a quick spritz of lemon with a twist and tosses it all together with a sort of practiced ease, though he still fumbles from time to time finding the right peeler or glass, having to touch a couple before finding the one of the right height. It's around the time he's sniffing lemons for freshness that the observent might make the connection about his handicap. He's pretty good at minimizing it's obviousness however, so it's just as likely to go unnoticed.

Angela has been.. well, around, so she notices fairly quickly. However, she's also far too polite to say anything about it, "Well, there are ways to acquire it that aren't too much of a strain on the budget. Afterwards I can give you a few ideas, if you like." She finishes the nachos that she gathered, eating a little bit of everything from the fried potatoes next, hmming a bit as she samples them, "Ah, you didn't overdue the salt. Perfect. And… is that garlic there? That definitely works well." She takes another sip of the whiskey, tilting her head towards Hod as she doesn't spare much in the way of specific recommendations, per his own request.

Duela is well aware of Holden's blindness. She's met him before. But she can't even appreciate the practiced ease with which his makes her water with lemon, because she is transfixed by this mounded plate. And she's just eaten a nacho. "Holden!" she says breathlessly as she revels in the flavour of the nacho, swaying slightly side to side as she chews. "This is the best shitty nacho I ever had. You might want to consider changing their name."

Hod bobs his head in time to Angela's words, "Powder, gotta stay in the margins, but yeah, bit of garlic, also went white pepper over black, just a hint, give it a touch of heat without to much additional flavoring to mask the garlic. Onion too." he adds, "Ever so slightly. Most people will never notice, but it's there if you close your eyes and try to find it. Might have underdone it a bit actually. I do that sometimes, trying to be subtle, make things just bland for other people."

He then grins in Duela's direction, one side of his mouth quirking up in a smirk, "One doesn't fuck with tradition. Shitty Nachos they have been named and Shitty Nachos they shall remain… at least in name. The rest of that I'll change." he pours himself an eighth bourbon, his hands still steady enough to do so without spilling it all over the bar.

Angela hmms, then tries again, and then ahas, "Yes, good call that. I think it's something you don't necessarily want to overdo… Holden, is it?" She smiles a touch, "Angela Carpenter. I run a studio over in SoHo. Been practicing a bit of culinary work myself, though I haven't gotten to this level yet." Which, well, she does sound really impressed so far. Though at Duela's comment and Holden's response, she can't help but laugh.

"Shitty nachos? Talk about false advertising…" She grins a bit, and then goes for some of the ribs, taking a selection of mashed potatoes to go with them.

Duela is sampling the ribs. At least she was. Now she is devouring one. It's all over her white gloves. And her face. At least Holden can't tell. "This cow tastes like it has been to Brazil!" she exclaims with a mouthful of meat. "And that one tastes like Anya looks. Beautiful and spicy. With a punker mohawk. You got some interesting game when it comes to ribs."

Hod nods his head, "Holden." he repeats, using his most recent alias, though at the rate people are discovering his true ID he's almost wearing it out of irony more then need. After all, the Asgardians found him and… well /most/ of them didn't try to kill him. "Meh. Not a lot of work for my kind, so you find a trade that you can do, something you're suited for, then you do it without end for years until you get it just about right. Then you move to somewhere new and try again, this time using their version of your art. Rinse. Repeat. Do it long enough, you learn enough to become almost respectable at a thing." Most of the ancient world wasn't kind to the blind, less so to the blind that were that way due to disfigurement. Cooking is universally respected however, and even a blind man can find work at that profession in one capacity or another. Do it long enough, you even get good. Really good.

Duela's slurpy smacking chewy noises make Hod smile again a genuine thing and one that from the lines on his face one can tell isn't a common occurance, "Yeah well, that might be because I bought South American grass fed beef for that rack." he says idly, "I know a guy, was trying to see if I could make it work under the margin. Can't. So enjoy them, it's pork-alooza from now on here. Sauce on that was good though. Not Luke's traditional, but I think the mango really cuts a nice acidy sweetness under the more traditional BBQ flavors. Adds depth in an unexpected way. Splash of OJ too."

Angela chuckles softly a bit, "I can relate to that easily enough, though I'm not blind. Sounds quite a bit like my life so far." She says that in a bit of a wistful tone, even as she moves onto the ribs and mashed potatoes, "I think there's a hint of white pepper in the potatoes as well. Very nice, I actually use it in deviled eggs." Her lips can't help but quirk at that, as she continues, "And a good cook is vital to any house, no argument from me. One of the reasons I've tried picking up a bit more of the skill."

"You shouldn't mess with the devil. Even his eggs," Duela offers idly as she shovels a forkful of mashed potatoes into her mouth and gloms with a yummy sound. "You'll end up in hell, and I'm nearly sure you can't find food this good there. I bet /their/ shitty nachos actually live up to their name." She licks her lips unabashedly and breathes a huge sigh. "THESE mashed potatoes have real cream in them. Just like my mother used to make." As if she can remember her mother. Or mashed potatoes. "And real butter. Those ones over there taste more…like the kind the Hilton throws out after people are through ravaging them. Still good, but not like these…"

Hod makes a face, "I wouldn't worry about Hel, it's ruled by a woman and I've no interest in seeing her ever again." not that he'll have a choice, one day his fiance will come for him one way or another. "And yes. She makes shit nachos." his tone is dry enough there's almost the feeling he meant that literally. He barks a laugh at the comment about the potatoes, "Those over there are the flakey kind. I don't much like them either, but… budgets. Still, potatoes are cheap enough I should hope."

Angela gets herself another whiskey, and nod, "White pepper." he confirms, refilling his own bourbon for a liver destroying 9th heavy handed pour. "You know what'll help you? Youtube." he says, pointing in Angela's general direction with his glass, "Listen to it all the time, voice activated search options, good recipes and advice. I mean, it's not apprenticeship, but if you're gonna DIY the thing it's an invaluable resource. Just becareful if you're doing the voice search options to find it. Apparently Google's voice activation beleives YouTube and YouPorn sound similar enough that when you ask for a recipe for Le Petite Morte de Chocolate', you get some porn video about people fucking on a pile of chocolate cake. At least, I think that's what it was. Not sure. Either way, super not cool to blast the audio of it in the F train on a Saterday afternoon. People are prudes in this town. Judgey."

Angela snickers, "And actually, the devil is a master of gluttony, so really, nachos from Hell are not the worst thing." She smiles wryly, "He wouldn't be able to lure you into sin if they were bad nachos. That's how it works." She grins, and nods over to Hod, "Though I suppose Hel is a little different than the one with double-Ls, after all. And yes, Youtube has been very helpful… despite the occasional mistake that delves one into pornography." She coughs a bit, then laughs, "Which can also be educational, if in an entirely different way."

"Not cool," Duela replies with a mouthful of potatoes. "You probably shouldn't badmouth the woman who runs hell." Because she can't see how he spelled it. "Not even her nachos. You might end up on a giant pile of chocolate cake, fu—" But Duela is interrupted by a junkie that careens through the front doors, headed for the restroom, post-haste, and slams the door behind him. Belatedly, there is a sound of a bell ringing. Just as the front door shuts. Somebody is off her door chime game. But eating day came early…it threw her off. Cut her some slack, Jesus….

Hod shakes his head, "Disagree. He's the father of lies, he'll /tell/ you the nachos are awesome, but in reality?" he makes a face, "Shit. Also, he's shorter then you think." Hod holds a hand up right around cheekbone level on him, "I was always expecting like a head taller then me, but no. He's like-" he wiggles the hand a bit, "And a half decent guy actually. Bought me a cerveza once in Cartegena, muttered something about sympathy. Think he bought it for me." pause, "I bought one for him? Honestly it's a bit of a blur. Columbia was nuts." he smacks his lips, "Great food though."

He then tosses back the tumbler and sets it on end next to the others, well, near to the others anyway, "I've been badmouthing her for awhile, I'm half convinced she likes i-" he stops when the junkie smashes in and disappears towards the back of the bar, his head tilting not to 'look' but pointing his ear that direction, listening intently. "Well that does /not/ sound promising." he mutters.

Angela shakes her head, "Sounds… well, my experience with the devil is that he's a very smooth operator. He has to be. I mean, Father of Lies, and all that you know. Plus, gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins." She grins, and has been making a point to eating just a little bit of everything. Nothing wrong with enjoying Creation, after all. "And yes, there was pretty good food down there, though it's been a while since I've been." She hrms a bit, as if recalling that trip once upon a time…

The junkie in the bathroom comes out with a relieved sigh, but seems a little disoriented by the bell that sounds as the bathroom door opens. He snags a rib on his way past toward the front door, then exits the bar to another bell, Mmm'ing and licking the sauce off his fingers noisily.

Duela watches him go with a vacant and nonplussed expression, then turns back to Holden. "I /sincerely/ hope he washed his hands," she says, fishing out the five dollar bill she got for watching the protester's table, and stuffing it into the tip jar. "I hope you stay. You're my only friend. 'Cept God. But he won't come in with me anywhere. I think he's embarrassed to be seen with me." She shovels one more forkful of mashed potatoes into her mouth. The creamy ones. And she sighs happily. "Most of the time, I'm nobody. But when God's with me, I'm Duela. And she's me." She pauses thoughtfully, swallowing the bite. "But sometimes, when you talk to me, it's the same way. Funny. Ain't it, Mister Holden?"

Hod listens to the junkie's passing with a tilted head, himself still and cold and silent, in fact, he's so much of each that it's very easy to simply forget he's even there. Very easy. It isn't until the junkie has left that he moves again, and that lizard brain portion of the mind once again acknowledges his presence. Damn but the guy can be still. "I havn't had a lot of friends in my life, these days it seems I'm spoiled for choice." he offers a smile, "You'll fit right in with the oddballs that I seem to draw in. The lot of us are misfits." he thinks back to all of his friends, the mutants and gods and lost humans and mutated monsters one and all that have seen fit to attach themselves to his life somehow. Hod is collecting an entire island of misfit toys and he's not sure about the outcome… but he feels like it's required somehow. "Actually girlie, that makes more sense then you know. Now go on, before you start to put down roots or something. Next time I experiment I'll save it for a day I know you'll be near. Good taste testers are hard to find." he begins to gather the dishes.

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