Dish 175: Mussels in Red Sauce at Bomb Bomb BBQ, 1026 Wolf Street
It is painfully clear that things have been going too well lately. When it’s cold and November rainy, I soak in the contrast of the foliage against the sky. When I miss the bus, I wait patiently for the next one. When we run out of cereal, I turn to oatmeal without complaint.
I’ve lost my snark. It’s gone.
Listen to this: Gustav went blonde recently, opening himself to a cornucopia of jabs ranging from “oh, hey Guy Fieri, I didn’t realize you were guest starring on this playdate”‘ to (cue raspy British accent) “I’m Billy Idol”. And in the face of that toothsome array of options, what did I tell him? That it looked cute. It was cute.
Because, to be honest, it was.
There are no warm fuzzies in food blogging! Ahh! So in a proactive effort to get my snark back, I recruited the help of one particularly mysterious man, who has the added benefit of a cavernous stomach.
We ventured to Bomb Bomb BBQ, south of the Italian market. If you don’t know already, the South Philly restaurants have thus far been some of my favorites because they remind me of home; the women wearing gold hoops and Phillies tees (though at home, they rep the Yankees– don’t hate, it’s just a matter of geography), the grandma in her coordinating nautical-themed sweatsuit, the well-muscled young men of Italian descent. Home.
As we opened our menus, as if on cue, strains of Frank Sinatra began to filter through the restaurant. MM and I looked at each other and laughed, skimming the mouthwatering options, debating whether ordering mozzarella sticks would be too much. (Of course not.)
MM opted for a full rack of ribs, and they arrived draped over the platter like a teenage boy on a helpless couch. Bottomless stomach or not, I hoped he would need some help. I soaked some bread in the spicy mussels broth and ate it slowly, lying in wait. Soon. Soon he will call in reinforcements. A mussel, two mussels; flavorful and tender but too often sandy. Chew slowly, Lauren. Be patient. Here it comes! Mystery Man licked a rib clean and looked at me. HERE IT COMES! I could hear the words, Would you like some? I’m never going to finish this:
“Lauren, do you think maybe I’m not so mysterious anymore? That I don’t have to be Mystery Man?”
What? Then what would I call you?
“Well. Some call me Tim.”
Tim. I like that. Tim, may I try one of your ribs?
“Oh, definitely. By all means.” He licked his fingers while I reached, as nonchalantly as possible, across the table and gingerly chose a moderately meaty one. Didn’t want to look too piggy. I had already decimated half an order of mozzarella sticks and far more mussels than I had intended to. The rib was juicy and flaky while still firm; the sauce was sweetish and not very spicy. It crossed my mind to be embarrassed about the barbecue sauce slathered haphazardly across my face, but I suspected that MM- sorry, Tim– might consider another date in the future, and I continued to gnaw excitedly on the rib at hand. I also suspect that tomorrow will be a good day, even if I miss the bus and have to walk to the R5—after all, the foliage is beautiful this time of year, and especially so on rainy days.