Katz’s Delicatessen. 205 E. Houston, corner of Ludlow.
Yes, its crowded and confusing. Your life depends on that ticket you’re handed as you walk in and you can’t lose it or you’ll be fined $50. Then the mile long counter where you order each item separately and a code is scribbled and then scratched off, and on and on, as you side step all the way to the end of the room. So its like you’ve been in 7 lines before you even get in line to sit. And no one that works here is named Katz, that’s for sure. Its not exactly cheap either. But its totally worth every annoying minute rubbing elbows with tourists and all $16 you’ll spend on that pastrami sandwich and pickles. Don’t forget to add a Matzo ball soup (critical that you have this) and some knishes and the liter of Dr. Brown’s cherry cola. This is a tourist trap that is not a tourist trap at all. They have celebrities’ pictures wallpapering the entire place because many movies, not just When Harry Met Sally, have had a scene shot at Katz’s. When you’re done looking at those, try not to flip over any clumsy, meandering tourists’ cafeteria trays as you head to the bathroom. The entrance juts out from the wood paneling, making it seem like its a tiny single stall, but its actually a clown car illusion. There’s more inside. Its a 5 flushes worthy adventure. Just think of all the celebrity tinkling that’s happened in there! Don’t drop your ticket in the toilet though. I’m sure the cashier you’ll be handing it in to won’t appreciate that.
Barrio Chino. 253 Broome St (btwn Ludlow & Orchard)
Wow this is a tight bathroom. And its inconveniently located next to the front door. I mean, the whole place is tiny as hell, but if I had had one extra taco, I’d be unable to maneuver the toilet. It doesn’t help that the restaurant is packed and continuously cycling people in and out. Obviously its a popular spot and the food was great. The staff was helpful accommodating our party of 9 in a space the size of a studio apartment. But not only were we rubbing elbows with the Lower East Side’s finest, we were also bumping into them and jumping over them to get around. The bathroom situation was a 2 flush ordeal.
Casa Mezcal. 86 Orchard Street (btwn Grand & Broome)
I can’t even remember what I ordered here. You know I like Mexican food, so for it to be totally forgettable is a bad thing. It doesn’t matter. The way the place is decorated makes me feel like I’m inside a pinata designed by Martha Stewart. And thats a good thing. The bathroom is down a hall in the back. there a couple single stalls. 5 flushes.
Rockwood Music Hall. 196 Allen Street (off Houston).
This is a very intimate music venue split up into a few small rooms. I bet it would be a really cool place to see a show. But I wouldn’t know because I was in and out. Then the bathroom. Probably top 5 smallest Ive ever been in, earning it mad props. I can handle it, but I love when tall people suffer. And they would definitely have a strugglefest in there. If I was more dexterous I bet I could get all 4 walls in one picture. I give it 2 flushes anyways though.
Pianos. 158 Ludlow Street (at Stanton)
$3 for a pint. On a Saturday. Thats a pretty good deal. And it’ll have you heading downstairs to check out the bathrooms after a handful of rounds. Theres something not quite right about the bathroom. Im not sure if its the tiny size or the 110 degree heat in them, but something made me feel like I needed to barely wash my hands and just get back upstairs. Maybe thats their strategy. No loitering in the bathrooms, taking pics and acting a fool. Get back up those stairs and do the white man’s overbite to some Prince. Seriously how can anyone not love Pianos? Its got a bar, a DJ, an upstairs, good burgers, good happy hour. What else do you want? God, youre such a snob. 3 flushes with my Reebok Freestyle Hi-tops.
for your safety…
Bowery Ballroom. 6 Delancy Street (btwn Bowery & Chrystie)
Sometimes I feel a little uncool taking pics, not just IN the bathroom but OF the bathroom. Certain places are more private or less busy so its easier, but then there’s places like the Bowery Ballroom, which remind me of the girls bathroom closest to the cafeteria in between 2nd and 3rd period: judgmental eyes, pretty girls, long lines. So that’s my explanation for my lack of pics. We went to see a band called Free Energy. Its pop but with shredding guitars and inspirational lyrics. I think Andrew WK would approve. You come in and go down stairs, landing in the bar area where the bathrooms are. The actual show goes on one level back up. I give the bathroom 3flushes because it was clean (considering) and pretty good size.
Astor Center (399 Lafayette Street at E 4th Street)
This isn’t a restaurant. Its a venue for classes and private events. I went for a Gourmet Latino event that showcased Latin restaurants and booze. I drank rose infused Pisco Sours, cucumber Caipirinas, Jalapeno infused tequilas and many other awesome things. My date gorged on mini enchiladas, steak over foie gras topped with a quail egg, and Dominican style sliders. I ate chocolate from Ecuador. I can go on and on. The space is nice, from what I saw. Its got clay tile floors and high ceilings. I give the bathrooms 4 flushes because there was nowhere to place my drink inside the stall, other than on the toilet (Don’t worry, I got a new one after) and the hand dryers were bootleg Dyson airblades.
My cup on the toilet. Unacceptable.