Sunday, April 05, 2020

Menu of the Plague Year: Homer

This bust of Homer (the famous Greek poet, not the Simpson) depicts a leatherfaced geezer with a big alcoholic nose and a helical cascade of whiskers, tightly coiled like the cord of an old touchtone. He looks like a guy who got trashed and saw something amazing, like an explosion or a nipple. However, historians debate whether or not Homer was even a real dude. Was The Iliad actually written by this wizened, curly-bearded bard, or is “Homer” just the personification of the literary tradition of drunk guys telling bullshit stories to each other? I hope my anecdote about the time I tried to put on an Indian condom has the staying power of The Odyssey.

Anyway, if somebody told you that there was a restaurant named Homer, what kind of food do you think it would serve? If it’s named after Homer the Simpson, then I’d say it would probably be an all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet. Or maybe a Krispy Kreme. But if it’s named after the legendary ancient rhymester then it’s probably Greek food.

And Greek is what Homer is. Sort of. It’s not weird Greek food like spinialo or deep fried octopus ink sacs. It’s not even mostly Greek. It’s more Mediterranean, really, but I needed some kind of intro to this and that’s the best I could come up with so fuck you.

Like every other restaurant trying to survive the plague, Homer is bravely offering takeout. After all, they can’t close shop because if they did all their employees would be unable to pay the rent and if Trump gets reelected every American will be required to stay at Mar-A-Lago once a year and literally actually kiss the ass of a bronze Trump statue located in every city in every state or you go to jail without trial or protein until you die shivering in a pool of your own vomit. We wanted to avoid that situation from coming to pass. So as patriotic Seattle citizens, we did our part to keep Homer afloat, and ordered a few things to try.

A cabbage salad ($10) featured bigass chunks of roasted cabbage, charred on the edges with a juicy center that melted like a crayon on a minivan dashboard in the sun. A diaspora of pepitas, pickled mustard seed, sesame seed, dates, apple slices wandered this culinary landscape.

The lamb stuffed pita ($11) was, and I say this without the slightest miniscule trace of hyperbole, that this was one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. A Persian rug of braised lamb shoulder was folded along with sliced fennel, a sweet and garlicky sauce, and lots of cilantro into a pita so fluffy it would float away into the sky with a gust of brisk spring wind. Prometheus, with his altruistic desire to enlighten mankind with the secret knowledge of how to make sandwiches, thought that the punishment, being chained to a cliff and having his liver nibbled by Dr. Hannibal Lector for eternity, was worth it to teach us mortals to become Sandwich Artists. Obviously, the mysterious founder of Homer restaurant was the first in line to be blessed with this skill, to create such a delicious sandwich.

A rack of lamb ribs ($17) which, by the way, a rack of lamb ribs is much smaller than you might think, was gamy and tender, with mint leaves, thinly sliced pears, and a speckle of pistachios.

Finally, an extremely silky and sweet hummus ($8) was topped with a crimson puddle of spiced oil with a couple chickpeas in the center. And if you want more of the aforementioned ultralight pita to dunk into this masterful hummus, a half dozen of them costs $6.

Nobody knows the true identity of the founder of Homer. And there is no way for us in the modern day to find out, because all the business licenses and tax forms and shit filed by Homer, were lost in the fire of the Library of Alexandria. Some say he was raised by a she-wolf and used her milk to ferment into feta. Some say he killed the Cretan Bull and ground its flesh into gyro meat. Still others say that he sowed a dragon’s teeth and after vanquishing the bronze eggplants that sprang up from the ground, he made them into a bitchin’ baba ghanoush.

We must look after one another in these times of pestilence. If you care about fine dining, throw your sourdough starter in the trash and go out to a struggling restaurant. Be a hero for humanity.

Rating: 8 hydra heads (one of them got cut off) out of 10

Homer is located at 3013 Beacon Avenue South.

Takeout can be ordered by calling (206) 785-6099 or through MobileBytes.

*In the spirit of Cinema Verite, I have to admit that I ate a bunch of edibles before I wrote this and that’s why there are so many non sequiturs and run on sentences. Sorry brah.

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