Last Saturday night, I found myself at Manny's on Second (formerly the UES location of wings powerhouse Blondies) for the big UFC fight taking place that evening. AV's a fan, and we convened with DP, friend and guest star for the evening, for a night of ass kicking, beer drinking, and appetizer eating.
The ass kicking (on-screen, at least) certainly did take place. A few beers were consumed successfully as well. But the appetizer eating? Ahh, that's where things hit a rough spot.
AV and DP started with an order of mozzarella sticks. Pretty much every bar in NYC serves the same mozzarella sticks-- they come frozen, you pop 'em in the deep fryer until they're hot, you serve 'em with some marinara, everybody wins. Except us, at Manny's. Instead of frying them until they're hot, Manny's chose to take the unusual tactic of serving their sticks at none other than room temperature. There wasn't a wisp of steam in the vicinity. The six sad, sorry sticks sat on the plate wallowing in their tepidness; one bite from AV confirmed that the cheese inside wasn't even close to melted. Everybody knows there's no point to mozzarella sticks unless the cheese has melted to that perfect molten point where every bite produces a classic Caramello moment (yeah, you know what I'm talkin' about). So basically, epic fail, and while we're at at, if you're going to serve awful mozzarella sticks, at least serve a lot of them. Six to an order? Really?
Slightly more successful were the wings. An order of ten wings, medium-spicy, came bathed in sauce and accompanied by some clearly fresh carrot and celery sticks. The tiny, tiny little cup of blue cheese sauce wasn't even close to cutting it, but repeated requests for more brought out some more tiny cups. As the wings dwindled, the pile of balled-up napkins on the table grew. DP ruled that Manny's puts out a "solid wing," and AV confirmed that Manny's wings aren't quite as good as Blondies' were, but they're still not bad.
Rest assured a fine time was had by all, regardless of certain food failures. The fights blared on the many flat screens, and during the downtime we were entertained by a group of post-grads who had clearly been playing beirut since around noon that day and were thus, at 10PM, in rare form, as well as a thirty-something couple and their infant in a large stroller (really). So we'll probably be back to Manny's at some point, but it'll be for the drinks and the company, not for the food.
Manny's on Second
1770 Second Avenue, between 92nd and 93rd Streets