Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Signing Off: New York City Rejects Potty Vibe

By Mitch Broder

New Yorkers this year took a stand against eating a Chinese novelty food while sitting in a urinal.

I am so proud.

Kung Fu Bing, at 189 East Houston Street, posted a notice reading “Store Is Temporary Closed For Restructuring,” which, loosely translated, means “If You Liked Our Food, Feast on Your Memories.” All that was left inside were mirrors, counters, tables — and plastic chairs reminiscent of the more contemporary tinkling stations, such as the Toto Toilets Model UT104E#01 Low Consumption Compact with Integral Trap.

The restaurant, another notice explained, had been there to introduce “a unique integration of Asian flavor in the form of a sandwich. ‘Bing’ means ‘pancake’ in Chinese and is the heart of our concept and the secret of our success.”

The statement concluded with the hope that the bing would become “as popular as the ‘taco’ from Mexico, the ‘pizza’ from Italy, and the ‘naan’ from India,” though not the “hot dog” from Coney.

It’s not working out. Before closing after its brief stay in the East Village, Kung Fu Bing closed after a brief stay in Chinatown.

The failures may be partly related to the food. Online comments range from “Oily, gummy yet crispy” to “Greasy, nasty sauce, weird meat. One of the worst things I’ve ever tried.”

But maybe the failures are also related to the unappetizing chairs. If I had found bings before they bombed, I would have avoided them on the grounds of toilet seats.

Fast-food establishments, of course, are known for accommodations that encourage fast feeding — but they usually make at least a passing attempt at camouflaging them.

In any case, seating comfort rarely figures in dining reviews. I don’t get it. My butt aches enough as it is without paying to make it ache more.

Vintage New York believes that ninety percent of New York City restaurant seats could use a cushion.


  1. I like this blog-umn so much I have decided to award the writer the Pulitzer he's missing as soon as I can find it on Ebay.

    It's about time the ultra-modern, socially crazed media world had someone who could write about that big city near Staten Island in such an interesting, entertaining and sometimes laugh-out-loud way.

  2. "Feast on your memories..." "...bings before they bombed.." "90% of NYC restaurants could use a cushion..." I love this post. In fact, I ate it up!