Magazine article The New Yorker

Barfry

Magazine article The New Yorker

Barfry

Article excerpt

At BarFry, the gleaming white tiles, metallic accents, numerous mirrors, and faint oleaginous odor can give one the sensation of being immersed in a giant cooking vat. The name is a play on "barfly": the first half of it is apparent in the stainless-steel counter that dominates the room and the second half in the emphasis on tempura, which the chef, Josh DeChellis, applies to everything from eggplant to shrimp to a pork cutlet. The less appealing effect of that last word, though, might pose an obstacle to BarFry's potential clientele; hearing the name, one usually adventurous eater sniffed, "What woman wants to go to a place where everything is fried?"

More to the point, who wants to eat food that hasn't been fried well? Here, the tempura batter tended to be thick, wet, and tasteless, and turned things as disparate as pumpkin and avocado into indistinguishable lumps. The kitchen doesn't bother with timing and everything comes out in one fell swoop, often leaving the tempura lingering long past its optimal consumption time. Several po'boys, with fried fillings like shrimp and pork, did right by the eponymous technique: they were messy and delicious, and big enough to share. …

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