PETE’S TAVERN [Click the photo above to go to Pete’s Tavern’s website]

129 East 18th Street (on the corner of Irving) New York, NY 10003

As all group dinners with girls are, this one was a process: after a 6 part group email, a few side gchat sessions, and possibly two private texting sessions (all about where to go for dinner), we eventually decided on Pete’s Tavern in Gramercy.

The only way I can think of to describe this place is just straight up old school. It’s dark and pub-like, with quality food, and pictures of the celebrities that have walked through its doors, and oh yeah, it was on Sex & the City.

I usually have an opinion about where we’re eating, and being the pretentious person that I am, I would have preferred to eat at a trendier place, and not a spot my dad or grandpa would be into going to, but this time I kept my opinion to myself.

Because this idiot (that’s me) is on a diet, the Dukan Diet. Yes I am! After hearing all my friends talk about the diet and then watching them shed the pounds, I figured I had to try this thing out since “it’s so easy.” I know what you’re thinking, why would you start a diet when the summer is ending…well let me tell you!

I don’t know about you, but I beast on the weekends in the summer. Either I’m away or I’m hungover or I’m away AND hungover (“I’m away!” “I need bacon” “it’s whole wheat it’s fine” “it’s ok it’s scooped”), and I see no reason to watch what I shove in my mouth even if I’m in a bikini while I’m eating it. I think it doesn’t count, but it does. And I give myself a serious period of recovery before I start being a human again after these weekends, so my gym time has been limited…SO DUKAN!

Dukan diet has no portion control which I’m fully down with, and it’s ALL protein, so I really couldn’t complain about Pete’s Tavern knowing full well I could order a steak and be in my diet guidelines (I’m also allowed diet soda and coffee. It’s absurd).

I obviously arrive first as my friends are not timely people, plopped down, ordered a glass of wine (whatever I can cheat with alcohol), decided on the kobe beef burger (with no bun and no garnish), and possibly a side of vegetables (which I was finally allowed to eat after completing the “attack phase”…order the book if you’re confused) and waited for them to arrive.

I tell the waiter I want something dry, and he tells me he doesn’t know much about alcohol (lie to me).  He throws a full glass of wine down on the table.

I taste it, cringe, and go, “It’s good. Thanks!”

The other three eventually arrive, and one looks particularly peeved.

“I’ve been setting up my classroom all week.” Her hair is back in a ponytail. She has no make-up on, no heels on, and her face screams misery. She’s clearly not going anywhere after this dinner. (I mentally cross her name off my list of people going out tonight).

As I am not a teacher, and have not had a full summer off, my sympathy is minimal.

“What is this diet you’re on?”

“I’m essentially starving my body of all sugars, but I can eat as much steak as I want.”

My friends peruse the menu as our wacky waiter asks if anyone wants something to drink. He is speaking super-fast, and almost looks like he’s running around the restaurant when he zooms past our table.

He returns with wine for one friend, no alcohol for the sad teacher in the corner, and the house ale for my other friend, which he describes as a medium beer.

“So what’s it taste like?”

“It’s not light, and it’s not dark.”

“Can you relate it to another beer.”

“It’s in the middle.”

“Ok whatever I’ll get that.”

It just tastes like beer is all I know.

They end up ordering a hamburger with sweet potato fries, pasta WITH chicken added (I guess she’s hungry?), and a cheeseburger with fries.

As the waiter sprints off we begin our conversation.

“I can’t believe you guys went to a male strip club.”

We did. Magic Mike in the flesh (pun intended). It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever done, and I highly recommend it.

“Why did you go?”

“We walked by it, and this one thought it’d be fun to go,” I say pointing to my ale drinking friend.

“It’s amazing they make you feel great.” (she got a lapdance, which was worth watching)

“They made me feel weird.”

“We got drunk.”

“I high-fived one while they were giving a lapdance.”

“I want to go for my bachelorette party.”

“We should go every week,” says the ale drinker.

“No, we shouldn’t.”

I see our waiter doing an Olympic like run towards us with our food, and I see my non bun burger has onion rings, and I sadly lift them up and move them to the corner 😦

The kobe burger was delicious, and my friends loved their burgers. My friend got the spaghetti ala Pete, which has tomato, garlic, basil extra virgin olive oil, and oh yeah, chicken.

As the busboy is cleaning up our table, he spills water over the teacher’s Iphone. Bad idea.

We all fear for the worst that the busboy is going to have to pay for a new phone, but thank goodness it still works.

We split the check, and as we’re leaving, my friend has pulled up the Hunkamania schedule for the upcoming weeks.

“Guys, mark it down.”

Pete’s Tavern (side of grilled vegetables)

Veggies are allowed in the second phase of my diet (score for me) so this was my big splurge (I know I sound like a freak, but who doesn’t sound like a freak when they’re dieting). I was pretty pleased with myself.

Pete’s Tavern (spaghetti a la Pete’s: tomato, garlic, basil, extra virgin olive oil)

Pasta with basic classy ingredients is hard to say no to! My friend added chicken. I don’t personally love chicken mixed with pasta (maybe clams?), but if a girl wants some protein, do what you gotta do.

Pete’s Tavern (hamburger with sweet potato fries)

That just looks amazing! The bun, the fries, it’s a shame my diet prohibits me from eating this. I love myself. I hate myself.

Pete’s Tavern (cheesburger with fries, pickle and cole slaw)

My friend approved of her burger. Pete’s Tavern’s reputation remains in tact.

Pete’s Tavern (kobe beef hamburger, no bun, onion rings)

I sadly removed the onion rings, but it was delicious! I asked for it medium, and I thought it tasted rich and velvety (is that a good description?) I don’t know if it the level of fat qualifies for the Dukan Diet I kan (get it) do what I want.

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