October 21, 2013
Me: Yes, hi — I'd like one Cronut. Well, actually, I've been waiting in line for quite a while, so better make that two. Yes, two Cronuts, please.
Cashier: I'm sorry …
Me: What, you haven't heard of Cronuts? Well — the Cronut (trademark) is the unique pastry creation by chef Dominique Ansel that many have described to be a croissant-doughnut hybrid. After its launch on May 10, 2013, Cronut fans spanned the world from Berlin to Singapore, making it the most talked-about dessert item in history. People have been known to line up for upwards of three hours for this delightful pastry. I'm kind of surprised you haven't heard of them, since we're currently in the actual Dominique Ansel bakery and I just read all that from the big sign on the wall behind you.
Cashier: No, I mean I'm sorry, we're out of Cronuts.
Me: What!? I just waited in line for an hour and a half!
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Cashier: The person in front of you bought the last two. Looks like they're out on the sidewalk scalping them already. Is there anything else you'd like?
Me: What else do you have?
Cashier: Looks like we still have some Hambookies left.
Cashier: Cross between a standard hamburger and an oatmeal cookie. They were doing pretty well before the Cronut took off, but now we don't sell quite as many. We also have Cheesebookies.
Me: I'm sorry …
Cashier: Oh, of course, let me explain. The Cheesebookie is the same as the Hambookie, only with …
Me: No, I mean I'm sorry, I don't want one of those.
Cashier: How about a Balonover? An apple, peach or raspberry turnover melded with a baloney sandwich.
Cashier: That's what I thought at first, too, but they're starting to get some attention. Maybe you'd like to try our Croiducken.
Me: What, like turducken? Where you put a chicken in a duck in a turkey? How is that a pastry item?
Cashier: Our chef prepares a batch of the flakiest, butteriest croissants each morning, then shoves — excuse me — introduces them into a pigeon, then lovingly places the pigeon inside a duck. Comes with fresh compote.
Me: A pigeon?
Cashier: Well, this is New York, so it's kind of a locavore thing.
Me: Do you have anything that's not repulsive?
Cashier: Well, there's the Macamaroon.
Me: Oh dear.
Cashier: Coconut macaroon fused with a Kraft mac and cheese dinner, served to you while you're marooned on a desert island.
Me: I haven't really allotted that much time for breakfast.
Cashier: Well, a batch of Fracos are just now coming out of our combination steamer/deep fryer.
Me: Oh God, do I even want to know?
Cashier: Could be worth it.
Me: OK — what's a Fraco?
Cashier: Apple fritter meets fish taco. It's poised to be the next Cronut.
Me: No doubt. Hey, the hundred or so people behind me are getting a bit impatient, so maybe you could just give me a Danish and I'll be on my way.
Cashier: We're all out of Danish. Would you like to try our Plainish?
Cashier: Yes, I'd be happy to explain. The Plainish is a Danish wrapped in a slice of slightly damp Wonder Bread.
Me: Could you take the bread off and just give me the Danish?
Cashier: Trademark violation. I could lose my job.
Me: Just give me a regular doughnut, then. Glazed.
Cashier: Don't you want a Donuffin? Or a Doclair? Or a Donudel? Or a Dochallah? Vinnie!
Me: I understood most of those, but what's a Vinnie? Oh — hi.
Vinnie: Is there a problem?
Cashier: This guy's trying to order food that's not mashed up with other foods.
Vinnie: (To me) You got a problem with our trend-setting line of combination pastries? Maybe you wanna try our Pinocle Surprise. It's a cross between peanut brittle and a knuckle sandwich.
Me: Hmmm — well, that does sound like the perfect synthesis of threatening and ridiculous, but I think I'll pass. But hey, seeing as it's now way past noon, can you recommend a good lunch place in the neighborhood? Just a simple soup/salad/sandwich sort of thing?
Cashier: Portmanteau's just opened around the corner. They do a really good Soladwich — soup/salad/sandwich in a blender. It's just gone viral, so if you go line up now you should get seated by this time tomorrow.
Barry Smith's column appears Mondays. More at http://www.barrysmith.com.