Greet ‘n’ Potatoes
Pretty obsessed with these:
I met Merrily Grashin of Greet’n’Potatoes when we were both working as servers. If you’ve never worked in a restaurant then you may be slightly disillusioned about the fact that everything that’s going on there is for the benefit of the guests. Of course officially, it’s All About You, that’s why they call it the service industry. You are the raison d’être. But for every dropped fork, request for fresh pepper, double espresso, refilled water glass, issue with the runniness of the eggs, and remark of disdain for the tar notes in the bio-dynamic wine, there is an entire solar system of bad jokes, flirtatious glances, unnecessarily tactile “Behind yous,” rolled eyes, frantic run-walking to pick up from the pass, preposterous hand gestures, momentary panic attacks, and thoughts of life outside of those restaurant walls going on with the people who work there.
After all, when You are sitting at your computer all day, or in a cab to a meeting, or on a conference call with the creatives on location in Berlin, do your thoughts truly remain on the task at hand for every second between 9pm and 6pm? Of course not. You’re worrying that your baby has just said “Mamma” for the first time to the nanny or that you won’t make it to the dry cleaner in time to pick up your lucky blouse for your date or that your hairline truly has receded another millimeter since last Tuesday.
It’s pretty much the same in a restaurant, though if the staff is worth their 20%, they won’t let you see it. You, Our Beloved Guests, won’t have an inkling of the secret handshakes and pleading glances for help that are ricocheting around the restaurant while we smile sincerely as we recite tonight’s specials. After all, we need those bad jokes and work crushes to get us through the shift.
I’m sorry to say that when Merrily and I worked together, she didn’t really let her freak flag fly. I had no idea that in addition to a list of the spices used in the lamb balls special and a note that Position 2 at Table 36 was lactose intolerant, vegan and allergic to wheat, her note pad was filled with doodles of yams and eggs and amaros, with ridiculous puns that could have really kept the laughter alive inside of me while I was being berated for a missing side of turnips or the temperature of a rib eye. I would have really appreciated her telling me to “Fernet about it.”
Merrily, like most folk who work front-of-house, has a passion besides getting You sparkling or flat water. She’s an excellent illustrator who has launched a line of food-infused cards called Greet’n’Potatoes, where her pre-shift puns come alive in the form of wonderful etched food-related images and accompanied by deliciously cheesy text. Merrily and I both recognize the unique ability of food to unite people—to bring them around a table, sure, but also the way that a meal can be a journey, an adventure, or a comforting hug from an old friend. She’s also quite cleverly acknowledged that there is a particular category of bad jokes that can only be designated as “Dad Jokes,” because only a father could think he would get a laugh out of reciting them.
Merrily’s first collection of ten cards are produced locally (at LQQK studios in Brooklyn) and printed on recycled paper with eco-friendly ink. In The Lovage’s opinion, Merrily’s genius is more than just a flash in the pan. It’s no fluke. It’s laughter and deliciousness combined, and there aint nothin’ better than fat.
Greet’n’Potatoes are available at Brooklyn Kitchen, Henry’s Wine, Marlow & Sons Goods, Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers, as well as on the website: greetnpotatoes.com.
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