In the latest edition of AskBwog, we tackle a local mystery for the ages and expose the secrets behind the woman who has captured our hearts and stomachs: Westside’s Maria of assorted dips and snacks fame. You may not be able to handle the truth.
Who is this woman that I have given hundreds of dollars to in the form of various late-night snacks? Maria seems to always know what my soul is craving, be it pumpkin-flavored cold oatmeal, salmon chive dip, or a slightly squashed tiramisu. Is there reality to the legend? Or am I just buying into a lie when I get four containers of quinoa at 3 a.m.?
-Clueless in Carman
Bwog approached this mystery with the pre-assumed hypothesis that Maria was a little old Italian grandma residing deep in the basement of Westside, faithfully churning out cold oatmeal and protein-rich dips for her hungry goslings. But the cold, hard truth had to be faced: she’s too cool for us.
A quick Google Hours of painstaking research in Butler produced the above picture and this web page. Maria Zoitas is not a cultural Columbia fable—she is a real woman, presumably with a real kitchen somewhere, and probably has more important things to care about than how you use her guacamole to eat your sorrows away. And, according the web page, her kitchen “is where the magic happens.” (But is that sanitary?) Maria runs the kitchen in all three of Westside’s locations, so we’re really not that special. Incidentally, she’s the wife of the guy who created Westside and isn’t Italian, but Greek. Close enough.
There may be a glimmer of hope: according to the gods of Westside, everything she makes is “prepared fresh and made with love.” So, somewhere out there, Maria is watching you and loving you just like you pretended.
And hey, she may be someone’s grandma.
Magical Maria via www.wmarketnyc.com