Bwogger Cara is back, this time not to cook, but to speak on behalf of another budding chef in Morningside Heights.
No matter what happens during the day, there’s always something I can count on while walking past Friedman’s on the way to Plimpton. On Amsterdam, in between 118th and 119th, I see the same rat every night—hiding under a Friedman’s chair, poking their nose through the chicken wire fence of the community garden, or just standing nonchalantly in the middle of the sidewalk like a renegade. For many Columbia students, this rat is one of the more reliable and comforting presences in their life. But what if this rat has more to offer than a direct campus-to-dorm escort? What he’s the one providing us with Friedman’s delicious farm-to-table offerings?
Yes, I am talking about a Ratatouille (Disney Pixar 2007) situation wherein a rat is responsible for the food produced a professional kitchen. For those of you that haven’t seen the film, Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt), is a rat gifted with an exceptional sense of smell who works his way up the ranks at a prestigious French restaurant by controlling a human chef’s movements from inside his hat. The Friedman’s rat clearly parallels many of the characteristics exhibited by Remy in the 1 hour and 51 minutes of Brad Bird’s movie. Like Remy, the Friedman’s rat is clearly not fazed at all by human presence. He scurries up Amsterdam like they owns it. He’s dedicated—I’ve seen him every single night since the semester started. And he’s specifically chosen to make a home for himself in the rat-eat-rat world of a major city’s restaurant business.
Now, you may say I’m sullying the Friedman’s name by claiming that its resident rat is the one crafting their signature Friedman’s All Natural Angus Beef Burger with their paws. To those who question his talents, I would ask that you reflect on the words that Remy and his hero Chef Gusteau lived by: Anyone Can Cook. Can we really claim to uphold Columbia University’s motto, In Lumine Tuo Videbimus Lumen, In Thy Light shall we See light, if we do not uplift the talent of the scrappy young chef who is providing us with the best fried chicken in Morningside? Also, Friedman’s still has an A rating so clearly the rat is washing his paws.
The next time you’re walking up Amsterdam, please stop and tip your hat to my friend, the Friedman’s rat, who risks everything to follow his dream of being the head chef at Morningside’s number one favorite—okay, like number three favorite—brunch spot.
Photo via Flickr