c o u n t e r  s e r v i c e

Issue Nine: Snaxxx


Issue 9: SNAXXX


Quick and Easy.

Prepackaged. Organic. Elaborate and lengthy. Mid morning on the go, a quickie. Mid afternoon with a siesta afterwards. Good for you. Guilty pleasures. Late night where time starts to dissolve and you started at midnight and it's now 3am. (A: Snacks, B:Sex) (A:are, B:is) an all day adventure, (A:are, B:is) (A:they, B:it) not? 

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the SNAXXX issue where we play around with food and sex, being a snackable moment, and realizing that sometimes a snack is a shot of whiskey. This issue is a girthy one, so put on something cute and comfy, grab a bottle of Champagne, maybe a dozen oysters, some strawberries+figs+honey, a chili pepper, pomegranate, or whatever else tickles your pickle and dive right on in.



New month, new countries to see, new obsessions to have. We all go through phases where we cannot stop eating a certain thing, drinking a certain cocktail, or telling everyone that comes around us about this one magazine, article, or show. These are exactly those thoughts, feelings, emotions, tangible beauties we're currently obsessed with. XO

In March I attended one of Tepuy Dining’s pop-up dinners in Williamsburg. The dining room of Egg restaurant was transformed into an intimate, candle-lit community table against a backdrop of classic Latin American music. Chef Adriana Urbina’s BYOB 7-course tasting menu showcased exquisite ingredients representative of her Venezuelan roots. Between the her cooking techniques and the warm service or her team, Chef Adriana left me with a thoughtful experience through care and good intention. Here’s the kicker: for each dinner ticket sold, Chef Adriana donates one month’s worth of school lunch to feed a Venezuelan child in need. The current economic and political crisis in Venezuela has reached a tipping point resulting in widespread famine and extreme scarcity of medical supplies, electricity, water, and infrastructure. Chef Adriana doesn’t forget where she comes from and uses her professional success to pay it forward.  -- Nicolle Borrero


Lookin’ like a snack - {lo͝ok•in / līk / ā,ə / snak} 
 Devonn Francis


An idiom. It is a common observation between most American linguists that “lookin like a snack” can be traced all the way back to 2014. The turn of phrase most likely erupted around the same time Rihanna stopped the world, showing up at the CFDA Awards in a basically-naked Adam Selman gown, dripping in swarovski crystals. When someone declares an individual is “lookin’ like a snack” they are positing the identified individual’s edibility. One is ready to be gobbled up—devoured. Ever since that moment, “lookin’ like a snack” has been co-opted in news feeds and timelines across the globe as a declaration of self love and solidarity between many notable groups such as Thirst Traps of Dallas and Thots-R-Us.

Snackalicious: Diego Moya @ Hemlock

Per Devonn's definition: Diego Moya is lookin like a snack behind the line at the gorgeous new Hemlock in the LES of New York City. Calm, poised, witty, passionate, devoted, talented, honest, and tasty as tell (aka the restaurant equivalent of dripping in jewels), Hemlock is the restaurant that New York has been needing for a minute.  

Having spent his days in dope ass kitchens from France to Gramercy Park (see: Casa Mono) to a hyper-focused supper club named Cure (with wine director Zach Ligas), Diego opened the doors to Hemlock just a month ago to focus on the vegetable. Really, that beautiful mind of his wants to utilize vegetables in every way possible to get a layered, full, and complete dish.
I can't praise Diego enough. When I get around a person and place that exude honesty, integrity, and grace -- I have a hard time not wanting to be around those people and places all the time. 

Go there. Go play there. Go eat the Kohlrabi and Onion and Sweet Potato Bread and Spinach. Go drink Zach Ligas' wine list (it's a treat, duh). Go listen to Grace Jones or Sister Nancy or Lil Kim. Go take a mirrored-ceiling selfie. Or just stop by to say hi to Diego, because that smile of his will light up your week.  


The All-American epicure
 lyZ pfister

Have it your way. The salt sucked
off edamame pods, popcorn hot and bothered, I mean
buttered, a basket of bread – baguette, brioche, buns
hot-crossed – and cheese soft as a charmer’s smile.
Unwrap a smile, like tahini wrapped in lemon juice,
garlic and salt (stop.) and a line of cru.di.tés.
You can never have just one. Sliced peppers – tricolor! –
and thimble-slim carrot fingers and endive leaves like little boats.
Remember ranch dressing? Remember whipped cream from the can?
Remember how Lucky Charms always tasted better
at someone else’s house? Come hungry, leave happy. Travel
for the hummus, the skordalia, the tar.a.ma.sa.la.ta. Small
crackers and spoons of caviar, inky blue pearls, the ocean’s
precious stones. Or is that wakame – umami punch.
Break me off a piece of that. Granola bars, nuts, jerky, fruit. Splitting
battered onion rings at the state fair (remember the man
in the ONION FLOWERS truck who said he invented
the bloomin’ onion but forgot the patent?) and deep frittered
everything (Oreos, butter sticks, beignet balls powdered white
with a side of bracing black coffee
). America runs on…
And chocolate, surely. Remember growing up on the smell
of Hershey’s pumped into the air and the paraphernalia, the park,
the chocolate syrup? Cold pizza from the box like the aftertaste
of adulthood (once you pop, the fun don’t stop). It’s the crunch –
of melba toast, nacho chips and cheese (but did anyone actually eat
cheese puffs?) Melt in your mouth, not in your hand.
There’s no wrong way to eat a Reeses. There’s a lot of joy
in Chips Ahoy. Chupa Chips, crisps, I’m coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs,
candy canes, Krispy Kremes, call me maybe, Cracker Jacks, Kool-Aid.
Somehow, I still miss Pop-Tarts, sprinkles plastered over frosting
like wild confetti. The cacophony of it all.

Everything or nothing bagel
Kelly Reid

I was working late when friends visited me, there was a new addition to their crew and he wore a good hat.  Come with us he said, I can’t, I gotta be up early to do brunch - but I’ll take another Ouzo if you are.
Christmas was in a couple of days and he showed up two nights later with a gift badly wrapped.  It was a book - On Booze, I read it on Christmas morning and fell in love before I had finished my morning toast.
We met at his work and I classily drank all the mulled wine that the bar had.  We went back to his place and it was more stylish than mine.  The Winter layers came off, he smelled like sweet earth and his skin felt smooth to the touch.
I tucked into his arms with the sound of sirens punctuating the night.
I hope I haven’t corrupted you too much.  Just enough, I said.
In that early morning haze I zigzagged my way to the train and stopped to order a bagel.  Salty, chewy and perfectly toasted - ruminating on my night, butter dripping down my fingers I remembered a F. Scott Fitzgerald quote - I loved him and that was the beginning and end of everything.

Peanut Butter
Nina Boutsikaris

There was a time when I was very good at being small. I’d say it was probably my best thing.
People often asked me if I was ok. Are you okay? Are you shrinking?
Once a doctor weighed me and whispered, Good luck. Pity, irritation, distaste; I wasn’t sure.
But mostly people were smiling or laughing or doing something else with their eyes when they reached out for my waist, because it was taut and looked/was good enough to touch, skin stretched thin, sunken above the navel, hip bones sticking out like plucked finch wings—which is fitting because maybe that’s what I actually wanted.
When I wasn’t exercising I was preparing fiber-rich, carb-free, leafy, vegan meals, and experimenting with muffins made from nothing but oats and bananas. It was all about willpower and imagination. I was a very good bully: You are healthy and strong.


A Pairing: Coming of Age and Cukes
Ashley Bare

We met when I was 18, he 26. In a bar. Flannery’s Irish Pub in Dijon, France, found near the gare. Ew. Whatever you do, don’t hang out in bars near the train station. Not a cute look.

Like every Irish bar found outside of Ireland, the vaguely Celtic atmosphere somehow draws an under-seasoned constituency of foreign juvenile females – “studying” abroad – and a similarly distasteful array of sophomoric, yet employed, indigenous gentlemen suitors (a generous word choice). He and I fit into our respective categories quite well.

The night we met, he had his eye on my Norwegian bombshell friend with sexy, blonde waves perfectly framing her cherubic face. Scandinavian was his flavor-du-moment. His girlfriend of five years – yes, girlfriend of five years – resided up in her hometown, Copenhagen, unaware of Frenchie’s aberrant behavior. Or maybe she did know and chose to ignore it.

Just like I, also, chose to ignore his behavior. Oops. Somehow that night his taste migrated from the Great Nordic to the midwestern plains of America, to me. Ultimately, I found myself in competition with a mistress, as well.


You reread the text messages 4,000 times. Put down your phone. Don’t look at it. Or you'll give it all the power. You broke. You fractured. You now seek the familiar. In the city of lost souls. Shit. 

With that, the break-up drinking begins.

That first night is spent sucking down Ballast Point at Blind Tiger. Fucking fruit beer. You remove the stupid wedge of citrus and leave it on your bev nap for the bartender to collect at 4am. Your friends are fighting. Trump just bombed Syria. The world is big and small at the same time. But you still feel raw.

You head to La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels. You down Pichler-Kruztler Grüner Vetliner like it’s chilled Chamomile tea. It pops your sober cherry and you feel the buzz.

You slide into Le Coucou by name dropping. Maybe the city is small? Langoustines should be their own food pyramid. Some ’03 Frank Balthazar Cornas, followed by ’96 Château d’Yquem. You’re warm and thankful for the past.


josh hamlet

At 9am we drank coffees.

We drank them quickly standing at a bar just a block from my apartment. I can’t remember now if she drank one as well but she stood next to me and recounted the last things she thought about before she fell away to sleep. From the coffee shop you could see the cobble stones and yellowed buildings with terracotta roofs and the wall protecting the rising waters from the river and the Arno. You could see the Arno as you sipped the last sips of coffee leaving the foam and a euro on the bar.

At 12:30pm we sat on the stoop and she rolled a cigarette. I thought of what I might want for lunch — a quick snack before diving back into the dark room. She was working on a painting. And a book. And anything you could image that was creative. I was drawn to her, immensely.


Cabin Service

Cabin Service is our new feature where we’ll tell our stories about the dining, drinking and antics we get up to when we travel: dancing and singing shamelessly to Despacito on the way to late-night Posole in CDMX, that thing of when a guy shoves a live crawfish in your mouth in a Korean fish market so you bite into it because it’s a him-or-you kinda moment, or knowing that sometimes the best Poutine in Montreal is the one closest to you, even if that means it’s from McDonald’s.

Continue to read the first installment: The Best Restaurant in the World is in Aruba

Bette Davis lookin' like a god damn snack 

Bette Davis lookin' like a god damn snack 

sedona schat

Sedona Schat is maybe the most lovely, calming, creative spirit around who just happens to be at the helm of the dope-ass group CAFUNÉ. And in this playlist she took us to another place that makes us want to get into some mid-day snaxxx of all sorts, bbs. XO

Honey Honey -- Feist
Love Galore -- SZA, Travi$ Scott
How Can I Explain -- CAFUNÉ
Deep -- Lizzo

...Check the rest out here on Spotify