My seafood kick has by now turned into a full on Sheen-style bender; but hey, at least my vice of choice is Mussels. Here to enable my mollusk-fiending ways is Flea Market Café where Tuesday nights will get you unlimited Mussels, frites and a glass of wine or beer for only $19.95 (#WINNING). With 4 excellent varieties of mussels to satisfy your cravings, this may be one of the hottest deals in the East Village (Avenue A btwn St Marks/9th St).
The French kitschy knick knacks adorning the walls should put you in casual mode for your mussel “moment”… please tell me you weren’t thinking of bringing that new hottie you’re dating. Down boy, this is a comfort-zone date night. Sure, you may be checking out that table of hipster good-lookins across the way, but keep your eye on the mollusk menu and FOCUS. To be fair, they do have other French fare like the Pistachio Crusted Salmon (which was excellent) – but we all know why you’re really here…
Whether you start light with the moules Marinière (served in a garlicky white wine sauce w/ shallots) or go all out with the moules au Roquerfort & Brie (a double teaming of creamy cheese goodness), you’re going to be in for a messy yet delightful evening. The moules a la Dijonaise are a nice in between if you want something flavorful without it being too heavy. Don’t forget the remaining variety – the moules Provencales (my faves) were served up in a spicy tomato sauce that was very different from the rest of the pack. No matter the “flavour” you opt for, SUGGESTION: take advantage of that warm crusty bread basket – when I dip, you dip, we dip. If we’re being honest, you’re going to try them all anyway, so admit surrender and quit playing, fool.
Some things to note… by 9pm, “the Market” is packed and there’s a good chance they may run out of the mussels, so try to get there sometime before 8:30pm to ensure your all-you-can-eat evening. The first bowl is the biggest portion, so don’t be deterred from ordering a second smaller bowl (or a third – just sayin’). Also, they only take Amex and cash so be prepared. Speaking of preparation, it’s gonna be a long night so go with an empty stomach and get ready to put in some work – all you can eat is a serious business, and this place has some seriously great mussels. Bon appétit!