RECOMMENDED:

Rhodes Family Bakery
1783 Cheshire Bridge Rd., Atlanta, GA 30324
404-876-3783 | www.rhodesfamilybakers.com

The cheese straws are the best in the city, but I prefer the gingerbread men.
 
Lunacy Black Market
231 Mitchell St., Atlanta, GA 30303
404-736-6164. | www.lunacyblackmarket.com

Paul Luna’s “uninspired cuisine” is among the city’s best. Make a reservation. You’ll be dining on a prix fixe menu of endless small plates with startling global flavors.

Robert watched the spectacle with Lee on the other side of the street. They were dunking gingerbread men from nearby Rhodes Bakery in cups of coffee. Lee had rented a vacant lot and was overseeing erection of a circus-style tent for the performance space he called the House of Gay Human Oddities. 

It was canary yellow and painted with portraits of performers like Shawtina, a trans-dwarf, who joined them now. He was wearing bright-red stiletto high-heels, but otherwise in his usual jeans and florid western shirt.

“Why in the world are you wearing those in the middle of the day?” Lee asked.

“I’ll tell you later. I’m taking a walk,” Shawtina replied.

With that, he strode across the street directly toward the protest group, which had stopped for a break. After a moment Robert followed, fearful that Shawtina might get hurt. He was already upbraiding the protestors.

“What do you jack-asses care if someone operates a strip club here? Didn’t you know that when you moved into the area? Look at you. Why don’t you get some KKK robes….”

“Are you gay?” a man blurted, looking at Shawtina’s shoes.

“Of course, I’m gay…or trans…or whatever. Are you gay?” Shawtina replied.

“Yes, I am,” the man said, “and you are an offense to our sexual orientation, as are these blatantly sexual businesses that make giving directions to our home embarrassing. We do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. All of the businesses are disgusting and…”

“Oh, great,” Shawtina snapped. “You’re at home having anal sex that was illegal until a few years ago and you want to shut down titty bars. Dumb asses.”

With that Shawtina turned his back and headed up the street, hobbling slightly on the stiletto heels. Robert followed. “Where are you going?” he asked.

“Up the road to the video booths,” Shawtina explained. “I’m too short for the glory holes without these heels on. See you later.”

That evening, Robert invited Lee to dinner at Lunacy Black Market in downtown Atlanta.

“It’s been a crazy day,” he said. “I think we should go someplace where lunacy is pleasant rather than a good argument to bring back Sex Panic.”

Lee laughed. “That’s my job,” he said.

Sex Panic was the short-lived but revolutionary group of the late ‘90s that formed to oppose the gay anti-promiscuity movement.

“Paul Luna is running for mayor,” Robert explained. “As his website warns, he sometimes gets naked while cooking. So, if anyone would dismiss Alex Wan’s effort to purify Cheshire Bridge, it’s him.”

Lee and Robert clinked their wine glasses. “Here’s to outlaw sex and all things off the beaten path,” Lee said.

The procession of small plates began. Among them were succulent ribs, spicy chicken legs and an exotic slaw, just to name a few.

It seemed that Robert may well have found the boyfriend he promised himself to meet before he turned 50.  Friends thought it was weird that this professor who taught queer theory would connect with a man who operated a gay freak show.

But then Robert had himself created the freaky Food Porn Supper Club where they met.  Robert looked forward to the opening performance of Lee’s show later that week.

 


Food Porn is a fictional series by longtime Atlanta food critic Cliff Bostock. Set in real Atlanta restaurants, it chronicles the adventures of Robert, a gay man in search of a husband — or at least a good meal. For past chapters, visit www.thegavoice.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.