torsdag, maj 18, 2006

I Might Never Cook Again

Too many fine things to maw down on in this here world. T and I hit Kahn's on Tuesday afternoon for a little Mongolian barbecue. Outstanding. Though I'd worked for years close to it, I'd never gone. As Bugs Bunny might say, "What a maroon!" The joint fascinated me. You get a bowl. You go through the buffet line and fill your bowl with raw meats, vegetables, noodles. You add your sauces and oils. Then you bring it to the kitchen counter where they overturn the bowl's contents on a searing round cooking iron. As the cook adds more oil and pushes your food about in one of the iron's quadrants, he asks, "You want peanuts?" I did. He added them. When it's all ready, he scrapes your food onto a plate, off you go. If you've the extra scratch, you can drop a tip in the basket on the counter and ring the gong, to which the cooks will cry out, "Thank you!"

The gong is extra fine for the Costanza types in this world who worry about a server not noticing that he's tipped.

Wednesday, the good eats kept coming. Ate lunch with J at Big Bowl. (I'm all about bowls.) Spicey yellow curry, homemade ginger ale with a true ginger bite, and good tales. I learned the basic difference between traditional and nuevo tango. I learned that women in Victoria's Secret call employees into dressing rooms to tell them whether the underwear fits them right. I find that odd. Not shocking, but odd.

And Wednesday night my parents came into town so we all met down at the Puerto Azul, Saint Paul's outstanding Cuban joint. I just might kill for the mango salsa chicken. Really. The spicing is perfect. It's got good heat but it's mellow hot. It's the sort of warmth that just seems to radiate through one rather than scald the taste buds. Served cleanly on a plate with a berm of rice separating the chicken breast from the black beans. Just gorgeous, all of it.

Check out Cool on the Hill's Puerto passage.

I've yet to have plantains as good as I had at a restaurant in West Palm Beach, Florida (Thank you, Peggasussers!)--When was that? October 2004?--but Puerto Azul is awesome. It makes me sad to see slow nights there. Our table of 6 was one of maybe four tables at 6:30. I think maybe a 2 top came in after us, but that seemed to be it. Please, all of you, wherever you live. Visit Puerto Azul. If you can't make it, just send me your cash. I'll dine there for you and write to you about how awesome your dinner was.

Hungry for better food writing? Please give an eye, if not two, to the Bloated Belly. Sometimes I wonder whether Harold is a real person or just a narrative device.

Ate leftover curry for breakfast. Am thinking Jay's Cafe for lunch. ...
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