Farrah and I went out for lunch yesterday. To protect the innocent, I will refrain from name dropping the restaurant we went to. We decided to go for Chinese food. Sounded good at the time, and you can always count on leftovers for dinner so you're usually getting two meals in one. Great idea. Well, once we opened the door to this "restaurant" I should've turned around immediately and ran back to my car. But, no, I'm to damn polite to do something as smart as that. There were festive Chinese lanterns hanging from the office-style-tiled-ceiling which seemed to kinda match a normal Chinese restaurant themed environment, but then I looked at the chairs and tables. They were the type of chairs you'd find in a bowling alley or in a diner that should've been closed down years and years ago. The kind you saw back when they allowed you to smoke while eating your dinner. You know what I'm talking about. You're probably picturing brown vinyl chairs with the metal legs? Close. They were red vinyl to keep with the color theme hanging from the ceiling. The tables matched with the metal legs and the tops were glass covered over paper place mats that showed the Chinese calendar with the corresponding animals.
Those things weren't what frightened me. I was frightened by the sight of NO ASIANS in this ASIAN restaurant. In fact, the waitstaff consisted of all white women no younger than 60 years old. No joke. I thought I had somehow made a wrong turn and ended up at the Poodle Dog in Tacoma. In fact, that's about what the place looked like, but scaled down and not as cool. At least at the Poodle Dog, you know what you're getting yourself into when you walk in. I was not prepared for this.
I looked over the menu to try to decide what to order. Of course, I recognized the names of all the meals but was a bit nervous as to what we would be presented with. I couldn't help but notice the patrons that ate next to us. Old. They were very old people. To my left and to my right. Old people. Then the people that came in to pick up their lunch were OLD. WHERE THE HELL WAS I?!!!
Farrah and I went safe. I ordered the Almond Chicken and she ordered the Sweet and Sour Chicken. "Is that all white meat?" "No, honey it's a mix." Goddamnit. First we were served the "soup". You know the kind you usually get before your meal? It's usually Egg Flower soup, right? Right. Well, their version of Egg Flower soup had the typical Egg Flower noodley stuff, along with peas, carrots, meat, canned mushrooms, barley. Barley? Yep. That's typical right? Yes...in BEEF BARLEY SOUP. To be polite I tried the broth. Tasted like Beef Barley soup. Yuck. Well, that got pushed aside and laughed at. Then our lunch arrived. I had the biggest grin on my face because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was blogging about this meal. Abso-freakin-lutely. It looked like I had 5 giant chicken thighs deep fried in thick batter and covered in a gravy-esque substance that looked like something that belonged over a turkey dinner. It was dusted with remnants of almonds. That's how it was justified to be called Almond Chicken. In the center of my plate was cheap old-school style Pork Chow Mein. No pork. No noodles. Just a LOT of celery, some bean sprouts, and those Chinese noodle crackers. I swear to god I was picturing some old lady in the back reading from some Betty Crocker cookbook on how to prepare Chinese Food. But I knew that couldn't be the case because just about everything from Betty Crocker is spectacular.
Farrah's plate was almost identical to mine only with a pink sauce over the top. I had to cut her meat for her and look for pieces I was comfortable to serve her. She seemed to enjoy her meal just fine, but that's because she primarily ate her rice (which also had canned mushrooms in it). She drowned her rice and everything else on her plate with soy sauce which probably helped. I had also been so bold as to order the fried shrimp on the side. I'm used to getting shrimp the size of half a hot dog. No, these were precooked and precurled shrimp, so they looked like the size of a mushroom. I had to taste the mustard that came with it to make sure it was Chinese mustard and not basic Yellow mustard. Score one for them. It was kinda the real deal.
When the waitress came around to check on us she said, "Oh, it looks like you two still have some work to do." Again, sounding like a waitress from the Poodle Dog. "No, we're good, thanks." "I'll get you some boxes." "That's okay." All I could picture was how cruel that would be to make my garbage can outside endure the smell, let alone my car for the whole 10 minutes to get back to my house. I knew I'd have to make different plans for dinner since leftover "Chinese" food wasn't going to be it. So...uh...yeah. We won't be going back there. At least I know it won't be on my "Hey, let's go eat at fill in the blank tonight" list.