Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Adventures in Eating

For any obscure nation wishing to become an empire, well there are written guidelines. The first and most important requirement is you must have bland food. Yes, it's well known that most every war was started by people who were tired of eating the same old thing every day. I'll go farther than that (I usually do) to speculate? Choose any belligerent nation on the map. Send in all the UN inspectors you want, turn the place upside down. I bet you won't find a decent chili dog or BBQ sandwich in the whole country.

It was with a sense of humble pride, at living in a great nation with so many dining options, we set out. What we meant to do is eat exotic food, from a strange land where people have mysterious, unusual customs.

My mind immediately went to New Orleans food, then Mr. Smarty Pants (you know who you are) pointed out that technically New Orleans is part of the US.

We briefly considered Indian food. But the US has never been at war with India (yet) and it just felt unfaithful somehow, going behind the backs of our former enemy nations. So we went for VietNamese food.

The first thing I noticed about the place was that most of the customers seemed to be VietNamese. I took that as an encouraging sign.

There were lots of things on the menu. I flirted with ordering the squid, but really I wasn't feeling THAT "boldly go" at the moment. We ordered the cashew chicken. It was GREAT!

Huge bowl filled with hunks of chicken, and a delicious brown gravy, salty and sweet at the same time. Lots of steamed vegetables; we were even able to identify one of them! (It was onion) My son liked it all so much, he ate every bit of it, and I could tell he wanted to lick the bowl.

And that's another great thing about eating exotic ethnic foods? Table manners are open to creativity. All you're expected to do is pay the bill afterwards. Eat with your hands if you wish. There is likely very little you can do, that will lower your host's already firmly formed opinion of Americans.

No comments: