Archive for the ‘Lunch Bunch’ Category
Bob says we woulda gone to the little grill in his well-guarded and gated community where danger lurks wherever entry is sought. All the plans had been laid DOWN. All the maps drawn and quartered. EXCEPT they don’t open until 4pm. So, hippity hippity hop, we flop again at Mi Camino Real, where we’ve been often enough this past few years to be recognized at first glance. Where the people are friendly and the food is decent and they allow us to play Scrabble (copyright til you die) afterwords without having to push and pull me to a library down the street and up Route 68 past Radio Shack.
Another miracle that’s made my life much more accessible (to me) is the auto adaptor kit for my c-PAP (thank you, CB, for finding it) which allows me to wear my mask which helps me breathe almost effortlessly during short-to-medium trips.
Just the three of us, Bob, CB and me. Willie is off wandering in Vermont again with her friend diddle diddle john, the hunter man who, she says, seems almost as cosy in Vermont as in his mobile hunting lodge somewhere on the Ohio-West Virginia border.
Oscar the server was serving the LunchBunch for the very first time. And, like Caesar before him, seemed to have radar installed to anticipate our needs and various types of medication to quickly counter ill effects of some of our silly requests.
Like roasted peppers. Tasty but testy (hot). Bob and I ordered two and ate one each. The other two I brought home to chop into the white beans my sister had given me the week before to the accompaniment or crumbling cornbread.
Bob’s spousal unit Joyce is on a protracted sojourn to the South. Not so bad, he can keep in touch by phone. But WAIT, CB dropped Bob’s phone in her purse! He has no phone at home. So, he’ll truly be Joyceless until next Tuesday when we meet again. And beyond.
CB got her usual steak fajitas; problem with multiple visits to a dining establishment (more than one) is that boredome sets in quickly and heavily, like a concrete horseshoe the school bully forced down your gullet, regardless of how good the food, service, appointments and all that stuff may have been that “first” time. NEVER spend the first one until you feel you absolutely must.Bob had an enchilada and a tamale. I had a tamale (I do believe the singular form of tamale is “tamale”) and the stuff that normally comes with fajitas – beans and rice all around and all that other sour cream and guacamole and stuff. Followed by flan and churros.
A solid 7 for me and I heard no complaints from the other two until we started the Scrabble games. I won 1 of 2. CB won 1 or 3. and Bob won 2 of 3. Unless, of course, I am mistaken.
The conversion united that allows me to use my C-PAP in Tranq is a blessing, boosting me to eating spots around the area.
Thank you, Bob, for the tomatoes….again. What can be better than the taste of a fresh tomato? A tasty round of lip wrestling, he muttered confidently after a pause for thought.
I must also thank Mi Camino Real for the Mexican pop. Strawberry for me; Orange for Bob. Wow! Reminded me of the pop we used to sometimes be able to afford from the iceman down in Puryear, Tennessee. Straight from on the ice under the protective tarpaulin to my mouth, thence quickly, quickly, laid, down my throat, like liquid sandpaper cleaning my pipes. Wow!
Air thick enough to choke a cow…and ME; Chinese (is it really?) food good and plenty enough to fatten us all for market! Lunch Bunch.
My first time in weeks to venture more than a few blocks from the house. Success!
Sometimes, no, most times, Lunch Bunch winds up landing in a tiny or medium strip mall somewhere between Northern Kentucky and Northern Dayton. I think that the strip mall must be formatted for easy ingress and egress for restaurant owners and their equipments and their dreams.
The China Buffet in the Eastgate Shopping Center is an exception to the temporary housing rule, however, we’ve been planting our big and small butts there for several years, never tiring yet of the cornucopia of eastern delicacies awaiting us. One of the few places I don’t complain too much about return visits – my preference is to try a new place every week.
I try to get a small bite of everything that looks good and wind up with three plates of samples, half of which are consumed with a smile in my gut and between my mustache and beard.
Hot. Hot. Hot.
I love spicy hot food. I discovered yesterday my lungs can no longer endure hot and muggy weather. I learned the definition of smothering firsthand until Tranq’s a/c kicked in.
Bob brought tomatoes and cucumbers to the party – thank you, my friend. And ribs which he also took back home.
Willie brought snicker doodles she had made – they were excellent, Wee Willie.
CB brought me – good job, CB.
Tuesday because Willie and John (her spousal unit) (remember the soul singer Little Willie John? – mebbe a good label for our couple, eh? Eh, Willie?
Anyhow, Little Willie John left for parts Vermont this morning, take their cats with them and who knows what else as their ferry their household from here to the ancestral home left Willie by her mom a few years back.
What a beautiful setting up there not far from Lake Champlain. CB and I met with Willie up there one October for a special Lunch Bunch where I was introduced to poutine, a mishmash of french fries, gravy and curd cheese.
I’m surely gonna miss her when she arrives at her final farewell. Glad Bob’s, so far, not planning on spending the rest of his retirement in the Okefenokee Swamp wrestling alligators, crocodiles and giant catfish.
I suppose I should mention the consensus grade we four gave the Chinese Buffet was 8.3. Unlike most buffets we’ve tried, they have squid; they have octopus; and stuff; but I never found one of their spareribs.
Lunchbunch is a rally. One of us tries to find a restaurant that is impossible to find and the rest spend the morning looking for it, GPS in hand, or in the case of Bob, handwritten instructions his hand wrote down – Bob doesn’t trust his GPS very much because, he says, I’ve been a very poor example when I got CB and me lost several times using GPS. Never ever ever, though – well, HARDLY ever, do I mention the time Willie and I followed Bob all over the countryside near Clarksville (OH) looking for apples (It’s our secret, Bob – Willie’s and yours and mine!).
When we do finally find each other at the designated meeting place the clash of our rushing words would energize a nuclear power plant if someone ever learned to harness it.
After staying in the house, mostly in bed, for most of the week before, riding in a wheelchair behind CB in Tranq, is without equal, even when the water-laden air refuses to cease its battering of the insides of my lungs.
I think most of us won at least one Scrabble (copyright til you die). Well, no, CB says that’s not true. CB won both of hers. Willie lost both of hers. Bob and I split ours. After more than a decade, we, however, have yet to reach a decision on the deepest meaning of that frustrating word game. Too bad AGGRAVATION isn’t its name.
Brought home some Singapore Mai Fun and, thusly, added a new favorite taste: the curry did it, methinks.
120828 – Lots of food; more cleanup. It’s a wonder they don’t have me on my hands and knees cleaning up my infamous messes caused by spillover from Bob’s and my (and sometimes Willie’s) appetizers.
Willie had to leave after two games to get home ahead of traffic and get her ass packing for today’s departure. (It is my theory (well ONE one of my theories). Bob shot over to Meijer’s to do Joyce’s bidding. I got in Tranq and tried to keep quiet so as not to disturb CB, my chauffeur.
Soul food. How life has changed from the days when soul food, or country food, became the bill of fare for us folks who couldn’t afford better cuts or more expensive vegetables. Now the yuppies are trying to take our food away from us, denying us of yet another part of our identity. I saw in a paper last week where a high class soul food restaurant was opening in the Cincinnati area.
People in the big house over there ate pork tenderloin and hams and tender cuts of ham. From the same pigs, the poor people who helped kill and dress the hogs got what would probably have been thrown away for fed to the dogs any. Hog head for head cheese where you take all the skin and stuff, grind it up and make a poor man’s lunch loaf. Pig ears, one of my favorites, to boil for sandwiches. Pig feet. Pig tails. Brains? Nothing better than pig brains scrambled with eggs.owe
there were the poor white relatives of the hog owners who gratefully accepted the charity of leftover pig ears, feet and ribs, a piece of loin or two to supplement the 5 pounds for a dollar hamburger meat at Schofner and Thompson (half bread and other filling). And we loved our food, rarely realizing we’d been relegated to the bottom of the balrrel of pork bounty, especially our black friends? who lived over yonder in the holler and who dasn’t say “no” to whatever request, or to whatever compensation was offered.
Today my 29 cent a pound pork ribs are, what 3 or 4 dollars?
Fat back, for example, has become an integral part of a gourmet dish. Who can afford fatback now?
And everything else is rising sky high in price.
So whadda we eat now that we can afford.
Used to get a soul food plate for 2 or 3 dollars; today it’s 10-17 dollars.
They’re stealing from us again.
I only hope the same ingenuity from Africa, Scotland, Ireland and a few countries in Europe, will come up with alternative affordable food for our tables which by nature of our lessening incomes must be provisioned with less and less.
Which all leads me to Emma’s soul food Restaurant on Harrision not far down the street.
I don’t like to take the LunchBunch to the west side; it’s too easy to go close to home. Except now with my COPD, I am forced to. And we’ve found some pretty good places that even Bob hasn’t blown up in his imagination before we left. Five Boroughs. The Chinese Restaurant. Ron’s Roost. Giovanni’s and Emma’s.
Strangely, Emma’s had been open on Harrison Avenue, a major thoroughfare, for 8 years, and CB and I had never heard of it. Almost literally a hole in the wall. Clean. Good fresh food, but not what I would call a souldfood restaurant.
A compromise between Europe and Africa. A compromise.
I’ve worn myself down writing this …. I’ll finish tomorrow.
Any of you ever been to a hog killing where nearby Negro laborers, who lived in tiny villages among farms in the county, were called to help and given hog guts (chitterlings), ribs, heads and the like for their hard day’s labor.
And we haven’t even touched on barbecued possum and fried raccoon, rabbit, squirrel, edible birds and the like.
Is the story as simple as someone stealing my Dad’s (on my father’s side) and my Grandmother’s (on my mother’s side) recipes and selling them to the highest bidder once they had sampled their rich (fatty) goodness, increasing demand for the junk food which had heretofore feed us at the bottom of the food chain, which, in turn raised prices to fit big time eateries.
Will we, too, be relegated to dog food dinners?
“With or without cereal bits, ma’am et mister? I do recommend the pseudo wheat germ flavor.”