Parking it

Spinning many wheels -- and finding sustenance at the Alameda branch of Burma Superstar

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CHEAP EATS So they have that classic car show every year in Alameda. It's a pretty big deal, and Park Street is closed to traffic. The classic cars park in the parking spots, and the people walk down the middle of the road and look at them, and into them, and under the hood.

My own personal interest in classic cars would best be described as D) Nonexistent. But Boink and his dad like to go. They have a whole tradition around it, which ends in pizza. They look at the cars, they eat the pizza. It's a boy thing. I wouldn't know.

Except that this particular Saturday I didn't have any football or soccer or even necessarily baseball to play. And there was an apartment to look at on Park Street, in Alameda. (This was a couple weeks ago, back when Hedgehog and me were still relatively homeless.) So, OK, so, we went.

Hedgehog looked at the apartment without me. We had by this time begun to start to feel almost a little bit paranoid about the fact that no one seemed to want to sublet to us. Not in Berkeley, not in Oakland, not in San Francisco. The day before, we had looked at a shithole in the Tenderloin and, out of desperation, loved it!

But the guy decided to rent to someone else, for no real reason.

"Why?" I asked him on the phone. We had seen the place first. Our credit is perfect. We are clean, upstanding, even accomplished citizens.

"I don't know," he said, after a long pause. "No real reason."

"Oh," I said. "OK." Because what else can you say?

This much we knew: it couldn't possibly be because we are a gay couple, this being San Francisco. So, we decided, it must be me. To wit, that I am too witty. That I am intimidatingly charming, classy-looking, and well-spoked. Technically, I decided this. But Hedgehog agreed to go see the next place by herself. And that was in Alameda. On Park Street. During the car show.

While she was scoping the place out I wandered aimlessly, people watched, car watched, and just generally sat down on a manhole cover. I was hoping to see Boink and his dad, and/or Popeye the Sailor Girl and her mom. I hadn't seen any of them all since early summer, so was quite unreasonably excited about the possibility of seeing them.

But mostly I saw legs.

Which made me hungry. Then Hedgehog came back and said the apartment was ours for the taking.

Well, hers. But: no tub, no natural light, no me (technically), and it smelled like dude.

"Let's eat," I said, standing up.

And then, as if by some sort of cartoon magic, there was Popeye the Sailor Girl, holding her mom's hand, the both of them looking about as cute as some buttons. What's more, they were hungry too!

Then Boink and Dad came by, and they were looking cute too, but not hungry, not like us'ns. They just wanted cars and pizza.

Popeye the Sailor Girl and her mom being both gluten free, their favorite restaurant is Burma Superstar. Hedgehog loves Burmese food.

Ergo: our decision was easy. It's the same place as the one in the city, on Clement Street, only no lines! Not even at exactly lunch time on a beautiful special-event weekend.

I had me some mint chickeny thingy without mint and Hedgehog had duck garlic noodles without hardly any garlic. But to illustrate what a super restaurant Burma Superstar is, both dishes were still good.

And we had the chicken coconut noodle soup, which was especially tasty, of course. It's kind of like the Thai classic Tom Ka Gai, only eggs instead of mushrooms, which is trading up in my book. Oh, and noodles — which I always thought Tom Ka Gai should have, anyway.

It was so nice to catch up with Popeye the Sailor Girl, and to play Steal Mommy's Purse with her while her mom was in the restroom.

A delightful time.

A new favorite old favorite restaurant.

And I don't know about the classic car show but, hey, I like Alameda.

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