CHEAP EATS This.
I love my editor/column hostess. And not just because I'm domestically partnered to her (though that helps).
My loyalty running as deep as it does in her general direction, when I see her overworked, I want to unburden her. Tonight, she made pork chops. They were delicious: on a bed of leftover basmati rice from an unfortunate delivery job earlier in the week, with a side of sauteed string beans. Best dinner of the day, hands down. And then she says to me, she says "Confound it, Hedgehog. My column's due again."
"Has it been a week already? Well don't fret," says I (we always speak like old-timey prospectors after dinner), "it's still early. You can write your column aftern you do the dishes."
"No," she says. "By the time I finish doing all of these here dishes dishes which, mind you, were dirtied in service of a meal you specifically requestered I'll be too tired to type let alone think of some other meal I ate somewheres else and review it."
So here I am, writing her review for her while she does the dishes. And to make sure my editor's editors know I mean business, I'll give you not one but two reviews for the price of none this week.
First there was this Vietnamese place we went to called Oriental Something or Other. That's not really the name but I'm not really a food reviewer so I forgot to grab a menu and I can't rightly bother the actual food reviewer while she's elbows-deep in lemon-scented bubbles. Anyway, it was in Berkeley. You can find it on Yelp, I'm sure.
And when youse're done reading everyone else's uneducated opinion there, here's one more: it was really good pho. And a really disappointing shrimp spring roll. Mostly rice noodles, one little shrimp splayed open like that dude Hannibal Lector hung from the rafters (not Pembry, mind you; the other one), and a little wilted lettuce.
But the pho woah. And cheap, too. So that's a good place. You should eat pho there. But not rolls.
Second, Chicken Farmer was very impressed by a place I took her to in Los Angeles the other week. It was the meal we had before we went to win our award. Place called Sabina's European Restaurant, on the corner of Vine and Fountain in one of those strip mall things that constitute 90% of Los Angeles.
The other 10% being Joel Silver's ego.
Anyway, Sabina's does not actually represent all of Europe, cuisine-wise. It's exclusively Romanian.
So exclusively, in fact, that they don't even know what pierogis are. What they do know is how to stuff a cabbage and paprika up some chicken. And dumplings! Boy Howdy do they ever!
And get this: everything on the menu is $5.75 or cheaper. Yes, it is still 2012! Huge portions, too! Just ask Kayday. We couldn't finish everything and still fit into our red carpet gowns, so we took it to go and left it in her rental car while we went in to the event and achieved everlasting fame and glory.
And man, did that car smell funky when we got back in it.
CHEAP EATS continued
Whoa, Hedgehog. Whoa! Do you really want to drag Hannibal Lector into this? Not to mention Boy Howdy.
Still, it's your best Cheap Sports yet, in that you didn't say Word One about anything sporty. If I didn't know better, I might think you were finally making your play for my job.
Wait ... Are you?
If so, next time focus on the jalapenos. I would have said how we only needed one little slice to spice up the whole big bowl of pho to a sweat-inducing, sinus-scouring, head-spinning pitch. How often are jalapenos even hot at all, let alone rip-roaringly hot. So hurray for Oriental for knowing how to pick out a good one.
But, really, Berkeley be damned, my new favorite restaurant is Sabina's, in Hollywood. So let's make another movie.