L.E. Leone

Come to my room

"Sweet Freedom" -- and Bi-Rite Market

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS After his thing he went right up to her and whispered in her ear. Here's what he said: "Are you doing anything tonight?" Here's what else he said: "Do you want to come to my hotel room?"

"Really?" I said. "You said that?"

"Can you believe it?"

"No," I said. We were sitting at a picnic table in Dolores Park, in the sun in the cold, eating samwiches (his word for it, although ... I would agree). The samwiches were from Bi-Rite Market, and therefore very good. "And did she come to your hotel room?" I said.Read more »

The scream

An indelible moment of existential panic -- and some sustenance from New Hoa Ky

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS This isn't a metaphor. There was an actual patty of dog barf on the off-white carpet at the foot of the bed in the master bedroom, Coach's dad's house, San Diego, California, U.S.A., Earth, my life. Coach and Cola were standing outside the room on the deck, looking down at the chicken coop. Our instructions were to kill the roosters, do what we want with the hens, and please leave the bunny rabbit and dog alone.

The bunny lived in the chicken coop.Read more »

Eat your slumgolian

You can go with that -- or you can go with the Taco Shop @ Underdogs
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Tell you, I loved making chili with Coach's mom. Her refrigerator was broke, so everything we needed was downstairs in Grandma's fridge. Except in most cases it wasn't there either.

Coach is of course a vegetarian. Grandma didn't want beans, or spicy. Neither refrigerator had any peppers of any kind. Nor could I find chili powder.Read more »

Call it macaroni

Kofte with the kiddies at Turkish Kitchen in Berkeley

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Some people really thought I was going to move to Norway! I'm not. I'm sorry. I was just making fun of myself for trying to move to Germany last winter. This one, between the holidays and playing shortstop for my new football team, I am going to New York City, Boston, New Orleans, and France.Read more »

Grids and gridiron

Taking the league by storm -- and downing bulgogi tacos at Seoul on Wheels

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Coach and me went to Benders many nights in a row. "Benders," she likes to say. "It's what's for dinner." But I don't know. I love their burgers and tots. And their pulled pork, come to think of it, rebounded me nicely from that dollop of whatever-the-crap-that-was at Bonnie's last week. But my sense of adventure begins to feel compromised after more than one night in a row at the same place. Read more »

UM alert!

They should have told me about the topping at Bonnie's

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS While we waited for our tacos, I crammed pickled jalapeños, carrots, and onions into a cup to take to the bar with us. Coach was riffling through the pile of rolled up complimentary calendars on the shelf above, muttering, "Hot babes hot babes hot babes."

"What are you doing?" I said.

"Do you need a calendar?"Read more »

Ducking the cold

Diving into Moby Dick -- and noodle soup at Your Place Thai Cuisine

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS I know I'm not the only one. December rubs a lot of people the wrong way. This year, to combat my usual seasonal depression, I am moving to Norway. Oh, I'm sure I'll be back to the Bay Area to visit, now and agin, but just in case I'm underestimating the inherent cheerfulness of Oslo and wind up coming back to live, I will of course continue to write Cheap Eats from abroad, no worries.Read more »

Olden Days

Strangely sweet duck soup and facing up to antiquity at Lao Thai Soul Food Kitchen

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS There are however hazards of hanging out with people young enough to be your sister's best friend's daughter. I'm not talking about going roller skating in my underwear, riding on the handlebars of a bike in a skirt and heels at night, or even eating at a vegan soul food restaurant in Oakland.Read more »

Bodies and bacon

Numbing possible Platonic crushes at Mission Chinese Food
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS My new friends are young and queer and, most important, bikers, so I get to hang out at Benders where the burgers have whiskey and bits of bacon in them. Many of my new friends are vegetarian, which saves me from the awkwardness of having big fat crushes on them. My crushes are small and skinny and eat veggie burgers.Read more »

Jail bait

Go ahead  -- oil your countertop with your elbows! The grab some udon at Live Sishi Bistro

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS On a day when I felt really very much like oiling a countertop with my elbows, I oiled a countertop with my elbows! This proves that such a thing as free will exists, I think.

Proving that I'm not a very great thinker, because maybe I was predetermined to want what I wanted, or maybe we all want the same thing: barbecued pork ramen.Read more »