Cheap Eats

Synapse lapse

Iridium flares, Chicago Bears -- and Great American BBQ

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Dear Earl Butter,

That's great about the synapse package. Synapse packages are very important, as the Pod surely knows. I can only imagine what having had yours brought "to the fore" has done for your creative output and pulled pork with barbecue slaw. Because in terms of thinking and cooking and playing Scrabble and guitar, I mean, it all boils down to synapse packages. Wait. What's a synapse package?Read more »

Man w/ parking

Friends with interesting benefits -- and subtle catfish at Brown Sugar Kitchen

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Dear Earl Butter,

Really??? Really, Earl? Really? Do you really think the source of your romantical problems is lack of parking? If so, by buying a motorcycle, a car, and a parking space, won't you be setting yourself up for the opposite sort of problem: too much love.Read more »

Beadeviled

Mardi Gras dreams -- and big bowls of ramen at Katana-Ya
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CHEAP EATS Dear Earl Butter,

As it turns out, the whole purpose of Mardi Gras is to catch beads. There are also little plastic cups and stuff, but what I want is a football. I want to make a leaping spinning catch, like a halftime Frisbee dog, bring it on home, lay it at Coach's feet, and pant.

Do you think she will pat me on the head?

Do you think she will let me play in the season opener (this weekend!) even though I've missed every single practice since training camp?

I don't know. Read more »

Adieu, Paris

Our correspondent lies resplendent in New Orleans; Earl Butter visits Pad Thai

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Dear Earl Butter,

Here's a funny thing. I am supposed to be on a plane right now, and I'm not. You know in movies when the tearful lover is in line at the gate, wearing sunglasses, even while the other lover, the one with better sneakers, is dashing through the airport, leaping over luggage, dodging go-carts, and generally knocking over ordinary citizens in a desperate attempt to stop her?Read more »

Pony up, kids

Long shots at the track, and yummy burgers at Chez Maman

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS From Crawdad's house in Berkeley, you can see Golden Gate Fields racetrack. I take her kids to the soccer pitch next door, to watch and run, and I walk their dog along the water behind the track.

When I was little, I used to circle my favorite-named horses in the sports section, then check back the next day to see how much I'd won. My uncles and aunts played the ponies. Punker and Gatorgator, they play the ponies. I have been invited. And invited.Read more »

Gum-choux seduction

Memories of chicken tikka masala at Hamro Aangan -- and witnessing the birth of jazz

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS She made me a gumbo-reduction taco, then took my hand and led me to her bedroom. At the time, jazz did not exist yet. There was something on TV, but the sound was off. Hedgehog was wearing a Saints jersey, No. 73 — Someone Evans, who made the Pro Bowl and came from her home town. I already had a picture of her in her Saints shirt, but there was something else in the world where jazz would be. Maybe some dishes, or a paper bag full of paper bags. Holding the spot.Read more »

Meat-cute

Digging into pulled pork flapjacks at Green Goddess in New Orleans
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS The things that New Orleans throws at you! Example: a wall of doors, so metaphoric it hurts. My goal is, for the length of this column, to not let it mean anything, just ... a wall of doors. Yep.Read more »

Po' girl

Feeling the chill in New Orleans -- and digging into superior imperial rolls at Blue Elephant on Cortland 

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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS It was minus two in Boston when I got on the airplane. I was all bundled up in borrowed and stolen clothing, trying to tap what was left of the warmth from our show there. Between 200 and 300 bodies, and, no, I didn't get laid, but on the other hand I never felt more loved. There may have been one or two dry eyes in the house, but there were not a lot of dry pairs of underpants. Myself, I was completely creamed by the whole thing. I'm still a little shaken.Read more »

Derailment

Beating the cold in the east, and missing Brothers Restaurant
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS The last thing I did before I left San Francisco, I promised Earl Butter that this time I would not kiss any gangsters on the train. I didn't say anything about self-proclaimed hillbillies who burp a lot and don't have front teeth — or luggage — so you wonder if they just escaped from prison or are only on parole.

This one, he flirted with me all the way from Emeryville to Chicago. That's a long way to not kiss someone!Read more »

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 »