Cheap Eats

Pork in a storm

Torn among dumplings and a visit with Kayday to T-28
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CHEAP EATS Kayday came here from Seattle. She tenor guitars my band and, being the opposite of a Luddite, helps me think about the future in terms of publishing, recording, and having things. Her car isn't just red. It's a Honda Fit. What else: she looks cute in a raincoat, which is important if you come from Seattle.

It was raining so hard in the Mission, we decided to go to the Outer Sunset to eat. A "double down," she called it. I call it fighting water with water.Read more »

The mad hatter

El Rio's fry bread guy mends romantic hunger

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CHEAP EATS I had a coffee date after work in Alameda. He wasn't feeling well and wondered about chicken soup. I knew exactly what to tell him, and he invited me to come along, but got it to go.Read more »

Kim chichi

Broadening horizons with the Korean burrito

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CHEAP EATS It was the weekend and my kitten and me were dancing to the Ramones in our pajamas. Coffee sloshing all over the place. Kibble clattering. The phone rang and we let it ring. I already had lunch plans and dinner plans. Why answer the phone?

I answered the phone. Knowing me, it was either my lunch plan or my dinner plan, calling to cancel. So I stopped the music.

Stoplight kept dancing.Read more »

Trans action time

Howling at marriage inequality at Taqueria Los Coyotes
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CHEAP EATS And then there was Kiz's wedding, and I was honored to be a part of her get-ready team. Although: I had nightmares about branding her face with a curling iron or, worse, catching her hair on fire. Read more »

Ducking a lull

"A good 30 minutes" at Hong Ling Restaurant

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CHEAP EATS He wouldn't be ready for "a good 30 minutes," my brother said.

This left me with time to kill. To be precise, it left me with 30 minutes. And not just any minutes — good ones.

But how does one differentiate? How can you be sure that the minutes you are fixing to kill are good, quality, law-abiding minutes? And then, once convinced, how do you do the dirty deed cleanly? How do you kill those minutes? Not to mention: in Glen Park.

On a heat wavy day.Read more »

Carne, carnival

Clowns, meat-eating girlfriends of tank aerators, and Rafael's Shutter Café
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CHEAP EATS I fell in with some bad people. One was a clown. You don't expect to even like clowns, let alone fall in with them, but this one was brilliant, in a Charlie Chaplinish way. Or early Woody Allen, meaning: all you have to do is look at him and you pee your pants. Read more »

Witchy ways

Full of potential with a half a falafel sandwich at Twilight cafe

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CHEAP EATS How to tear down a chicken coop: Step one, build a chicken coop. I used scrap wood, found objects, and recycled nails and screws to make this one. At the time, I was going through a divorce, so my spirits were all light and buildery, and I whistled while I worked and didn't get too upset if I got a splinter. Read more »

Let's date!

Delfina's not out-of-reachably expensive pizza

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CHEAP EATS While the Maze's mom was fighting for her life, he sat and stood by her side, in San Diego, and talked to her, even though she couldn't hear him, or respond.

Her coma was induced, more-or-less medically, according to the Maze, who went to med school. After seven days, they more-or-less medically weaned her back into life as we know it. Where you breathe, you know, air, and eat, you know, food, and go to the bathroom. When he left San Diego, she could do some of the above, plus take six steps. Read more »

Meow mix

You can't drown your sorrows with a sandwich from the Strawberry Gourmet Deli
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CHEAP EATS I was about halfway across the Golden Gate Bridge by the time I knew for sure: big mistake. Stoplight the cat was not happy. I was not happy. It was hot. No air conditioning. I required food. Occidental is an hour and 15 driving minutes beyond the bridge.

That's a lot of minutes to have to listen to a cute little kitten that you love screaming and screeching in horror. Not to mention how many minutes it is to have to be that kitten. But I was running late for an important rehearsal for this thing I'm in, so there was no turning back. Read more »

Furballs ahead

The super-spicy kimchi burrito of death at John's Snack & Deli

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CHEAP EATS It's hard to believe that Walt Whitman never ate a kimchi burrito. Maybe this is for the best, from the point of view of American literature, but that's no help to me at 4:30 a.m.

Don't worry, I'm getting a kitten. Not that having a kitten in the house will help me sleep, but it should provide a more cuddly, playful, and cute excuse for not being able to.Read more »