Cheap Eats

Representation

Rockridge Cafe in Oakland
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS I've lost track of how many parts there have been in this three-part series. Hopefully more than three. Hopefully not more than six. I wouldn't want to rock anyone over the ridge. Same time, I do want to show off my new neighborhood.

So: Rockridge Cafe. Been there twice, and both times I got the same thing, the Italian scramble, which is great. They also have ricotta cheese pancakes, and a lot of other cool stuff, but I'm telling you: Italian scramble. Sausage, provolone, some other things, eggs of course, and I think parsley. Read more »

What I'm not

Sabuy Sabuy in Oakland
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS I never should have given away my chickens. I should have bonked their heads off and plucked them and cut them up and put them in the freezer. How unfarmerly of me to give them away! I knew I would regret it, but didn't know it would hit me like this, right here, right now, in New York City.

Tomorrow night I'm doing a reading here. It's so cold. I keep clicking my heels together and not going anywhere. It's so, so, so, so cold, like, zero. Read more »

Twister

Christopher's Burger
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS I love how, on the train, you can see into people's backyards. Backyards are so much more interesting to me than front ones. What you don't see from the road ... Read more »

Entropy

Currylicious
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS I've been eating a lot of spaghetti and meatballs lately because it's Boink's favorite thing to make. Meatballs. Makes sense, right? Read more »

Solo album

John Campbell's
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS John Campbell's Irish Bakery is famous for its scones and pasties. My friend the Maze is famous for grinding his way through medical school and then choosing to work in publishing — freelance, at that. A feat of audacious and lively present-tensitivity for which he will forever be cemented into my heart, no matter how many crumbs he leaves in my car.

We have this sweet new routine where he runs across town to USF, where I play soccer Sunday mornings, and that way we can both be smelly and sweaty when we go out for breakfast. Read more »

True colors

Eat First on Ocean in San Francisco
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Red. Green. Yellow. Dark green. Orange. Light green to the point of being almost yellow. Earl Butter was showing me his peppers, which is not a euphemism. If it were, I wouldn't know what it meant. So lucky for all of us, this was literal Truth. There they were, true peppers, in all their shapely and colorful glory, on Earl's kitchen table. Some of them were in bags.

"Weren't you born in Texas?" I said.

"No no," he assured me. Read more »

Trucker song

Whatever happened to a sense of adventure? A kiss? A touch? A taste?
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS I dreamed a bear was after me, and it chased me into a craggy and impossible landscape from which, if I survived the bear, I would never find my way back to exactly alive, either.

These kinds of things don't bother me anymore. Read more »

Counting chickens

San Francisco's Restaurante Familiar on Mission Street
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS When it's cold and dark in the trees, and drippy. When I get cabin feverish. When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when Weirdo the Cat camps out on my forehead and taps my cheeks all night to make sure I don't drift ... when my witchy, woodsy ways bite my own bad ass and instead of chicken farmerly I start to feel isolated and scared, that's when my bathtub steps up. Or, more literally, I step in.

If you ask me, I've got the sweetest bathing situation in the whole Bay Area. Read more »

Eating out

Dipping into Pho Tan Hoa on Jones
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Earl Butter had just called out for Chinese food when I called him to see if he wanted to go out for Chinese food, or any kind of food, for that matter. I didn't have anything in particular in mind. Just food and seeing Earl, because it had been a week. And you start to miss a guy like Earl. I do.

"I just ordered Chinese," he said. "It'll be here any minute."

"Delivery?" I said. "Why would you do that?"

He said he gets bored, he gets lonely, his cat won't even sleep with him anymore. Read more »

Fanning the flames

Fanny's Restaurant -- and the literary possibilities of duck soup
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS When your rats grow bigger than your chickens and you can hear them at night in the chicken coop, laughing at your traps ... them's hard times.

I mean to pack it in, as a chicken farmer. But what am I going to farm? Rats?

What am I going to eat for lunch? What am I going to give to my friends for their birthdays?

What am I going to give to complete strangers when I love them for one reason or another? Besides eggs, eggs, and eggs, respectively?

Is it even possible for a chicken farmer not to be a chicken farmer? Read more »