Cheap Eats

New year, new pho

Rang Dong Restaurant in Oakland
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Rang Dong happened out of anger. So don't let any new age it's-all-good hippie dips tell you that anger is not a constructive emotion. Without it I never would have been ranting about Pho 84 in the first place.

And Mod the Pod wouldn't have heard me and wouldn't have said, "What were you doing at Pho 84 when you could have been at Rang Dong?"

And I wouldn't have said, "Rang Dong?"

Because, see, I'd never heard of it. Read more »

Leftovers

Driving home in tears, as usual
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Rack of lamb. Smoked turkey. Smoked salmon. Seared tuna. Scallops in a saffron cream sauce. Roasted beets. Couscous. These things are in my refrigerator. They are leftovers from a holiday party I helped cater. Two, four, five, six people I called. Read more »

Mother trumpers

Talavera Taqueria in Berkeley
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS We had a slab of smoked salmon from Grocery Outlet, Ritz crackers, and a bottle of Crystal hot sauce. These things were on the coffee table. The Mrs. was in the bedroom, cracking up over something funny on television. She has a beautiful, booming laugh and a bad right shoulder. There's a TV in the living room, too, but her Mr. Read more »

Darkest day

Taqueria Los Comales in Oakland
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS For all I know you are reading this on the darkest day of the year. And for all you know I am sitting in a rocking chair in front of my wood-burning stove, not rocking so much as reeling, hands in hair, trying to get my head straight.

Wondering:

Why do I water my cat? Most people water their plants. Read more »

Hot and bothered

Moki's Sushi and Pacific Grill
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS After breakfast we went to Whole Paycheck. I needed to pick up a chicken, an onion, and carrots and celery for work. Earl Butter needed a lot more than that, but of course couldn't afford anything at all, since Whole Paycheck's pricing is designed to keep out riffraff, such as teachers and newspaper columnists.

Earl was sad, so I bought him a bottle of hot sauce. Floyd & Fred's, extra hot. My new favorite hot sauce. Read more »

Waxing fried

Bombay Indian Restaurant
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS I got a Brazilian. I play on a Brazilian soccer team. I pass for Brazilian. I pass to Brazilians. I figured, what the fuck, I'll get a Brazilian.

My Canadian likes it like that. I happened to know this, and did it for him. Read more »

Sticky buns

Sushi Man
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS This Thanksgiving I am thankful for sushi, pre-cum, the hangtown fry, clam chowder, big green salads, soft-boiled eggs, carnitas tacos, biscotti, roasted chickens, cum, day-old sticky buns, and Canada. However, I have no plans for Thanksgiving dinner.

How can this happen? My favorite holiday! My only holiday!

Deevee and Gilley are going camping. I'm invited, but don't like to be cold. The Maze invited me to San Diego for dinner with his parents. Read more »

Meatballs

Lee Hou
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS Earl Butter made the sauce and I put meatballs in it. You could smell this on the stairs. Between the first and second floors it was something, and between the second and third it was something else. The meatballs had beef and pork and cheese, garlic, parsley, an egg, some old bread crumbs ... basically, whatever I could find in Earl Butter's kitchen. I browned them in bacon fat; then, while they were bobbing in the saucy gurgle, I washed the soccer off of me in Earl Butter's shower.

Five zip we'd lost. Read more »

F-ing hippies

Gioia Pizzeria in Berkeley
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS My friend Hoohoohaha has a son, a daughter, an ex, a small dog, and a hippie. Read more »

Can have

Hometown Donuts in Richmond
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le.chicken.farmer@gmail.com

CHEAP EATS Me and Boink at the counter, aprons on, hands washed, ready to go ... "I've been looking forward to this all week," I said. "You're my new favorite person to cook with."

He looked up from his step stool with all the earnestness in the world, which seems to be his for the asking, and asked, "Do you love me?"

"I do, Boink," I said. And I kissed him on the head. "I love you very much."

He said he loved me too, and asked if he could kiss me. Read more »