Cheap Eats

Cheap eights

King Sing Chinese Cuisine on Balboa
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS On my way home one morning from another night of urban debauchery followed by very little and very disturbed sleep, I happened to glance at my little pickup truck's odometer at the exact moment it turned to 88,088. You want to mark these moments, if you're me, but of course you can't. At 60 mph, you have, what, one minute to revel in the numerological significance of the big event?

Well, guess what? One minute is enough time to realize that, hey, the day was Friday, Aug. 8, or 8/8/08! Read more »

Wine and deer

Pho Vietnam
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS A man with a penis the size of a wine bottle told me you can shoot a deer out of season if it's decimating your vineyard. We live in wine country. We're neighbors. He had set a bar of post-coital dark chocolate and a bowl of cherries on the coffee table for me, and was making us tea. I like the taste of wine, but would rather live in beer country, or, I don't know, hot sauce country. Read more »

Under the skin

Cactus Taqueria
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS To be honest (which is one of my two favorite ways to be) ... I never very much liked ratatouille, or rat-a-tat-tat-ouille, as I have sometimes called it, to be difficult. Nothing against eggplant. Read more »

Reliability

Taqueria La Nueva
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS Most expensive thing I ever bought was a shiny, concert-quality, made-in-Trinidad steel drum which, in its case at the head of my futon, makes an excellent back rest while I'm reading books. The drum I play and love and cherish is a rusty, junky trash can, hammered out by some white guy with a stutter in Mendocino. He used it as his beach drum for a while, then left it out in the rain for a winter, then gave it to me for $100 and it sounds like butter. Read more »

Home field advantage

Taqueria Guadalajara
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS Bars are wired for weird times. I know that. The combination of amplified music and vodka makes for surreally truncated, garbled conversation (if any). Which in turn makes for strange looks, nods of unknowingness, flights of fancy, and colorfully elaborate misunderstandings. Then the next day you have to e-mail everyone and say, "Christ, what happened?"

Restaurants are wired for romance. Coffeehouses are wired for wirelessness. That's why you get coffee on first dates. Read more »

Erraticism

Cable Car Pizza
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS Rube Roy's gonna enjoy this ... That sweet bluegrass kitty I wrote about? We got in an argument and I was the one who had to go to the hospital. It bit me, the little love, and drew blood. Just a couple a drops, but still, I'm a stickler for details. I called the advice nurse to see if I should bring the poor, exposed kitten in for a blood test, since probably some of my cells got left in its mouth, and it might have had a small cut or cold sore in there, for all I knew.

Ironically, the nurse was more worried about me! Read more »

Catlady

Pho Hoa Lao #2
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS Every year the feral cat no one can catch has a litter of kittens and one of them winds up knocking on my door, so to speak, saying, "Well? Am I cute, or what?" And before I can answer — answering rhetorical questions being one of my favorite pastimes — the little outcast (who is of course the very definition of cuteness), falls into a feigned faint on account of starvation, obliging me to go get milk.

Now, I've listened to plenty of bluegrass music in my day. Read more »

Cans and can'ts

Personal joys -- and Puerto Alegre
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS There's a reason you don't see electric can openers anymore. They're completely idiotic. But maybe you have arthritis, or a wrist-related disability. With you (and lots and lots of money) in mind, some cat in Hong Kong invented the One-Touch can opener, which runs on batteries. I came across one in an able-bodied young friend's kitchen drawer. To her credit, the battery was dead, or MIA. Ergo, I couldn't figure out how to work it.

Which wasn't, by the way (and speaking of idiocy), for lack of effort on my part. Read more »

Sweet and spicy

Khana Khazana
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS I dreamed I was pouring hot sauce on my ice cream, and the thought I was thinking along with the action, in the dream, was: So, it has come to this. Hot sauce on every single thing, even ice cream. Is this my nature, then? To go around setting sweetness on fire?

Don't you love it when the dream interprets the dream for you? And then all you have to do in the morning is make your coffee and sit outside in the sunshine, watching your chickens scratch for gold. You are free to think about other things. Read more »

A lady's choice

Panda Country Kitchen
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS There is a kind of chocolate bar with bacon in it, so you know. There. You can go back to sleep now. You can believe in God again, or call and cancel your next 40 years of therapy, or board that airplane, or fall in love. I can't do any of those things, yet, but you have my permission to go ahead without me. I'll catch up.

First I'm going to sit here and work on my sweet tooth, which I've been trying to work on my whole female life. Read more »