J and I had been hearing rave reviews for the Asian Style Food place on the board walk so, in the mood for something non-DFAC, that’s where we went to dinner a couple of nights ago. The first dilemma we had to deal with was how to get there. You may have picked up on the fact that J is kinda health conscious; he works out, watches what he eats and even reads diet and exercise books. You may have also surmised that I’m pretty much relying on genetics and a tape worm to maintain my
skinny svelt, yet wiry, physique. Consequently, I take a lot of ribbing because I drive everywhere, including to dinner. I figure, if god had meant man to walk he wouldn’t have invented the internal combustion engine. Of course, everyone else tags along with me in the vehicle but it is, somehow, always my idea to drive.
So, there I am with a belt in hand and I say to J, “Hey, don’t forget your belt so we can get on the boardwalk. We could walk up there”. He’s laughs, “Yeah right, like you’d walk”. “I’m bored and walking will kill some time.” “Uh, ok” mutters J in a voice rife with disappointment. About 100 steps into our 10 minute walk, J is the first to complain…I think it was about the poo pond smell. He gamely presses on to “see if you’ll make it”. I guess I’ll just let the others ride the coattails of my
laziness energy efficiency and mock me as we all get a ride to dinner from now on.
We eventually made it to the boardwalk and I was only slightly winded. At the Asian Style Food place, we’re in line behind 3 American servicewomen. They seemed a little perplexed by the menu and kept asking the guy behind the counter, “What’s number 23” or “What’s number 14” or “What’s number 7”. Each time he answered with “Spicy Chicken” or “Shrimp” or “Noodles” they responded with “Oh, I don’t want that”. I think they ended up getting whatever most resembled Chicken McNuggets. It certainly took them longer to order than it did for the guys to make it.
J went for the Chicken Tikka and the Staffed Paratha. We assumed the Paratha would come with an assistant to help you eat it. We were wrong but thankful that “Staffed” was a misspelling of “Stuffed” rather than of “Staphed”. I selected the Khai Pad Khing simply because I’d never heard of it before.
When I ordered, I noticed that the south Asian guy working there was wearing a Canada ball cap. “Nice hat”, I said. “I love Canada”, he replied. There were other customers waiting so I didn’t have time to find out if he loved Canada for the great winters, its unlimited supply of black flies or Celine Dion. Regardless, it was nice to hear.
As we waited for our orders we could see them being freshly prepared in the back of the shop and, either the place smelled great or J is using the new Axe ginger and garlic scent. Now, a bit of advice for people who have ordered and are waiting for their number to be called…particularly those in front of me: Pay The Fuck Attention! The guy running the joint shouldn’t have to call out your number 4 times while you sit 10 feet away staring off into space. He should be using that time to prepare my order. And I, as a customer, shouldn’t have to shout the number out a fifth time to break you out of your fucking revery. I’m glad we now understand each other.
J and I, paying attention all the while, wandered a few feet away from the pickup window to look at the bulletin board. You may remember the sign at left from an earlier post. If you read the comments on that post, you’ll see that I thought the sign was instructing everyone to put X’s on their breasts and genitalia. Turns out I was wrong. as they now provide a translation at the bottom. Ok, no touching people’s yummy bits. I get that. What I don’t get is that each sign is labeled with what language it is in. What the hell is that for? As if some Dari speaker is going to start reading the Dari sign and think “hmm…I hope this is in Dari…oh wait, it says it is down at the bottom…good”. Or maybe they’d start reading the Pashtu sign and think “My god, this is incomprehensible! What kind of Dari is this?….oh wait, the little sign at the bottom says it’s in Pashtu. Silly me, it’s not Dari at all”. I figure most people would look at the sign, read it if it’s in a language they can read or, if not, think “oh, I can’t read that language” and move on. But that’s just me.
We moseyed back to the pick up window. I provided back up number calling for the food guy and eventually we got our meals. The food guy said “I put extra chicken for you!” as he tapped his Canada hat. At the DFAC, that statement could be construed as a threat but not here. The food was excellent. Not just KAF-excellent but excellent as one uses the word in the real world.
The rice was fluffy, the chicken moist and tender and everything was hot…not DFAC-outta-the-steam-line-warm, but actually hot. The vegetables were al dente and everything was flavoured with fresh ginger and peppers. It also had a bit of a spicy hot bite to it. I like hot food but, much to J’s amusement, I was tearing up when I got a large hot pepper in one bite.
J really enjoyed his Chicken Tikka as well. The Staffed Paratha was some sort of potato flat bread filled with vegetables. It was pretty good but a little greasy, probably because J let it sit as he ate his chicken. I suspect it would have been much better consumed hot right outta the pan.
We both had a Beck’s near beer as an accompaniment despite T’s warnings. You see, T has claimed that drinking the near beer here gave him gout. Near beer isn’t listed as a cause of gout…but menopause is. I don’t make the science; I just report it.
The staff at this place were fast and friendly and I’m not just sayin’ that because I got extra chicken. Both the order taker and the cook seemed to really enjoy their work which stands in pretty stark contrast to some of the woe-begone faces you see behind pick-up windows in KAF. This was the best meal I’ve had in KAF. I’ll be back for more and make sure to compliment him on his hat.
“I don’t even know what street Canada is on.”- Al Capone