Monday, May 24, 2010

A perfectly mediocre dinner out

We went to one of those so-so Chinese restaurants the other night.

The menu consisted of the usual suspects. A nothing special hot-and-sour soup. Doughy pot stickers. Mu Shu pork. Orange chicken. A sizzling vegetable/tofu stew in a clay pot. A combination seafood “special” that wasn’t.

And tea and water. LOTS of tea and water.

The decor was Chinese Lanterns over Formica and Naugahyde.

It was the best dining-out experience I’ve had in months.


See above.

The place was half full. Or rather, half empty quiet.

We four old friends in our cozy booth could actually hear each other. No din of the munching multitudes.

Since no gourmands restlessly clamored in line for our booth, we stayed three hours chattering away about family, friends and Rand Paul.

The matronly waitress, who took our order in authentic Chinese characters, kept our water glasses full and relished seeing us enjoying ourselves.

When we asked her whether it was okay to inhabit the booth another half hour, she smiled and pushed down her palms. “Stay, stay.”

When the bill came, we had spent $12 each for a grand time. That’s four dollars an hour per person for the rare chance to hear each other in a city of noisy, trendy, pricey restaurants.

Least we forget, our bill included food.

And the food was actually not bad. Okay, it was good. Fortunately, it wasn’t great.

Where is this place?

I’m not telling.

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