Friends and acquaintances would say that I always look like I’m starving, like I could eat more. I suppose that’s true — I am a very small girl with a very small stomach. My grandma comes to visit from time to time, and often states that I “eat like a bird.”
I love food, though. Sometimes I wish I could eat more. I don’t go out to eat much, and when I do go out to eat, it rarely, if ever, is gourmet. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten gourmet. Usually it’s the little buffet around town, the little dim sum restaurant several towns over, or McDonald’s.
Here are some foods I’ve recently eaten and enjoyed at various restaurants. I didn’t take the photos, but borrowed them off Flickr.
Enjoy the food porn. (Probably I will wake up next morning and find that I’ve gotten hits from hopefuls looking for actual smut.)
One of my church friends took the praise band out to lunch at the little Vietnamese place a few miles from the church. I’d never experienced the awesomeness that is pho before this. The restaurant had a wide-screen TV playing the Food Network while we waited to be served, as well as a large tank with this huge, ugly fish swimming solemnly around and around. My friend ordered an appetizer, fried tofu.
I ordered a “small” bowl of pho, with egg noodles. I didn’t realize that the “small” bowl of pho was actually a HUGE bowl of pho, way too big for one small girl to finish all by herself. And I didn’t. It probably didn’t have as much meat and green onions as the pho in the picture up there, but I recall the broth as very savory. I’ve already forgotten what type of pho I ordered, and what meat it had.
But it was good.
As a Chinese American, it follows that my parents take my family out to eat dim sum on a regular basis. Actually, no. My parents only started taking my family out to eat dim sum about a year and a half ago. We usually go to a small restaurant a few towns over that supposedly was voted to have the best dim sum in our state or whatever. I have a family of seven, so the outcome usually is 10-15 little dishes of sweet or crunchy or spicy or sticky to try. Dim sum heaven, I tell you!
My favorites were always the crunchy things. I always asked if we could order those little crunchy scallops with bread crumbs (yes, my obsession with bread crumbs extends to dim sum), or little crunchy spring roll type of dishes. My father would be the person dissatisfied with the thought of only eating dim sum, and would opt to order some noodles.
And afterwards, the comfortable feeling of being satiated; washing everything down with a little cup of tea.
And then asking for more tea.
We go out for dim sum at least once every year, now.
Panera Bread is a chain, but nevertheless a very nice and inexpensive one. Several years ago, one of my church friends decided to start a mentorship with me. Every week, she’d take me out to Panera and we’d sample a dessert and do a Bible study. If we were in a mood to get a meal, I’d get their two-in-one: a sandwich with some soup and bread/chips. I am very much a soup and sandwich person, and both are superb.
I believe I ordered something different every time I went there. I remember the broccoli and cheese soup, and some sort of barley/mushroom/beef concoction that was excellent.
During the school year, my friends would do Panera runs, and they’d get food for me as well.
I have yet to try the soup in a bread bowl, though.
I would have to say that for me, food and friendship will always be linked. The food itself at these restaurants were undeniably good, but it wouldn’t have been the same if I’d gone alone. It was always the pleasant company that I enjoyed the most, in the end.
What are your favorite places to eat at?
All photos are under a CC license and used with permission. Click photos for credits.