Last night we celebrated the glorious return of our ex-pat friend, Susan. Upon arriving we headed straight to her favorite Jersey establishment, China Chalet. A nod to Sichuan cuisine; the food was alright. As I recall it used to be better, but it’s still mighty delicious. We sweated from the cornucopia of spicy peppers, we got drunk on cheap wine and we laughed until our abs became chiseled masterpieces.
We started the meal with the thinly sliced beef tendons in chili oil. So good, always a winner. We also had the jelly fish in vinegar. Unfortunately, I’ve had better jelly fish here before. Thirdly we tried out the Sichuan pork buns. They were okay, nothing too spectacular.
For the main dishes we ordered the fish with shit-ton of peppers which translates phonetically into Fay tun yu. It used to be an off menu item, however, China Chalet recently updated their menus and now it’s merely a commoner’s dish. A sad day. We picked up the sauted hollow water spinach with garlic for our vegetarian friend Little V. Ordered the chicken with 3 peppers because you can never have too many peppers. To round off the meal with a little of this and a little of that, we got the Hai xian gou ba, seafood over those puffed rice crispy things. And lastly a ma po dofu because it’s jus sexy in your mouth.
The food was tasty and spicy. It made me sweat and as everyone knows once I start I just don’t quit. Timmy, on the other hand, ate a spooful of chili oil from the fish dish with little reaction. Chocolaté kept saying “too spicey, too spicey!” And our friend Susan never actually showed up. Last minute ditch. Booya. She came up with some epic excuses, but none quite as good as, “oh I’m 22 years old and I’m sleepy.”
So now we’ve had the obligatory rehash of the evening’s menu out of the way, I will bring us back to the beginning of our adventure. So the plan was set. The time, the place, the people, it was all engraved in digital stone. Time was of the clearly of the essense, Susan would only be with us for a mere few days. However, Susan didn’t want to eat with her best friends in the whole universe because she was sleepy. So her BFWU decided, that since we’ve recently retracted the boycott to Viet Ai, to go hit up our not-so-favorite pho place. Chocolatté and Little V arrive first at the scene, and to their dismay Viet Ai is fucking closed! Closed on a fucking thursday! They find a sign on the door notifying patrons that they are closed due to their grandfathers funeral on Saturday. Okay, funerals trump a bowl of delicous mind blowing noodles any day. Sadden, filled with defeat, and starving, Chocolatté and Little V head the nearby Southern fried chicken establishment. Later in the night, we find out that the server was clearly very disrespectful, laughing and making fun of Little V the entire time they were there; as Little V was not keeping it cool after consuming vast quantities of various alcoholic beverages a few hours prior. After receiving and paying for her potato wedges the server had the audacity to say to Little V, “drive carefully!” Little V was enraged to say the least and stormed out of the restaurant sans grace.
I was notified of the unfortunate closing of our not-so-beloved Viet Ai. After many minutes of agonizing debate we decided to go to China Chalet as per the original plan.
I arrive at China Chalet and was greeted by the hostess and servers. They told me that my friends had just stepped out and that I should just wait as they they should be back shortly. I thought to myself, “hells no. What if they never come back.” So like a ninja, I quickly left China Chalet to find my friends at the nearby liquor store staring at the pittable wine selection. Like a ninja, I sneaked up to meet them. They were all quite suprised at my stealthy moves that I had recently perfected at China Chalet. Little V was ridiculously happy to see me. At first I couldn’t tell if it was my glorious presence or if she was just a wee bit tipsy. I quicky found out it was the latter. We pick out two wines and head back to China Chalet.
We find Lobster waiting for us so we sit down at a table. We order and as the first dish comes out Timmy arrives. We eat and have a jolly good time. We were most definitely excessively loud and laughing way too much to be sane. Little V is hilarious after a few drinks. Hilarious doesn’t do her justice, more than hillarious. However, my lexicon is too limited for me to describe it any better. Fist pump. Chocolatté wanted to kill me a few dozen times. Apparently you’re not allowed to talk about boys at all with her best friend, Amanda. Someone please note this. We also find out that Chocolatté is in the midst of evaluating an electic list of suitors. We talk about this and that and time quickly escapes us. Little V showed us amazing trick to open fortune cookies. Timmy got two fortune cookies in bag. While Chocolatté had a fortune cookie without a fortune! It took us an ungodly long time to pay the bill. Also, as the last table to leave the restaurant the entire wait staff was anticipating our departure.
We hop-skip our way next door to a lovely café. We order some drinks and grab some seats. We chit the chat and laugh at each other. A few neck chops here and there. At some time someone decides we need to call Amanda asap. We take turns talking to her and then when it’s my turn I ask her if she’s going on a boat with her new beau. She denies it by omission by stating she’s going with Chocolatté. I repeat the question. She repeats her answer. Again and again. Then neck chop then smack. The smack heard around the world. At this moment two police officers who were waiting for their caffeinated orders shout at us in not these exact words, “cut that shit out”. We go silent, then slowly procede to continue talking. Good job Chocolatté! Assault and battery in front of two cops! With our half drunk wine bottle on the table, our asian glows, and our more than tipsy Little V we were clearly causing a scene. As the police officers leave, one stops and says, “I know you guys are just having fun. But come on you can’t do that in front of two police officers.”
As the café workers were putting away the unused seats, we knew it was closing time so we headed out.
We loitered in the parking lot for an hour as any hip person would do. Again we chit the chat, laughed the good laugh, danced a few jigs, and tickled each other in inappropriate places. Some of us drove while intoxicated. Fortunately, no one had to push around anyone in a stupid wheelchair. It was all in good fun. All in celebration for Susan’s arrival home. As a wise man once said, “it was only one night! How many stories could there be!?!?!?!?”
P.S. I typed this whole thing on my blackberry. Fingers dead.