Often during a domestic travel malaise, your stomach growls and you may find yourself deep in a foreign policy fantasy, i.e., whatâ€™s for dinner ? Far more complex than ordering waffles, whipped cream and maple syrup at the International House of Pancakes, your thoughts turn to chinese.
Shrimp fried rice, not Condoleeza Rice.
The allure of an exquisite egg roll; steaming, slithery glass noodles, freshly chopped cabbage, mushrooms, bamboo, pork, embraced in a golden wrapperâ€¦. scorch worthy on the roof of your mouth.
Do you choose your oriental restaurant because of their catchy names ? Really, some marquees are too generic to generate tastebud eroticism; Panda Express, Great Wall, House of Hunan, China Moon, yada, yada. Far from the tyranny of MSG and cornstarch, there must be a word in Szechwan that translates to â€˜blahâ€™. +++ One of my favorites was in Tucson, Arizona. The billboard featured three smiling, squatting, Buddha-like characters named wee, went, and wong. The Wee Went Wong Chinese Diner.+++ In Los Angeles, a clever, enterprising Jewish fellow named his Chinese restaurant, The Genghis Cohen. Only in Southern California nearly any combination is possible; where I have yet, however, to discover a vegetarian taxidermist. +++ If you are ever wind down in Anchorage, Alaska and have a taste for almond chicken and stir fried noodles, pay a visit to The Hard Wok Cafe.+++ In rural New Hampshire, apparently no one within the Loo family managed to enamor any member of the Win family, as they named their placeâ€¦. The Win, Win, No Loos Cafe.Were I to lose control and open my own oriental eatery, I think Iâ€™d name it The Chin Rest. Better that than politically insensitive, The Kitchink Sink.Thatâ€™s it for now. Disillusioned, I read recently that the fortune cookie, the symbolic finish line of a delightful oriental dinner, is purely occidental, a creation of Western culture. An enterprise here in the U.S.A., The Won Ton Company, makes millions of thought provoking cookies daily, but a billion Chinese have never enjoyed even one. Mine read, â€œEvery exit is an entrance to a new experienceâ€â€¦.Confucius or am I just confused ?Two others of note: “Don’t kiss an elephant on the lips today” “Alas, the onion you are eating is someone else’s water lily”.
In our next entry, no more wok and roll, we will skewer the French.