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Restaurants & Bars 4

Don't Kiss The Mermaid!

Shepherd B. Goode | Jun 14, 200203:35 PM

Since I've never had it in my life, for real; and since a recent thread about something else had degraded into a discussion of it; and since nobody I care about was there to see, I ordered Egg Foo Yung today for lunch.
This occurred at New China Hut in Alameda, where I've recently enjoyed some solidly acceptable working-class meals. Not today.
The thing came in a pie dish: a single large, round, flattened body of egg-like stuff, densely peopled with generally-uncooked bean sprouts, and with a few grayish gristly pea-sized lumps that could have been beef. This corpus was drowned in a species of what could have been gravy, or sauce, or alien saliva; it was glutinous and dark brown and redolent of beef concentrate and hasty preparation in a too-hot pan. Burned, that is.
I sometimes roll over bad restaurant food by telling myself, "I've made worse at home." Not this time; I haven't.
Acquaintances have accused me of being a stoic, and like a Stoic I ate the whole thing. Taste was not really an issue, the bean sprouts were the dominant flavor, after the beef concentrate. It wasn't really filling; afterward I went straight to the grocery for a salad and some fruit. So, it's been an hour, and I haven't gotten sick. I've had the creature, and I'll never need to do it again. Traveller, heed my warning.

Oh yeah, "Don't Kiss The Mermaid"? From a Harvey Pekar tale about performance art; seemed to fit.


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