Monday, November 08, 2004

Chapter 5 > Death by . . .

We arrive at the restaurant without much trouble. Traffic wasn't bad and a lot of people were leaving the restaurants so it was easy to find a parking spot within a block of the place. It turns out that she had never been here and has also never had Thai food. I am always glad that I provide an excuse to try something that they have never tried before. We got to talk about why she went into Biomed and why I went Industrial. Turns out that she originally went into Chemistry but switched when she enjoyed some of her other science classes more.

I find out that she is one of two with a younger sister. And we talk some about her family and about mine. She mentions she is amazed that between me and my younger brother that we are still alive. She didn't seem to have the level of adventures that invited themselves so easily into the world of my brother and me.

We walk into the restaurant. There are about 12 tables in the place with high backs to the booths. About half the tables are full in the place. We get a booth in the corner of the restaurant near the front window.

“I would offer to pull out your chair but it's not that easy with a booth.”

“A gentleman?”

“Well, call it an overinflated sense of honor. Plus I'm really happy that you came out tonight. You must be exhausted after work and studying I am guessing.”

“I'm pretty sure this will be relaxing. You're not going to make me think to hard are you?”

“I wasn't planning on it.”

“So what do you recommend?”

“Well I haven't been to this one, but at other ones, I have liked spicy boat and pad thai. It really depends if you like seafood or not. Rice noodles or rice. Spicy or creamy. Both if you want it.”

“I like seafood but I don't like to have it that often, so I think I will go with your second recommendation.”

“I was thinking of doing the same thing. Well maybe I could get . . . “

“No don't change what you were getting on my account.”

“That's true, there's nothing wrong with getting the same thing. I was just thinking if we get something different then you can also try what I get so you get to try two thai dishes while only ordering one.”

“Well that's nice of you.”

“Do you want to get an appetizer?”

“I don't know. Don't you think we will be too full then?”

“We can always take home leftovers.”

“Ok. Pick which ever one you want. I would have no idea what to get.”

So Angie ordered the Pad Thai and I ordered the Kai Tom Kha. I also order Mee Krob as an appetizer. As I handed the menus back the waiter, I could not help but smile at Angie.

“What is it?”

“I'm sorry. Just thinking how glad I am that you agreed to come out.”

“I can't say, I don't normally do that. I have never done that.”

“Really. Wow. I'm honored.”

“You should be.”

“So do you have many friends in the area?”

“I have a couple that I have made at school. But most of my friends from high school didn't go on to college. What about you?”

“I have a couple coworkers that are pretty nice, but in terms of close friends, there is Jack who was bowling with me. We went to high school together but went to different colleges. Then one day I ran into him where I work, and it's been great since.”

“So do you hang out with Jack a lot?”

“Not that often. About every other weekend we hang out and we go to lunch during the week. He's a professional dater on the weekends.”

“Popular huh?”

“Evidentally. He only calls when he is date free for the evening which isn't that frequent.”

“So I ruined your date with him?”

“No. Absolutely not. This is way better, but I can always hang out with him later.”

“Are you sure?” Angie says with a smile.

“You can quote me on it.”

“So are you a cat person or a dog person?”

“Cat. I have a cat named Panthro.”

“Thundercats?”

“He looks like a panther. Probably weighs as much as one too.”

“I can't wait to meet him.”

“What about you?”

“If the apartment allowed it, I would have a cat. Never really got into dogs.”

“I like the self-sufficient nature of the cat. Mostly the leave me alone unless I need some food or attention. That tends to work for me.”

“Same here. Plus they always seem to know when you need attention.”

“True.”

The waiter comes up with our appetizer and sets it before us. He removes the cover and asks if we need anything else before departing back to the back of the restaurant.

“So what is this?”

“The menu said that it is sweet fried rice noodle with tofu on top.”

Angie holds her fingers up to her nose and says, “It smells kinda funny.”

“Do you want me to try it first?”

“Please.”

I move it over to my plate and take a bite. It has this amazing combination of flavor and textures. I could not help myself from making the yummy sound.

“That good?”

“Well it's crunch and sweet like toffee but not that sweet. The tofu is pretty good too. Pretty firm.”

“So it's good?”

“Yeah.”

“Would you eat more?”

“Here I'll gladly have another bite.”

So I eat some more of the Mee Krob making sure to savor all the essense of the dish. With that Angie pops some into her mouth. I can only guess that she likes from sound she makes.

Angie finishes chewing and says, “This is awesome. I don't know why I ordered Pad Thai, this is good enough for me.”

“But the Pad Thai should be excellent, “ I remind her.

“I love food. There's so much enjoyment that can be had through a well prepared meal. Look at crème brule. Difficult to make but eating it can bring about a religious experience.”

“Or just chocolate.”

“Yes plain chocolate is good. But what about when you cover a pretzel with it or if you have ice cream with chocolate chunks in it.”

“So when is there going to be a religion around chocolate?”

“Looking for a chocolate Jesus?”

Angie thinks for a second and says, “Well, maybe not. I don't think I want to take my chocolate obsession that far.”

We both have a good laugh at that. We continue to talk about favorite foods for a while as we finish the appetizer. Luckily it wasn't too big of an appetizer. I might have feared that we wouldn't be hungry when the main course is here. Before we know it, the main dishes have arrived. The waiter again takes the lid off the top of the dish and presents it before us. Before leaving he asks if we need anything else.

Angie tries the dish without the questioning and curiousity she had before.

“Pete, this was a great suggestion. This dish is awesome.”

“Thanks. I'm glad that you like it.”

“So how is yours?”

“It's great. I'd never tried this one before but it is great. I think Pad Thai is still my favorite, but I can easily see myself ordering this again. Would you like to try some?”

“I thought you would never ask.”

I take a scoop of food and present it up to Angie who talks a bite of it. After several moments of chewing, Angie says, “Oh that's good too. I don't know if I would be able to pick between them. I think you're right, that Pad Thai is excellent.”

We both continue to eat and talk. I am always amazed at the amount of time any two people can talk about food. I think that there would be a lot less war if we would spend more time talking about food. There are a lot of cultures where people really won't talk about anything until they have dined together. Food and eating really tell a lot about people and adds a new level of trust.

I am pleasant surprised to find that Angie has other favorite foods other than chocolate. My personal favorite dish would have to be lasagna, while Angie's is Boston Creme pie. Again with the chocolate. She also mentioned grilled portobellas. Wow. Great looking and superb taste in food.

I reach a point that I cannot eat anymore. They provided so much food, but I don't think that the appetizer helped me finish my plate either. Angie ends of having the same problem as me.

“We can always take this home.”

Angie asks, “Does it reheat well?”

“It reheats pretty good. At least, it does for me.”

When the waiter comes back, we ask for carryout containers. The waiter brings back some styrofoam containers and boxes of the leftovers in them. The waiter asks if we would like to have anything else to which we decline.

The waiter brings over the bill and sets it before me. Angie looks at me and asks, “Are you sure you are going to pay for this?”

“Yeah, it's no problem.”

With a laugh, Angie says, “You know this won't make me put out.”

“No, no. This is my treat for the ride home and the company of a beautiful lady.”

“So a taxi and escort service?”

“You are just trying to get me into trouble.”

“Maybe,” she says with a devious look in her eye.

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