Lynn Gold (figmo) wrote,
Lynn Gold
figmo

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Dinner and chocolates

This past evening was another wonderful dinner with my friends, the "Hot Bunch For Dinner," AKA "HBFD." We've been getting together for Friday night dinners for over 15 years, rotating between a variety of venues that serve hot, spicy food.

This evening we ventured back to one of our newer favorites, an Indonesian place called "Ori Deli" in San Jose.

There were five of us; a few of the regulars didn't make it this time. We were suspecting one of them didn't because he can't handle the comments Brette, who owns the BBS through which this all got started, sometimes makes about food.

Brette has this way of subtly referring to foods in very descriptive, very accurate, and very unappetizing terms. Most of us find this highly amusing and have picked up on it. Some examples:
  • When we go to Colonel Lee's Mongolian BBQ, the place serves us an egg drop soup he calls "Drain Trap Soup" because it looks like the water in one's kitchen sink after you've done the dishes as you get near the bottom where it's draining. It really does!
  • When we go to Red Sea for Ethiopian, there's this berebere sauce (African pepper sauce) that he noticed tasted like the smell of a fresh basketball. Every time we have this sauce we rate it for "basketballiness."
  • When we go to Yat Sing II for pot stickers (pan-fried dumplings), he noticed when you add the hot oil and vinegar they somehow have an essence of Fruit Loops. Now I haven't had Fruit Loops in years; they never were my favorite cereal, and with my hypoglycemia, I'm not likely to buy them any time soon, but the rest of the guys say they do have a "Fruit Loop" essence to them and have taken to rating them accordingly.
  • At Denny's (not a place where we do HBFD, but we've all eaten there), he refers to the bacon as "transparent bacon" because "the slices are so thin you can see through them."
  • When we go out for stromboli, because the strombolis are rolled, then sliced, everyone has to do "butt duty" and eat at least one stromboli end piece. After a while we start cutting ends in half to "share the duty." Brette has gotten us all into referring to half-butts as "cheeks."
  • We used to frequent a Chinese place that served a hot braised beef wonton soup with a strong star anise flavor. Brette took to calling it "licorice soup." The nickname stuck.
  • Some of the restaurants we frequent, including tonight's, serve what we call "lumpy drinks." They contain bits of fruit and sometimes gelatin. Tonight Brette announced, "My drink has extra-squishy neuticles." Neuticles are artificial testicles someone developed to use on neutered dogs.


One of the regulars who wasn't there tonight had his pomeranian neutered as a puppy -- a normal thing to do. The HBFD after the dog's surgery, Brette brought up the subject of "neuticles" as we were eating ice cream. One of the guys had gone to the grocery store to pick up mint malted balls, and it was somehow suggested we insert them in lieu of neuticles. Another person built on this and said, "You could call them 'New Teste-Mints.'"

Tonight we munched on "poison chips," so nicknamed because they're made from ground-up candle nuts that have to be processed like crazy to be edible. We also munched on giant shrimp chips (that's what the place calls them), and on something we dubbed "funnel cake" because we didn't know what it was called, but it kind of looked like a cross between a shrimp chip and one.

We also dined on some nummy vegetables and tempeh (this place actually makes good tempeh), beef rendang, nasi goreng, bami goreng with skinny noodles, pork and chicken satay, and tofu with sweet soy sauce and shrimp chips.

After dinner we always raidpatronize the attached grocery store, which stocks an interesting mix of Indonesian and Dutch groceries. I bought curry ketchup to try, some stroopwaffels (I thought of jhitchin as I bought them), some thin cookies, some durian extract (yes, concentrated essence of durian in a bottle!), and some sugar-free chocolates.

I was the last to pay, and as I was heading out, the owner asked if we worked together. I explained that no, we were friends who've been doing this almost every week for over 15 years. He asked if we had ever worked together. I replied that a couple of us had, but in fact half the group right now is unemployed (two of the five worked for a startup that went belly-up and haven't yet landed new jobs), but that my two jobs more than made up for it.

I walked outside to join the rest of the gang, and a minute later, the owner came running out with Droste chocolate bars. "Here! This is for you!" We were amazed. This was good stuff. We couldn't figure out what had motivated him to do that -- or at least I hadn't figured it out till a few minutes ago. Despite our varying incomes, we did drop a decent amount of cash at his store. Wow.

We shared the bars on the way home. I was asleep pretty soon after I got home, but now I'm back up, nervously awaiting the sound of my TV awaking me for my 5am shift.
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