Ducking a lull

Pub date October 5, 2010
WriterL.E. Leone
SectionCheap Eats

CHEAP EATS He wouldn’t be ready for “a good 30 minutes,” my brother said.

This left me with time to kill. To be precise, it left me with 30 minutes. And not just any minutes — good ones.

But how does one differentiate? How can you be sure that the minutes you are fixing to kill are good, quality, law-abiding minutes? And then, once convinced, how do you do the dirty deed cleanly? How do you kill those minutes? Not to mention: in Glen Park.

On a heat wavy day.

A Sunday. Everyone else is at the beach, or out of town, on one last camping trip. I could, I suppose, have walked for 14.5 minutes into Glen Park Canyon, stood behind a rock and yipped like a coyote, then turned around. I love Glen Park Canyon and have never spent nonquality time there; but my right knee was the size of a pomelo and the color of a Concord grape. It had been this way for a week, and honestly, I didn’t know why.

The day before I had attended me a wedding, one of the funnest ones ever, and since it was way too hot for tights, I found myself for the first and hopefully last time ever putting makeup on my legs.

It’s not that they are exactly grotesque, or even necessarily hideous. In fact, I might have the prettiest legs in the Bay Area, just for all the wrong reasons. Instead of sexy, they are breathtaking. Like the Painted Hills region of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument at sunset, I achieve colors nobody ever knew were possible.

But excepting my National Monumentous knee, all the other disfigurements of both of my legs can be named, catalogued by type, and attributed. The scabbed over scratches and little red dots are Stoplight’s. (Kittens climb you if you stop moving. Who knew?) That yellow-centered black-and-blue supernova on my right shin is from a pliers mishap, taking apart my old bed at my ex shack. All the other-colored bruises are soccer specific.

I’m not sure what I’m driving at. I just know that I’m driving, because for the moment my knee won’t let me walk or ride a bike. Problem: I don’t have a car. Well, I did, but it was on loan from my brother, and he was back from Ohio, and in half an hour I was going to see him, and then we would be together for a couple days, and then his van would be his again. But I couldn’t, in good conscience, kill that time by just driving around. Could I?

No, and this is where Hong Ling Restaurant comes in, or, technically I guess, I come in to Hong Ling Restaurant. In spite of the heat wave, I ordered my favorite thing in the world, duck soup, because, like I said, I wanted these minutes to be the best possible minutes, so that afterward my brother would for sure be ready.

While I was killing my duck soup, which was very good, I thought about how I would thenceforth be a pedestrian. Not just in my writing, thenceforth, but in the world. So tomorrow a sports medicine cat is checking out my grape-colored pomelo, because I want to be good. I want to walk well, and get back on my bike, and the soccer field, and probably hopefully pain killers.

This duck soup, it had wontons in it, a lot of wontons. And roast duck, a lot of bones. And everything was juicy besides for being soup.

And cheap. Only $6 for duck soup! That’s good, and you can get it with noodles too, but the wontons have pork and shrimp in them, so that’s duck plus pork plus shrimp. In a desperate attempt to balance out all that meat, they also placed four sprigs of bok choy in the deep-dark broth, so in the end I felt not only happy, but healthy.

So now I have officially been to all the restaurants in Glen Park, except maybe some of them. This one is my favorite, because not just every Chinese restaurant makes a roast duck soup. In fact, very few. And it was cool and very basic in there.

But I think most people get it to go, crazy them. There’s a steam table near the door, with all the ready-mades. Me, I’d rather sit.

And wait. *


Sun.-Thu. 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m.;

Fri.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m.

2794 Diamond, S.F

(415) 333-1331


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