So close

Pub date June 5, 2012
WriterL.E. Leone
SectionCheap Eats

CHEAP EATS It’s birthday season! Me, yeah, but more importantly:

Happy birthday to C. Chunk, 5. Happy birthday to K. Chunk, 4. I took the train home for C. Chunk’s birthday, and now I’m taking it home for K. Chunk’s. That’s a lot of trains, in case you were wondering, and I’m starting to feel like I could write a Jimmie Rodgers song.

What rhymes with Amtrak?

Ah, nevermind. I think I’ll play with my laptop.

Hedgehog has one more month of work in New Orleans, and then we’ll be coming home by car, and for good. But since our new car is smaller than the one we went to New Orleans with, and that one was popping buttons as it was, I am traveling with roughly half of our crap, including an electric guitar.

Shit! It’s left-handed, and both me and Jimmie Rodgers are righty . . .

I got the wrong-hand blues

My baby’s got me all turned round

Got the wrong-hand blues

My baby’s got me all turned round

This guitar won’t listen to me

It says I’m sitting upside-down

yodel-eh-hee-oh d’eleh-hee-oh d’eleh-hee

Please forgive me. It’s the middle of the night in Texas. (And elsewhere, I imagine.)

One of the nice things about going away for months at a time is you come home and things are different. Give you an example, from my last time home: There’s barbecue in the Mission!

There’s barbecue in the Castro!

This review has nothing to do with barbecue.

Yesterday I barbecued a slab of ribs the size of a small table. We could have put our plates on top of the ribs — but then what would we have eaten?

And how would we have washed the sauce off our knees?

My barbecue sauce is blueberry-based, and stains. Bacon fat, garlic, onions, cayenne, rice vinegar, maple syrup, black pepper, celery seed . . .

But this isn’t about barbecue.

It’s about Thai. The Maze said he thought there was a new Thai restaurant on 16th and Guerrero, and I said I thought I saw one there too, let’s go.

Interestingly, he was thinking of Malai, which has been there for decades and decades. Which goes to show you how much Maze loves Pakwan. He eats there all the time, and just now notices the Thai place across the street?

But there really is a new one, too. New to me, anyway. I think it’s only been there for months and months, almost a year maybe.

And that’s what I like about coming home, I’m saying: Thai food. Which isn’t very good in New Orleans. Not to mention Texas, in the middle of the night.

So, yeah, Krua, kitty-corner from Malai, and first things first: they do have duck soup. In fact, it was one of the best I’ve had, brothwise: salty and rich. The celery was a nice touch, and the noodles were good; but the bowl could have used more ducks in it was all.

As for the gold bags . . .

Well, I don’t have anything to compare them to. I never had gold bags before. In fact, what the hell are gold bags?

All the rage, according to Maze. He keeps seeing them on menus, and now probably I will too. They are dumplingy collections of shrimps, chickens, water chestnuts, and corn, tied off at the top like . . . gold bags, apparently.

Were they good? Yeah. Sure.

I forget what else we had. Probably tofu, or else I would remember. In any case: new favorite restaurant. I just can’t get over the fact that there is duck noodle soup within two blocks of my apartment, and barbecue. Even ramen now, I’m pretty sure. Within two blocks of my apartment!

Our apartment.

All we have to do now is live in it.


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