I may have adopted the most unusual criteria when it comes to selecting a restaurant – tables or counters at bar-stool height for example, so I can stand while eating – but once in a while, my developed-out-of-necessity idiosyncrasy leads me straight to gold. Like today.
But first, the backstory: Last night I went for my second meal at the bizarrely-called Monaliza BBQ Café on nearby Chulia St. In case you’re wondering: I don’t recall seeing any BBQ dishes on the menu, and I’m still puzzled by the misspelled reference to la Gioconde.
After the friendly waiter from Bangladesh took my order and went off to the kitchen, I headed out for a short walk around the neighborhood. When I returned, I took up my usual (!) post at the counter near the back, and dug into a tasty platter of noodles and stir-fried vegetables. By then, questions about why I wasn’t sitting at a table had long been answered.
Then Eddie – a retired businessman who likes to keep busy so he comes to work to cook – joined me a table and we talked about how much of the food we ingest these days has become tainted, including beef, produce and fish.
Ah, yes, fish. I told Eddie it had been too long since I’d had a good piece of fish. So then, would you believe, Eddie offered to go to the market this morning, pick out a good fish (nothing farmed) and make it to order when I came by today.
And so he did. And I did. And what a feast it was!
An unnamed deep-sea fish, lightly sautéd in garlic and butter, with herbs and more garlic on top, topped by a dash of Worcestereshire sauce, served on a bed of lettuce; with a colorful bouquet of stir-fried veggies.
It was better than expected, it was tasty and divine; wholly delicious and nutritious. Nothing like it exists on the Monaliza Menu. My guess is that the foodie angels delivered me to Eddie Wong so he could remind about the blessings of a freshly-prepared, home-cooked meal.
I plan to pay it forward just as soon as I can…