August 2007

* But not in the traditional form

First of all, a little sidebar having nothing to do with the dinner at Malay Satay Hut. Thanks to relatively absent but still always with us member Marnie Maclean for driving, way, way across town to attack my dog with her Furminator and to come to our aid, accompanying us to the dogwash for heavy lifting duties and matted hair removal. As dog washing “assistants” go, Marnie gets a 10 thumbs up for both human kindness and dog handling techniques.

Also, thanks Judy for joining us finally at a dinner. Judy has always commented on the reviews to me (she actually reads them!), but this is the first time she had dined with us, so eventhough you had a hectic week at work, we enjoyed you managing to join us at Malay Satay Hut, and for trying everything (including one too many things). As to the two other new people who once again RSVPed and then for the second time either backed out at the last minute or in this case didn’t show up, you probably won’t be reading this, as you’ve been removed from out list. RR is for people who actually RSVP and show up, not people who RSVP and stay at home. We’re nastier here than baseball, two strikes and you’re out!

The Malay Satay Hut, An Evening of Intestinal Distress*

*but not in the traditional form

There were six of us who met out on beautiful 82nd Avenue for our evening of unusual eating excitement at the Malay Satay Hut. Originally, there was supposed to be nine of us, but one of us subcumbed to the more interesting offer of a camping trip (hey, I’d think about ditching an RR dinner for camping too, just not on a projected rainy weekend), and two new people just didn’t bother to show up, as mentioned previously, and probably won’t be invited again. Afterall, continually flaking on delightful people like our RR group shows a distinct lack of taste on their part. But thanks to the folks who did come out for a dinner of distinctly non-traditional Asian fare, Sara, expert Asian food eater and wonderfully gung ho RR member, Kimberly, now with three RR dinners under her belt, my always willing to try new things former stalwart Christina, attending her 8th RR dinner, my paper pushing pal of at least 10 years, Judy, and our manly presence for the evening, Brian, the KING OF GUSTATORY ADVENTURE!!!! Unfortunately, sometimes you can just be too adverturous. Caution can actually be good, at least when it comes to offal delicacies (or in this case, awful indelicacies). I applaud his courage, however, I am just sorry I psyched myself into the hysteria of mass sampling bravery. But more on this charming eating interlude later. (more…)

Their Balls Are Bigger Than Their Brains – Rated PG 6.5*

*halfway to PG 13.

No, my dear food oriented friends, this has not suddenly turned into a porno website, fit only for the “internude”. This comment was part of a Wild Kingdom focused, extremely fervent conversation that took place near the end on our long-winded but always fascinating evening at Olea last Friday. The speaker, I believe, was Lynne, our environmental law specialist, but our anatomical specialist, Dr. Jones, certainly had many lively and vivid remarks on this very topic as well, all when the chit chat took a wild swing from the subject of beavers munching one’s treasured foliage to that of our well-endowed (but stupid) little squirrel friends destroying tulip bulbs in their quest for easy nut accessibility. But more on this heartwarming topic later.

This was my third week of Restaurant Roulette dinners in a row, and while I always enjoy the dinners themselves, the wallet implosion certainly reached its climax at Olea, but thanks to the kindly people I was dining with, who insisted I use the $20 coupon I presented at the end of the meal all for myself, my frightening tab of $50 went down to a somewhat digestible $30, but there was no economic relief in sight for our dear friends the Nunn-Jones’, who were seen leaving the restaurant in barrels (classy wine barrels though).

Even more frightening than the economic toll the three consecutive dinners was taking on my bank account, however, was the mental toll writing all these out of control reviews was taking on my halting and hesitating old head cavity, I was really dreading churning out my treatise of gluttony for a third weekend in a row.

But the lively conversation at Olea took care of that, and now I have subject matter galore. So thank you, thank you, thank you, my intelligent but somewhat “out there” dining companions for providing such wonderful and weird fodder for my little dining tabloid; this dinner featured some of the kookiest subject matter ever, and that’s saying something amazing in itself. (more…)