Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Minding my peas and carrots and other items of (dis)interest

While the ‘rents and I were still living in Savannah, we would often throw caution to the four winds on rare occasions and order a Chinese takeout feast fit for royalty from a restaurant located in the neighborhood known as the New China Garden Restaurant (12322 Largo Drive). We loved this jernt, particularly since they made fried rice the way the Food Gods intended—without peas and carrots.

I’ve looked around on the Internets, and every single fried rice recipe seems to include these two ingredients. I’m no expert on the subject (Rick Brooks is known as the Half-Assed Gourmet, so I guess that makes me the other half) but…putting peas and carrots in fried rice is just wrong, man. It’s like eating a pastrami sandwich with mayonnaise; I’m sure it violates all known food laws and is just plain blasphemy when you think about it hard enough.

So I guess you can say it’s become my mission here in Athens to find a Chinese takeout place that doesn’t commit the deadliest of the food sins. It will take quite a while (it was years before I found a decent place in Morgantown, WV—The Great Wall) I know, and sister Kat…well, she’s not much help. (She hates fried rice. Of course, she also doesn’t like her foods to touch, but that’s a post for another day.) Her Chinese restaurant of cherce is the Peking Restaurant, which is the buffet-style place I’ve mentioned in a previous post or two. They do takeout, of course, but I’ve seen the fried rice on the buffet and it ain’t fried rice. They call it egg fried rice, but upon a cursory glance at the item you will see steamed rice…with fried eggs in it. That’s more like fried egg rice, and I’ll have none of that. I’ve also checked out the Golden Dragon (I made the mistake of asking Kat’s friend Gwynn as to whether it was good, forgetting that Gwynn has “food issues” of her own) and it’s pretty much the same deal.

The reason why I brought this up is that Mumsy and I went out to run errands again today (she shopped for the big feast this Thursday) and after dropping off eBay packages at the Post Office I stopped by the Food Court in the mall to get some Chinese for lunch. It was one of those food court places (Mandarin Express—which sounds like a train, I know) present in practically every mall, and while I was glancing at the cherces I saw the fried rice…with peas and carrots. Well, it looked a lot better than the stuff I’ve seen at Peking so I got the combo special with fried rice and egg roll. Needless to say, the search continues.

On a happier note, I finally got the PayPal snafu settled and was able to transfer the eBay money I’ve raked in so far to my bank account, which I’m guessing will get there by Friday or Monday (I’m hoping, anyway). Anybody in Athens who knows a place with fried rice sans peas and carrots, drop me an e-mail.

6 comments:

Pam said...

...she also doesn’t like her foods to touch...

That make me laugh. I can't wait for this story.

Pam said...

"That make me laugh." WTF! Oh well. I was driving all night.

Rick Brooks said...

"Rick Brooks is known as the Half-Assed Gourmet, so I guess that makes me the other half"

Don't worry, there's plenty of ass to go around, my friend!

Hey, if we ever join the vaudeville circuit and do a "horse act," will we be the only duo in history to fight over who gets to be the head?

Linda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda said...

OMG!!!!! A CIVILIZED person who understands fried rice is not supposed to contain peas and carrots! Is this an odd Southern custom? I never saw a Chinese restaurant with fried rice containing peas and carrots until I moved to Georgia. I've never been in a Chinese restaurant in New England that has fried rice with peas and carrots. (The fried rice at the malls did have peas and carrots, but mall food court food isn't really food, if you know what I mean.) If you are ever in Marietta, a little hole-in-the-wall place called "Dragon 168" on Powder Springs Road makes fried rice the RIGHT way. (Their pork fried rice is to die for.)

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Ah, may the Good Lord take a liking to ya, Linda for understanding. Thanks for the Marietta tip, and if I ever do locate such a place in Athens I'll reciprocate in kind.