Street Meat

Restaurant week in Philadelphia had hit me straight in the wallet so I went for decidedly cheaper fare this week. Today was warm so I stopped at the hilal lunch cart two blocks from work to see how their spicy chicken salad was I had previously spied. At 11:48am I walked up to the cart and in a firm loud voice said “chicken salad, spicy” in response to “next”. Only “nice” people say “how are you?” and “may I have?” and other such speed bumps. While I may be slowly turning nice, I have no interest in being… “nice”. Also, all modifiers go at the end much like adjectives in Romance languages. Failing to follow these rules marks you as a stranger in a strange land. I hate being the outsider.

What followed was a sequence of bottles raised by the truck operator which I had to either nod yes or no to like some sort of cylinder identification exam. I nodded yes to the white cylinder, no to the green one, and yes to the dark yellow one. The cart operator gave me a visible nod of approval at my selections and I was proud. My salad greens were streaked with color and he said “soda?”. I said “nope”, he said “TAKE A CAN”, I took a can and gave him $5.00.

I returned to my desk and considered the bouquet of what appeared to be masala sauce, taheeni sauce, and ranch dressing. Yellow and white on chicken was a good choice. Next week, I try green and white on lamb, and remember that the can comes with the salad.