Twilight Zone

I stopped at the McDonalds drive thru on the way down to my cousin’s wedding two weeks ago. The car in front of me pulled up to the menu board. The driver rolled down the window to order.

And that’s when I realized the driver was a mime.

I rubbed my eyes and blinked hard.

The passengers were also mimes.

This blew my mind.

First off, did the mime say his order into the speaker? I couldn’t tell. But how do you act out Chicken McNuggets with a side of honey mustard?

The mime car was a real one. Not a pantomime car. It was white, to match the mimes’ faces. I think it was a Hyundai. (Definitely not a Peugot.) I couldn’t tell if there was a steering wheel, or if the driver was just pretending.

Were they listening to the radio?

Was the engine silent?

What happens if they get stuck in traffic? Do they pretend to be stuck in a box?

If it’s windy, does the car lean forward and drive slower?

When they pulled around to the window, the cashier handed them a real bag. But was there real food in it? Or just an invisible banana?

I haven’t slept since.


I’ve been eating out a ton lately. Time to start cooking again.

Went to The Brass Elephant for the first time. Had this seared, coriander dusted tuna topped with tempura shrimp and mustard cress and served over risotto and ponzu sauce. (Whatever the hell that is.) It was every bit as good as any entrée I’ve ever had in DC or New York or San Francisco or anywhere else. Dessert was a flourless chocolate torte. Really good, and I’m not even a huge chocolate guy.

Tsunami in Annapolis is my new favorite sushi place. They have this tofu appetizer that was tossed with benito flakes, sesame seeds and some kind of sauce that was made (I think) from soy sauce, ginger and crack. (it couldn’t possibly be anything else). I’ve been craving it every day since. Also, the sushi was really fantastic. They did an interesting take on the spicy tuna roll – instead of a sauce, it was topped with some sort of chili pepper spice rub.

Last week, I discovered Chicken Rico. This place is an absolute treasure, and I don’t use that term lightly. Unless you count the David Hasselhoff “Looking for Freedom” CD that I found in the $2 bin at Soundgarden. (It’s an absolute treasure.)


Anyway, Chicken Rico is this hole-in-the-wall cafeteria-style Peruvian chicken place in Highlandtown. It’s an experience. Here’s how it works: you go up to the counter, where there’s a guy with a meat cleaver. You order either a whole, a half, or a quarter chicken. Meat cleaver guy takes one swipe with the knife and your chicken is ready. It’s kind of amazing. (It’s even more amazing that he still has all 9 fingers.) They serve the chicken with two little cups of dipping sauce – one of them is some sort of jalapeno and vinegar puree, the other is a tangy aioli-ish thing. The chicken is super moist, and the skin is perfectly crisp and peppery from the Peruvian spice rub. You get two sides from a list of about 8 -10 things that include french fries, fried yucca, plantains, cole slaw, rice, fried rice, beans, and a handful of others. You also get a can of soda. (I tried Inca Kola, which is a gold-colored Peruvian coke product that tastes kind of like cream soda, but a little bit fruity. Unless you ask Wilkepedia, who says it tastes like bubblegum.) You get it all for less than five bucks. I’m officially addicted. Went back the same week, got a chicken burrito and ate it at the Canton Waterfront park. It was ok. But not nearly as good as the rotisserie chicken.

Pazo on Tuesday was terrific as usual. Had the tuna involtini, eggplant dip, grilled mushrooms, the pork skewered thingys on the orange-y red sauce (that’s the technical name), the slow cooked lamb with olive oil on whipped potatoes. and a yummy sheep’s cheese that I can’t spell (we passed on the cheese that was from the “sheep/cow.” I usually prefer the restaurant to have sone degree of certainty which animal the cheese is coming from.) Dessert was at Metropolitan in Federal Hill. A chocolate thing with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream that made a smiley face (with a corn bob pipe).

Went to Kawasaki yesterday for some sweatshop sushi. It’s been awhile. But I’m glad to see the loss of illegal immigrants in the kitchen hasn’t affected the quality of the food. Had vegetable tempura, spicy tuna roll, cucumber and avocado roll, Chesepeake #1 roll (crabmeat, cream cheese, tempura flakes and old bay.) and the Lee Roll (yellowtail, avocado, tempura flakes and a dollop of some yummy green cream sauce. Possibly my new favorite.)

Tonight I’m cooking something for the first time in probably 2 weeks. Not sure what yet. Might take a ride to Cross Street Market for a change of pace and pick up whatever looks fresh at the seafood counter.


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