A woman with curly hair…

…talked me into trying pizza funghi at Ciao Pizza in Boston.

We’re at a different location for the layover here, and I’m loving it! It’s near a TJ Maxx and Home Goods, a grocery store, a brewery, and most importantly, a pizza spot where everyone seems to be happy.

Being the only flight attendant on your aircraft is lonely sometimes; so when one of my pilots said he was going out for pizza, I jumped at the opportunity. I had eaten only a couple of hours ago, but who doesn’t have room for pizza? Said pilot also introduced me to using Yelp. This shall be my new best friend, as it is how we came to discover this unique pizza place.

It’s a small joint with a counter along the window that faces out, and another counter that faces into the open kitchen. I’ve never seen so many kitchen workers with smiling faces, and I used to work in food service. If the atmosphere at any of the places I’ve worked at was like this, I probably would’ve never left. Sometimes it’s not the pay that keeps you somewhere; it’s the people you work with and the passion they all have for the job. This is what surprised and impressed me about this pizza shop. What also caught our attention was the fact that it has many Yelp reviews, yet still has a 5 star rating.

The only way to explain it is how the place makes you feel upon entry, and if you’re lucky enough to have the time to sit in.

A woman was sitting next to us waiting on her order. She is a well-traveled woman that knows my beloved Philly, and swears that this is the best pizza she’s ever come across. The pizza funghi was her favourite, which is one of the pies that I was thinking of trying. Her rave about it made the decision for me. I started to order it just as she did, with an extra crispy crust; instead, I decided to order it just the way they would make it.

Here is what appeared in front of me (not to mention that I had it in about 5 minutes after ordering it):

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The crust was soft, arugula was peppery and crisp, and the mushrooms along with the roasted garlic cloves was savory, satisfying, and rich along with that cheese. The texture of the cheese was soft and gooey, and I like that the arugula was there for a crisp component. However, just because of my personal taste, I may order it with a crisper crust. It was delicious and satisfying with red wine.

I finished up with two mini-sized cannolis and an espresso.

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These people went beyond just being happy; they were singing to the songs on the radio. To take it a step further, they broke out instruments! First it started with the woman at the counter breaking out a mini tambourine. Next thing I know, a guy in the back was playing a triangle. On yet another song, another kitchen worker snatched up a wooden flute or recorder from one of the shelves. Never in my life have I seen such fun in a kitchen. It was also a joy to watch these people at their duties; there was passion put into the work, even down to washing the dishes, and respect flowed amongst everyone. Even the owner of the store was there and chatted with us and other patrons.

That personal care is something that would have me eagerly hopping a flight back to this location. Let’s face it, I can’t count on my job to give me another overnight at this spot; sometimes, you gotta make things happen.

It would’ve been so cool if you all could’ve met this woman. She was worldly, and obviously has really experienced life. In some ways, I felt like I connected with her; she looks like a glimpse of what I may be like when I’m older. I hope to be like that when I’m older: well traveled, experienced in life, happy with where I am, and still looking forward to more.

Once her order was ready, she bid us adieu, welcomed us to the area, and stepped out into the chill of the night.

SBF is on its own

So what could this possibly mean?

Well, in simple terms, it means that the misadventures of me seeking Asian food is now its own blog! Rejoice!!!

Does it mean that this page will disappear?

Most certainly not!

I love to eat in general, but I think that particular subject will be able to stand on its own quite well. Asian food is a vast thing that cannot simply be constrained to white takeout cartons and chopsticks. There are many countries within Asia, which means various cuisines. I seem to fall back to it a lot, and I feel that I should start exploring the subject more. So, just like a child that wants to grow up, I decided to give these particular posts their own space. My hope is that it flourishes into something more than I could’ve imagined… but mostly, we’ll see what happens and enjoy the many meals to come.

Check it out, and I hope you enjoy that blog just as much as this one. The same quirky and honest writings that you enjoy here may also be found there. It’ll just be solely food based, and will be about a specific kind of food. It’s specific, but vast enough that the subject won’t be easily exhausted.

So here’s to something new. I’m still Miss Rach, your flight attendant… but I’m also your friendly neighborhood SBF, and I love me some Asian food.

cheers!

#weekendcoffeeshare

Diner Run

Nothing beats a good ol’ diner run late at night.

When the munchies hit you around the time that everything closes and there isn’t much food in the house, or if you need to clear your head, a run to a 24-hour diner is always what the doctor ordered. These can be fun to do with friends, but can also be just as enjoyable alone. My favourite places to hit up for such a run are Tom Jones and Denny’s.

One night about 3 night ago, it was the end of a work day. I was tired and hadn’t eaten anything. The only thing close by my layover spot was Denny’s. I decided to eat in tonight, and was given a table near the door in a corner. The solitude was appreciated since it was a long day and I was getting sleepy, but wanted something to eat so I didn’t wake up late because of hunger.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with the same idea. There were 3 or 4 people settled in the far corner of the restaurant. Then, in trickled a part of about 4 or 5 people, the youngest of them appeared to be middle aged. The staff greeted them warmly. “Hey mama! I haven’t seen you in a while! How are you?” These people that were strangers to me had to be regulars to be greeted like this.

Shortly after them came a party of 10 people, THEN a pair of people eating out, and about 4 younger gentlemen thereafter! Who knew that so many people would be hitting up Denny’s on a Tuesday at 10:45pm? I quickly regretted not ordering out, but I was ready to go shortly thereafter. No one was disorderly, but it was more crowded than I had anticipated.

Maybe they were looking for the same solace and a bite to eat that I search for when I drive out to the diner late at night. My fondest memories were of going to a Denny’s near me for breakfast. I was acting in a play at the time, and would always be hungry afterward. I was also looking to be alone for a bit. I always seemed to find my way to this Denny’s since the other late night diner only takes cash. Sometimes, a girl just doesn’t have enough money to remove anything from her bank account.

The staff got to know me very well, and the pancakes served at night always seemed to be bigger. I enjoyed a good cup o’ joe along with a stack of 3 buttermilk pancakes, hash browns, a biscuit and bacon. I don’t always order the same thing at restaurants, but breakfast was my mainstay at Denny’s, and I liked ordering it the same way. It was most disappointing when that Denny’s was closed down and replaced with another diner. The food was not as good; I ended up having the rare occasion on which I sent something back. I hadn’t returned since.

Now if I want to go to Denny’s, I go to one a bit further out than the old one, which is what I did Wednesday night. Instead of ordering breakfast (which I was wont to do), this time, I had nachos.

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They were delicious, considering they were ordered from a diner! It was a different location (one closer to home, unlike the night previous), but it was just as busy! That familiar solitude and peace that I receive from a Denny’s, however, was still there.

Late night diner runs are good for the soul, and those college student memories and cravings. Besides, who doesn’t want breakfast for dinner?

Cheers!

Addictive Thai BBQ & Good Company

In this segment of “SBF Seeks Asian Food”, I traveled no further than my hometown and hit up La Na Thai French Cuisine. Today was a special lunch. I had the privilege of catching up with a friend I hadn’t spoken to in a while. Said friend was actually the same friend that introduced me to La Na. She is also most of the reason I’m an SBF seeking Asian food.

At restaurants, I’m not one to have a usual. I do have favourites, I’m not wont to getting the same thing. La Na is no exception, though there are two entrées that I like to change between. Today has changed that.

Today mixed old and new; I rekindled a friendship with an old friend, and tried something new to eat, which was highly recommended by the waitress. I ordered jasmine soup, and went with a thai bbq chicken that came with sticky rice and a small salad. The chicken was a thigh that had a barbecue style sauce on it.

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It wasn’t a thick smoky sauce like American bbq, but it was sweet and had a very slight kick to it, and maybe a little smokiness. Rice wine or rice wine vinegar was what I smelled and tasted. The flavors that had play in my mouth brought me to one conclusion: I want more. I must have more. Next time I go back, I’m going to break my own rule: I’m having the same thing twice in a row. And maybe a third time. In that first taste and moment, I understand why the waitress kept telling me how good it was.

Afterwards, K and I walked to Starbucks, then back to our cars because she had some work to get done before the school year starts. She loves her current job and I’m happy for her. She also lives back in the area now, so we can see each other more. This is great as I don’t have many friends that I get to see as often as I’d like. My job isn’t kind as far as keeping relationships going, but it’s nice to rekindle one even in the midst of it all.

I’m also grateful to have a new love. Honestly, I had given up on chicken and was considering relinquishing it from my diet. This has rekindled my love and hope for chicken. As I eat quesadillas for dinner tonight, I’ll be dreaming of the next time I can have that thai bbq again.

 

 

And A Deer Stood In The Road

…as I returned from my beach trip to Wildwood, NJ Monday evening. Even though it was only a day trip, to say that it was needed would be an understatement.

As much as I love my job, I was spinning my wheels. I wanted to save money to move out and also take trips here and there; however, my bank account and bills scoffed at the very idea. I honestly didn’t think I would make it to a beach this year, which is a travesty for a seasonal beach bum. When I first bought my car in January, I told myself that I would keep my boogie board in the trunk when the beach season started. I kept that word, but as the weeks went by, it sat unused in my trunk. In fact, it became an annoyance because it got in the way when putting in luggage.

Then I hit rock bottom. I was moody and sad, and I knew it was because I was stressed from constantly working when my heart and daydreams stayed at a beach. The reveries were so real that I could hear the waves and feel the wind, and smell the salty sea water.

It was then that I took what little money I had in my savings account, and hit up the beach on a Monday. I don’t understand why people hate Mondays; it’s always a good day for me. This Monday was no different. Finally, the boogie board was going to leave the trunk and be used in the Jersey shore surf. (I cried tears of joy. No, I’m not kidding.)

The reason I wanted to go to Wildwood specifically was because of Curley’s. A friend of mine has a shore condo in Wildwood, and I stayed with her last year. She introduced me to Curley’s. I already have a french fry problem, and this Jersey jewel further rationalizes said problem. They are thick-cut perfection: everything a girl could ask for in a french fry. I pined for them all fall, winter, and spring. Sam’s Pizza Palace right across from Curley’s was also in my thoughts as I waited for the beach season to roll around.

Needless to say, after a 2 hour drive, I finally got the fix I’ve been jonesing for all year long.

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After enjoying good food, I frolicked in the waves, which were great for boogie boarding. I didn’t hoop this time around, which I habitually do at the beach, but there’s always next week. Yes, I’m going back next week, but with my family this time. I will get them hooked on Curley’s also, thus helping them understand why I needed to drive 2 hours for fries.

As I turned onto the road that allows me to turn onto my street, there sat 2 cars, waiting on an indecisive deer that stood in the road.

She was a beautiful doe that stood around 4 or 5 ft tall, her hide was a brownish tan, and her ears stood straight up. The stopped car in front of me honked at her to encourage a quicker response time. Sure enough, she ran across the street, scampering out of sight into a yard with a goal post.

Maybe she’ll play a little soccer in the cool of the day.

And a bunny hopped by…

…on the day that I was in Ottowa trying pho for the first time. The SBF found Asian food in Canada.

Regrettably, I lack photographic evidence of what I ate, but I was more than relieved to relinquish my cell phone. Besides, without access to hotel wifi and no international plan, it was little more than an expensive alarm clock.

What I love about the Ottowa layover is that nearly everything is accessible by foot. There are promenades, shops, and lots of restaurants. Upon first visiting Ottowa, one of the first things I noticed was that it has a lot of Asian restaurants. Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, Japanese and Chinese are the main ones that can be found in downtown Ottowa. It was interesting because it’s the last place one would think to find Asian food.

Okay, Canada is the last place that would think of to find Asian food. It probably shouldn’t surprise me because whenever I work flights to and from there, the passengers are a reflection of the food you find. Honestly, that could be true of any place if you pay close attention to who is around you.

As I walked around trying to figure out where to settle and eat (which was mostly dictated by my wallet), a place called iPho is where I chose. The O in the name was a bowl of pho with chopsticks coming out of it. I’ve never had pho before, and today seemed like the day to try something new.

It was a rough day in the sky office. The trash can fell out of its cart and spilled contents on me and the floor. No one was hurt except for me & my pride. The trash can didn’t hurt me, though; the ice tray was the culprit. I got one nick on my right hand, and the other on my right foot. The foot was red enough that I could see it without glasses. Ironically, though, the left foot ended up hurting more than the right. I may need to see a doctor.

After all of that, solitude was much needed, and this seemed to be the place to get that. It was quiet; so quiet that I and the young lady cleaning glasses were the only two there. When she saw me, I sat myself and ordered a curried tofu vermicelli with vegetables. The cool of the air on my skin from the open door calmed my senses, and peace was flooding my brain. Part of that surely came from knowing that food was coming.

Assuming that this would be akin to a Vietnamese version of ramen, it was a surprise to see just a big bowl of noodles with the aforementioned ingredients. Even more surprising was the fact that my order was ready in around 5 minutes.

Vermicelli rice noodles were the base with long slices of tofu, some carrot, a green that looked like bok choy, and cauliflower. All of this was tinged yellow by the curry. Overall, it was filling, and the texture of the tofu was delightful; it had a rough tongue-feel which you would think should be crunchy, but it was soft when chewed. There were condiments on the table, and I chose some sambal oelek to spice it up. It paired well with the flavors of this dish.

While I ended up spending more than I would’ve preferred, I at least enjoyed what I ate as well as the quiet that went with my dinner.

On those days when I have a good layover, I should really have a camera. I’ll work on that. If anything, I would’ve loved to show you the bunny. It was small, brown, and very cute. I haven’t seen one in a while; I’m glad it hopped across the walkway and into the grass so I could see. Then it hopped down the hill and out of sight.

SBF Seeks Asian Food

SBF with adventurous personality and lust for travel is seeking Asian food to have great meals with. Thai, Indian and Chinese are favourites, but I’m willing to consider all types. Chilies and heat fuel my reveries, but non-spicy dishes are also appreciated. I have a car and passport, and am willing to travel to find what I like. Bonus points if ingredients can be procured for creating Asian-inspired dishes at home.

I look forward to that next Asian dish to spice up my life, and hope to meet with you and eat soon!