Pulpo A La Parilla
Iberian Pig | Decatur, GA
I have this thing I like to do that my dad calls “exit left,” when I’m upset with someone family or friend, I walk away and not just physically…I mean in all forms….Sometimes a stranger can be someone who you haven’t seen or spoken to in awhile…but more on purpose than any other reason…
and she told me this story:
A guy tried to rob me, I mean he just ran up behind me and pointed in my face and says “Give me your money!” so I tell him I left my wallet at home and I feel like you are in need of something, I asked him did he need food, did he need water or was it shelter? The guy looks at me puzzled and then shouts “I said give me your money, I need money!” I tell him “Look here…I done already told you I left my wallet but I feel like there is a need not being met..so how can i help you” So he finally replies “I heard people get robbed around here so I figured you’d just throw your wallet at me and run away…” Oh and check this out he didn’t even have a gun Page.
When she finished the story we looked at each other and a laugh louder than a 100-man marching band ensued!!! I mean we laughed for 15 minutes…
and in that moment of laughter I missed her, for all those months we didn’t speak and for all those missed opportunities of love.
We cannot let grudges get in the way of those little pockets of happy, joy, and love that life gifts us with every now and then…. xoxo Dre
Pho Ga (Chicken Pho)
Pho Bac | Chamblee, GA
“I am Vietnamese….not Chinese….not Korean…and NOT Japanese!!!!!,” this is the response I got from “Tom” who is a nail tech at Model Nails not far from my mom’s house. See what I was trying to do was ask him if he was from Vietnam because I had this new found love for “chicken water” as my dad calls it, and I thought it may be a great conversation starter. I mean hey, we sit across from nail techs for hours at a time, heck we see some of them more than we see our relatives. We know them by their American name only, and 90% of the people who are patrons at the nail shop have no idea that they are in fact NOT CHINESE!!!
Well once Tom walked outside to smoke a cig (which is done every 15 mins on the dot) he came back a little less irritated….and this is where things get interesting…Tom, who has a very deep accent has been in America for 25 years…yea I know 25 years; longer than I have been alive but yet has this very deep accent…so of course I question this. “If you’ve been here longer than I have been alive, why do you still have a heavy accent?” After looking at the ceiling for answers he says, ” I don’t speak English unless I’m here” I tell him “no way!!!” Tom then explains to me that when he leaves the nail shop, he is surrounded only by Vietnamese, makes sense right. But then my next wonder is, why come to America at all….
“In Vietnam they take everything, I cannot have my own because the police come and take…we are not free there…it was a bad place when I was there…they killed my father….he was a good man, and they just kill him….you see these tattoos…i got them in Vietnam to symbolize struggle and to never forget…here in America I can have my people, my food, my language, but most my pride and dignity.”
Today, Tom has been my nail tech a few years and whenever I walk into the nail shop his face lights up with the most welcoming smile, I guess he was happy to tell someone his story and appreciated me asking…I’m glad I did, I would have never guessed he would be full of so many stories and wisdom…which brings me to Pho…things that seldom look interesting are usually the most interesting.
Pho is Vietnamese “comfort food” it’s a noodle soup, with varying meats and takes about 8-10 hours to prepare. Enter into the many Pho joints around Atlanta where you can dine shoulder to shoulder with Vietnamese and many other cultures. You will be in for a pleasant surprise with one taste of this delicious dish…so simple…yet so satisfying…
GA Shrimp a la plancha (messy but worth it)
The Optimist | Atlanta, GA
You know that saying “looking for love in all the wrong places,” Well oh boy let me tell you…I would not know what love is if it knocked down my door…Let’s just say I wasn’t a lucky girl when it came to guys.
This was sort of our first formal date….and this guy who I have known of for years is sitting across from me talking and I am staring at the “NY” on his hat and half listening… I judge my dates like this: if the person is more interesting than food then I will take a second date…Well he was already loosing but I noticed all he wanted to talk about was food, cooking and restaurants. This made me twist my face “look at this dude trying to impress me”, and five seconds later i continued the convo in my head “Page wth is wrong with you, he is interested in you that’s why, that’s a good thing! Stop being a jackass” So as I begin to listen more I found out not only was he talking about food but had done his homework to ensure he had some impressive information….let’s fast forward….it’s now 12 at night and I am drunk as shit…..we have strolled every possible bar and restaurant in the Edgewood area of Atlanta and had a damn good time, who wouldn’t with all those drinks coming…He drives me home…walks me to the door and BOOM! performed as a perfect gentlemen…BEST FIRST DATE EVER, but I still had no idea who this guy really was
I didn’t know it then but I know now, love can be found in all the wrong places… seriously, I would never imagine my journey to finding a soul-mate would put me right here in GA in front of a guy I had one convo with in highschool. I love him dearly and appreciate his new found love for food. He supports me, he motivates me, he helps me to become the best version of myself, he is a direct port of happiness, but most importantly he loves me unconditionally for who I am.
So with this I say..when love is talking…listen..it may be trying to tell you answers to questions you have longed and waited for all your life.
Love you Alex!