I have a good friend in Honolulu. Let’s call him Steve.
Steve’s a great guy; met him in the mid-90’s when I was writing restaurant reviews for The Honolulu Advertiser (the biggest paper in the state of Hawaii at that time; now long gone as many papers are in the Internet age).
Anyway, I walked into a sushi place intent on sampling the sushi at this place, with my longer-range expectation to squeeze-out 1000 words for my review. Most people think, “Oh, how cool, I’d love to write restaurant reviews; just eat and write.” Yeah, well, nice sentiment, but NOT.
Ask any Critic worth his or her (sea) salt, critiquing/reviewing is often plagued with a deeply-set fear of “How on earth will I ever get a thousand words out of this experience?”
Anyway, there he was, my soon-to-be longtime friend Steve, standing-up at the take-away counter, ramming (should I be more delicate and say “enjoying”?) spicy tuna rolls down his throat. Our eyes met for an instant, and I knew this guy was a foodie through-and-through.
Ok, so, after my date and I left the place, there he was, Steve, outside, enjoying the afterglow of his stand-up sushi experience. I swear, had he been a cat, he might have been licking/grooming himself (*to get all that wasabi and shoyu smell off!*).
We ended up chatting for at least another hour or so about this and that, and then that and this. Bouncy and lively stuff like, “Have you tasted the truffled crab ramen at D.K.’s?” or “How `bout that garlic mochiko chicken at Sugoi… it’s mind-blowing.”
Steve is a tall New York Jew (my peeps!), and registers a bit on the higher-end of the decibel level (you all know what I mean), possessing a slight speech impediment.
I want to be as “P.C.” as I can, but let’s just say there are times he sounds a bit like a cartoon character. I giggle when he chats. It’s really all good. You’d smile too if you heard him speak.
We exchanged business cards, and the time came to say goodbye. I wanted to get back home and write my review. He had stuff to do as well, stating that he had to go to “Chunky Jesus.”
“Chunky Jesus, really, is this where he was going,” I queried my pre-Google brain. Never heard of it. Wonder what the heck it is…
It wasn’t until years later that I learned that `Chunky Jesus’ was what “Chuck E. Cheese sounded like when Steve pronounced that – the place where he was going to pick his kids up.