Archive for February 15th, 2015

You Always Remember Your First

The time, back in the last century. Just out of college, looking for a job. One offer from a family friend that owned several shoe and clothing stores. One from a local CPA firm. Discussed the situation with the family friend and he withdrew his offer. Told me the job with the CPA would be better for me in the long run. Sigh, the family friend was paying more too. 😦

CPA located at the time halfway between downtown and the mall, kind of a hodge podge of warehouses, small factories, auto repair garages, and retail. His clients were more small business owners and labor unions (he was sort of known in the community for helping the working class).

Many “downtown” CPAs took their new hires to lunch first day on the job, not him (not that he was cheap, just wasn’t his style). Some of the staff showed me their favorite lunch wagon (the “food truck” concept was decades away) a couple of blocks from the office.

A panel truck, painted red, paint faded and oxidized, parked in an empty lot. Cheap eats. Food came on a paper plate, not the type that are plastic coated and reinforced like today, those plates started to absorb as soon as anything touched them. The people who ran the lunch wagon would line the plate with butcher paper (which didn’t really help). The whole order, plate and food would then be wrapped with more butcher paper and secured with a thin rubber band. Took some fast walking back to the office before the package started to disintegrate. That lunch wagon became somewhat of a staple. Hearty and cheap eats, menu pretty predictable (roast pork with gravy, teriyaki chicken thighs, beef stew or curry, etc. not five-star dining, but got the job done.

Changed jobs and locations, no opportunity to continue  buying lunch there. Years go by, taste change, or so I thought.

Current work is nearby that first lunch wagon’s kitchen. Avoided eating there for several weeks, thought I would be disappointed. Did a little web surfing and found out the original owner retired and new owners took over. Some reviews were not complementary of the change.

But curiosity kept gnawing at me. Last Friday, mindset was “if you never try, you’ll never know”.



The new owners did a little renovation of the place, new paint, new furniture?, tidied up a bit. Went with the old standby.

Roast Pork, Rice, Gravy, Green Salad

Roast Pork, Rice, Gravy, Green Salad

Don’t remember green salad being an option before, nice touch. Was this plate the same as thirty plus years ago? I really can’t recall. The current one was good though. Very similar to Kalua pork, without the liquid smoke. Overall, very decent, was not disappointed. Noticed one of the new menu items is pastele stew. I will be back.

Sometimes, you can go back “home”. 🙂

Enjoy. Eat well.

The Mouse

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