Dear Food Buddha,
Last month, I discovered your show, thanks to my inability to sleep while I’m up in the air, en route to DFW. I was flipping through Continental’s In-Flight Entertainment channels, hoping to look for something boring to help me doze off. And then I flipped through TLC and saw two guys occupying a table (or maybe it was a couple of tables) just filled with food. I thought at first it was an eating competition, but the two guys (I learned on later that it was you and Fireman Mike) were not inhaling the food, but rather pleasurably taking your time in eating. That caught my attention, goodbye in-flight nap, hello Food Buddha !!!!
In this episode, you were in New Orleans, in search of an inspiration for a dish that you will create for your restaurant. You already caught my eye by being a chef. But when you ordered O.O.E. off the menu, you took my breath and heart away. I was smitten !! You ordered One Of Each Item off the menu on all three restaurants that you visited. WOW. Fireman Mike was one lucky guy. I wanted to be Fireman Mike the entire time I was watching the show!!! That was probably the first and only time that I wanted to be a fireman. One named Mike. But there’s always a first for everything, right? Right.
Towards the end of the show, after you found your inspiration and about ready to create a new dish for your restaurant in Chicago; I found murmuring to myself, “I bet he owns Sunda”. And I was right. When I went to Chicago last August for Lollapalooza, on the second day of the music festival, right after listening to Dan Black, before Social Distortion – I needed to recharge, went to Chow Town North and found Sunda. I couldn’t resist. For $9, I got myself not one or two but THREE!! Braised Pork Belly Bao Buns, with pickled vegetables & Hoison. The bun was moist and soft, and has that sweet taste, reminded me of the siopao’s from NYC Chinatown. I loved that there was a generous amount of veggies in there, carrots, caramelized onions, cucumber and hints of scallions. A little bit salty from the hoisin sauce and sweet from the bun and then the softness of the braised pork, contrasted by the bit of crunchiness from the fresh veggies. I was surprised that I didn’t have to cut other starving concertgoers for these scrumptious buns.
But, I was not surprised to hear that you, the Food Buddha, own Sunda. I wish I had the time for a full sit-down meal but if I promise that I will do so for Lollapalooza 2011, will you promise to bring me along for your next O.O.E. adventure? I think it’s an even exchange =) No doubt about it.
Your biggest fan in the universe,