7.15.2003 8th Avenue
The other night, we rediscovered this really cool restaurant in a nearby Brooklyn neighborhood nicknamed 'Eighth Avenue'.
Actually, I grew up in that neighborhood - lived there from second grade through high school, and then parts of my college years. Its now predominantly an Asian neighborhood and it's incredible to see how it has evolved over the years through all its cultural differences. When our family first moved there, it was mostly a Norwegian-Slavic sort of mix. A few years later, a Turkish influence was introduced, and in the past five to ten years, it has been predominantly Chinese, and in a big way. It's now recognized as NYC's third largest Chinatown.
The neighborhood revolves around this one street, 8th Avenue. There are many outdoor merchants selling everything from toys to fresh produce to live shellfish. There are also lots of knick-knack stores and restaurants too. Elizabeth and I often go there about once a week to either go grocery shopping or just to hang out. It's quite the experience.
One of the strange oddities of the neighborhood though is that no matter how busy it gets, it has always shut down at what appears to be mid-evening - too early for an area that is now so heavily populated. During the day, the sidewalks and streets are so crowded that dodging people and double-parked cars are very common. But when 7:30 or 8 PM rolls around, stores just start closing. Guess the neighborhood is really residential, although the one street, 8th Avenue, is heavily lined with businesses, and this is just how it is there.
Anyhow, like I was saying - we rediscovered this really cool restaurant. It's a Malaysian restaurant. Don't ask, I'm really not sure what Malaysian food is. It seems like its a cross between Thai and funky Chinese, or, maybe this restaurant has its own fusion cuisine style. I don't really know. I just know it's really good.
We arrived around 9:30 or so the other night (well after the rest of the neighborhood has closed down and the streets were nearly deserted), and we wound up having to wait to get seated.
Elizabeth, she's been more or less ... more (a-hem) assertive lately. Guess it's understandable.
We arrived at the door of the restaurant and there stood in the doorway, a woman and her two children. We tried to coerce them into actually going *in* to the restaurant - we really did. Elizabeth motioned a few times. I nodded and smiled. They just stood there in the doorway. After a second or two of this stalemate, Elizabeth let out a huff, marched past them called out, "Table for two!"
(Wicked stares from two-child woman to follow - don't look. Just don't)
We sat down and after looking through the menu and what other people have ordered, we wound up ordering the pineapple fried rice, some crab concoction (the house special), and a spinach dish. Later, we were notified that there were no more crabs, and we substituted it with some giant shrimp concoction.
"Oh.. this is sooo good."
"Don't-forget-to-lick-your-fingers, -wipe-them-off-with-a-napkin,-and-then, -lick-the-napkin-good."
Geez, I forgot where I was going with this. Oh man, the food, it was just mouth-watering.