Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Chinese Food Cart

I am a creature of habit, especially when it comes to eating. Part of the reason for this is genetic (my grandparents ate the same meal each night of every weekday their entire adult lives), part is efficiency (I once read the Albert Einstein had 5 of the same sports jackets and slacks all hung in his closet for the week because it’s easier to choose) and part is because we all like structure.

Whatever the reason, I eat every Thursday at the Chinese Food cart on 17th and Market in Philly. I also have the same thing.
If you have never eaten from a food cart, it a different dining experience.

I recall a story by Joey Bishop (boy am I old) Joey and some other long-forgotten celebrity were in a Limo in New York and Joey saw that the Limo was going past his favorite corner hotdog cart so Joey had the Limo driver pull over. Joey rolls down the window and Joey tells the guy he’ll have two dogs.

The dog cart guy responds “Do you have a reservation?”

I ‘ve been eating at the Chinese cart for a couple of years now and I always have:

Shrimp Lo Mien $3.00
Egg Roll $1.00
20 oz Diet Pepsi $1.25
Total for lunch in the city: $5.25

I know what you are thinking..... Shrimp from a cart are you some kind of cart cuisine daredevil?

Nahh, these people are clean.

One day I invited my friend “Mash” from work to the cart. Mash is a little, ah, obsessive. Mash once ate so many carrots that he turned orange. Orange. Orange like a carrot, orange. Now he warns people of the dangers of over indulging on carrots: “Those will turn you Orange” he now tells people that might be snacking on carrots.

Thanks Mash.

So Mash starts going to the cart, my cart, every single day.

One Thursday I go with him to my cart and Mash is line ahead of me.

Mash says “I’ll have my usual”. I’m thinking “Your usual!” I’ve been coming here for like three years and you have a usual!

I have a usual, but they don’t know it!

Anyway, it got me friendly with the cart owners Ben and Nee and now they know I come on Thursdays and I have a usual.

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