The question that has launched millions, maybe even billions, of meals in New York City: “Where should we order from?”
What happens next is that the person at which that question was addressed answers one of four ways:
a.) A very specific suggestion, meaning they are in the mood for food from one specific place.
b.) A counter question, which is intended to help focus the decision-making process.
c.) A category proposal, i.e., “How about Thai?”
d.) A shrug, an “I don’t know, you pick,” or something else suggesting total ambivalence. Meaning: You decide.
Tonight, being that it was my friend’s last delivery meal in the old apartment — the entire place was empty except for some Internet-type cables and some random dried leaves, remnants from the mover’s blankets — I posed a counter question. “What do you want for your last delivery meal in your old place? What’s a place you’re going to miss ordering from?”
…Which is how we wound up with three giant craft beers (from the corner store) and four square, styrofoam containers of delivery from Best Wingers:
(front to back) plain, all white meat chicken tenders; potato wedges tossed in a fiery, Tobasco-style “exterminator” sauce and drenched in cheese sauce; chicken tenders tossed in a sweet barbecue sauce; chicken tenders tossed in the “911” hot sauce that starts off deceptively spice-forward — I couldn’t put my finger on what that front flavor was, exactly, but it reminded me of something Asian (Chinese? Malaysian?) I’ve had before — and by the end was utterly kicking your ass.
Fried, messy, saucy, at times take-your-breath-away spicy, — all the better to be washed down with copious amounts of beer — this would be a terrible date meal, I told my friend. On the other hand, the two of us, standing around in the kitchen of an empty apartment, going to town on some of the ugliest food I’ve seen in a long time (but, really, so good) — that’s what friends are for. For the record, we only ended up getting about half-way through it all (the food, not the beers, those were handily polished off).