After my Minnesota date, both Megan and I were a bit wiped out and desperate not to socialize with anyone, let alone each other. So we asked the nice hotel desk clerk for recommendations for delivery food in the area that was not pizza (we knew Chicago was coming and didn’t want to ruin our taste for crust and sauce). That sweet-as-apple-pie clerk merrily passed me a handful of menus and pointed out one in particular, saying, “This place has good Chinese food.”
I glanced over the smudged three-fold menu of this recommended eatery and the gal said, “And don’t worry, an American will deliver your food.” Stunned, I remained silent and then pondered what I’d just heard. I decided to do as any good Minnesotan would do and ignore it, instead mentioning Megan was looking forward to chicken. The clerk said they had the best chicken chow mein, which sold Megs. In a few minutes, our orders were in, our bellies were rumbling, and we were in our room, having a pillow fight.*
Our food was indeed delivered by a man of probably European descent (which I assume is what the hotel clerk meant by American), and our food was then ravenously torn into as though Megan and I were hamsters who had been left unattended for a few days. After soup, Megan went hunting for the chow mein but came up with nothing.
The box that clearly had a meat dish in it was noodle-free. Instead, a sludge of chicken, watercress and celery was congealed together. Using a chopstick, Megan dug around to the bottom and still discovered nothing noodley. Her disappointment exuded not only from her body language, but also her words. Within a second she had picked up the phone to call the restaurant.
A host answered the phone, and Megan explained the case of the missing noodles. From there, the host put the chef on the phone, a brusque woman who told Megs to look in the bag and then hung up on her.
Confused, Megan returned to the bag our food had been delivered in and at the bottom of it found a package of what could only be by California terms described as salad toppers — the kind you’d put on an Asian salad of sorts. We stared at those toppers, and Megan finally figured when in Minnesota, do as the Minnesotans. So she put the crunchy “noodle” type things into her gooey chicken/celery/water/chestnut slew and mixed.
The noodles did not expand. Finally, Megan gave up and ate some of my rice.
*If by pillow fight you can envision both of us at computers, typing away.