Monday, September 3, 2007

Family Feasting

If the Monkeys are not out of town, we can usually count on seeing family during long weekends such as this one. On Friday night, the Monkeys had dinner at our country club with Brother Monkey, his girlfriend Torry, and Torry's mom. I have no pictures, though, because, since this was the first time we were meeting Torry's mom, I thought it wise not to make her think I was totally crazy the first time we met. Next time, though, the iPhone's coming out. Torry's mom was so incredibly warm and sweet, not unlike Torry. I count Torry as family. She has been dating Brother Monkey for a couple of years now, and they are moving in together very soon.

For those of you who are wondering what we ate (since this post is called "Family Feasting"), we started with three appetizers for the table: bacon-wrapped prawns, roasted eggplant pizza, and fresh artichoke with a special house dipping sauce. Mr. Monkey and Brother Monkey both had New England clam chowder, while the girls each had a baby green salad with goat cheese, candied pecans, and a tangy vinaigrette. Brother Monkey and I both opted for the filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes (I didn't eat my potatoes), string beans, and carrots. Mr. Monkey had cajun catfish with couscous and mixed vegetables. Torry had citrus grilled chicken with potatoes and vegetables. Torry's mom had some giant scallops. We ended with a sundae and creme brulee.

Boo. Now I'm sad I didn't take pictures. Oh well. The Monkeys go to the country club for dinner a lot. I'll snap next time when Torry's mom's not there! (And, for the record, the next morning I had not gained a pound! Insane!)

Yesterday, we had dinner with Mama and Stepdad Monkey at a restaurant in Rowland Heights, which I believe is called Seafood Village in English. Sometimes I forget to note English names of Chinese restaurants. Mama and Stepdad Monkey are a couple of newlyweds, too. They got married in October 2006 and are very cute together.

We ate lots of yummy things, including the ubiquitous house special crab that was seasoned perfectly with green onions and little fried garlic bits (so heavenly that every table in the restaurant ordered this dish), honey walnut shrimp, sauteed rock cod, "French style" steak (what made it "French," I'm not exactly sure), and on choy (which is my favorite green vegetable in the world and which I forgot to photograph before we devoured most of it).

I always love eating Chinese food because there is so much variety. (This is a good thing, since that's what we ate nearly every day at home growing up. Duh.) Now that I'm watching my food intake, dinners like this are especially enjoyable because, even though I'm eating just a little of each dish, psychologically I feel like I'm eating a lot! Hee hee!

After dinner, we headed to the 99 Ranch Market for a little shopping, which is so normal and rather mundane for us, but, to those unfamiliar with Chinese supermarkets, can be quite the adventure. I especially love the frozen food section (hence the abundance of pics). Asian frozen food kicks American frozen food's ass. Some of it's so good that it's almost like restaurant food.

Brother Monkey was on a hunt for some cheap wine to bring to "Science Club" that night. (He's also a member of "Math Club," which, funny enough, is not really all about math, but I digress.) Brother Monkey and his friends sometimes get together to do blind taste tests of drinks. In the past, they've sampled over a dozen different beers in one sitting, rating each on a scale of 1 to 10. This night was wine night! For the record, today Brother Monkey informed me that the crappy Chinese wine he bought rated the absolute lowest at Science Club with an average score of 2.2. Ha! Brother Monkey is also currently on an I-will-not-smile-in-pictures kick.

Today, the Monkeys and Brother Monkey drove all the way to the sun to visit Papa Monkey because Papa Monkey was on call and could be summoned to the hospital at any given moment. Since it's Labor Day and we were on the sun, pretty much only chain restaurants were open, so we went to Famous Dave's Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que, where Mr. Monkey felt very welcome and where paper towels and five different barbecue sauces were readily available on the table.
Mr. Monkey and Brother Monkey each had the Ribs-N-Meat Combo. Papa Monkey opted for the Sweetwater Catfish. I dined on Dave's Sassy BBQ Salad.

My salad was good, albeit not nearly as good as my dining companions' meals. Everybody enjoyed their lunch. I had one bite of a rib and one bite of a hot link, as well as one french fry. One french fry! Sometimes my food limiting is just comical. I ate about two-thirds of my salad. It was enormous!

Finally, we had dinner with Mr. Monkey's family tonight. We stopped by Mr. Monkey's brother's house first, where we watched Little Monkey Niece in action. Man, it takes a long time to get a toddler ready to go out. What a pain.

We went to this Korean-Japanese place in Pasadena. It was in a small strip mall that had a nail salon, a Chinese fast food place (that proclaimed, "We delivery [sic]!"), and a liquor store. I think the restaurant was called Fuji, but I don't remember, or perhaps I've repressed my memory. It pretty much sucked, and I doubt I'll ever go back, but here are some pics anyway, even if they are deceptively somewhat attractive. The food was so bad. My salmon was overcooked, dry as the Sahara, and tasted like cardboard. The only decent thing was my tiny little red bean ice cream, which, of course, the restaurant didn't make itself and probably bought at a 99 Ranch Market.

Bad food makes the Monkey really grumpy, so when Mr. Monkey started driving to God-knows-where, I exclaimed, "Hey! Where are we going?" Then we pulled into Target. Ahh, Target. You and your silly doggie costumes made the Monkey less grumpy. Yes, that second one is for a dachsund.

Need a humidifier? Buy a penguin!

Then chill out with your penguin with an Icee.

Gone are the days of wild cherry and blue raspberry. Now you can choose from Cherry Frost, Tropical Mango Tea, Jolly Rancher Watermelon, and Dr. Pepper (except when the Jolly Rancher Watermelon/Dr. Pepper machine is broken, which it was). Mr. Monkey got a Cherry Frost-Tropical Mango Tea-Cherry Frost. Just call him Mixmaster Mr. Monkey.

And that, my friends, concludes the Monkeys' long weekend. No, wait. Mr. Monkey wants it known that he also played golf twice. Ok. Now that's it. Whee.


  1. wow. that's a lot even for a long weekend.

    i, too, had on[g] choy this weekend while eating with the in-laws. it's my favorite veggie, too! i think we go to seafood village with them, too, but alllooksame. the neon signs with fish, i mean. i can never remember english or chinese names of those restaurants. boo to tater.

  2. Rowland Heights representin'. :)

  3. I am soooo getting that moose costume! And your twin 10years had an icee yesterday too. Didn't bother to get one for me or APK, selfish.

  4. i love pictures of brother monkey. he looks exactly like weezer monkey!

  5. wow, that is a lot of eatting you did...good job on not busting the iphone on your first meeting with Torry's mom.

  6. I believe its called Chowda!

    you should just have your blog linked on apple's iPhone page as a reason why people should purchase such awesome technology.

  7. My friend, you really must join Yelp to post all your fabulous reviews.

  8. Where do I begin?? Well, yum, yum, yum, boo to dry salmon, yay for cool Moms and Brother Monkey taking the next step, yay for drinking science and math clubs, and yay for Mr. Monkey and his golfing and Target excursion. Did I get it all?

  9. Hey, I have that Penguin! The hubby got him for me for Christmas. His name is Frank and he is hard to clean.

  10. I think everyone over-feasted this past weekend! Cheers to that! I totally have to go check out the Ranch market. I'd have a ball in there!

  11. WOWZA that was a long post! Loved it!

    I have a 99 ranch mkt by my house and have been meaning to check it out.. I feel like can walk in now and not feel like a complete touris now!

    Any recs on what to buy in the fabulous frozen food sections?

  12. Awww man, I miss eating Chinese food.

  13. I am just laughing at your post. Dam that's a lot of good eating except that Fuji restaurant which I pass by often. Now I know to keep on driving. Niece monkey is soo cute! A lil monkey in training. And I love the frozen food section at chinese markets. They are the lazy Chinese man's food. Yum!

  14. Lots of food and family...sounds like a great weekend! Your niece is too cute!

  15. i LOVE honey walnut shrimp and rock cod. mmmmm! and now i'm drooling....


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