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The 999 Market and Super Deli

The Best Chicken in Town?

Chicken Wings & Drumsticks

I reluctantly left the house for a doctor’s appointment this afternoon. Reluctantly, because my depression has kept me housebound for most of the past two months. But I couldn’t put it off any longer, and Ed was kind enough to drive me to the clinic. I’d catch a bus home afterward.

The appointment resulted in my antidepressant prescription being increased, and I had an hour to kill before the next bus. The bus stop was across the street from the 999 Market and Super Deli, and their sign proclaimed “The Best Chicken in Town!”

I had curiosity, hunger, and time to kill. $7.50 got me 6 wings, 4 drumsticks, and a cold drink. Sitting down on the curb, I started eating.

First, everything had just come from the fryer, so it was nice and hot. Second, everything was crispy and perfectly seasoned. Third, even though I had asked for 3 drumsticks, I got 4 for the same price. This has always been the case each time I’ve eaten there.

Yes, I confess: this was not my first time eating their chicken. But it was the first time since I quit smoking, and it tasted even better.

I’ve written of the joys of dark meat when it comes to poultry; the same is true today. If anything, this afternoon’s repast has only strengthened my beliefs.

And their claim to the best chicken in town? Let me put it this way: KFC could learn something from these folks!

Coffee, Tea, or …

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

“I like to look at ‘em, but I wouldn’t want to own one.” W. C. Fields, comparing women to elephants.

That’s how I feel about coffee: I love the aroma when it’s brewing, but I rarely drink it. To be sure, I never say no to a Starbucks when someone else is buying, but I don’t go out of my way for one. Especially when it would entail a 2-hour bus ride there and back.

No, just give me my tea, a decent book, and I’m good to go. Bring me constant refills and I’ll follow you to the gates of hell itself.

But coffee? Meh. I can take it or leave it.

This morning was different. I enjoyed a nice breakfast and had just sat down to peruse Medium when our house guest started brewing a pot of Sumatra Mandheling on our Mr. Coffee knock-off.

Remember what I said about the aroma of coffee when it’s brewing? Yeah. It got me up out of my chair and into the kitchen so I could smell it better.

Constant Reader, I confess: I yielded to temptation—which by the way is how Oscar Wilde said is the best way to avoid it—and am now enjoying a cup of strong coffee, tempered by the addition of real cream(!), sweetener, and a hint of flavoring (just a tiny splash of genuine New York State pure maple syrup).

It was the best cup of coffee I’ve had in a long time.

“How long, Robyn?”

Long enough that I can’t remember the last time I drank one.

And I find it interesting that each and every time I drink a cup of coffee, Gordon Lightfoot starts singing in my mind:

“I’m on my second cup of coffee and I still can’t face the day
I’m thinking of the lady who got lost along the way
And if I don’t stop this trembling hand from reaching for the phone
I’ll be reachin’ for the bottle, Lord, before this day is done.”

Thanks for taking a few precious minutes out of your day to read this.

What’s For Breakfast?

Long before Bill Cosby recorded his skit about giving his kids chocolate cake for breakfast, I had already wondered why it was okay to have a donut for breakfast, but not a piece of cake? And why were sugary cereals preferable to donuts?

I even asked my mother about this once, but like so many childhood inquiries, my questions were unable to generate any useful answers.

Lately I’ve been wondering. Why do breakfasts often feature hash brown, but not mashed, potatoes? Why do we serve rench fries with hamburgers and hot dogs, rather than. mashed or boiled? Well, okay–boiled potatoes in a potato salad.

I can’t stand to even be near to someone who puts ketchup (a tomato-based sauce) on their eggs, and yet I was quite put out this morning when I realized I had no Frank’s RedHot sauce (another tomato-based sauce) to put on my omelette.

(As an aside,growing up, one of my brothers hated tomatoes but loved tomato juice, while the other one loved tomatoes but hated tomato juice. And don’t even get me started on my German great-grandfather who insisted on spreading good German mustard on his pancakes.)

And the greatest mystery of all: Does anybody drink milk with their pizza? If not, why not? My mother always served us milk with just about every other Italian dish, so why not pizza? It was the same ingredients just arranged differently.

I believe that beer is the perfect accompaniment to Chinese or Mexican food. But for Indian or Thai? Thai iced tea or Masala Chai.

I’m pretty sure most of us prefer American versions of Chinese cuisine to the real thing. I mean really? Baby octopus?

Then again, I prefer TexMex to Mexican food. I had a couple of friends who spent a spring break in Mexico, and complained that there wasn’t a single Taco Bell in the whole country! They had to eat REAL MEXICAN food! Oh, the humanity!

And even this blog, which is ostensibly about food, is more about culture and my own personal philosophies of life. It’s just that most of my insights occur over breakfast or dinner, or as is more often the case, a nice cup of tea.

What about you, dear reader? Do you have any hard and fast breakfast rules? Or do you believe as I do that when it comes to food, rules are meant to be broken?