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Still Full

October 15, 2013

One cup of coffee, a square of dark chocolate, one small bag of potato chips, and a couple pieces of mint gum. That was all that passed through my lips for most of the day on Monday. Sure, I finally had a bit of an appetite for solid food at dinnertime. But for the most part I was still full from a weekend that can only be described as a gorge fest.

Why D.C. brings out the worst in me I don’t know. Really, it’s probably not the district itself, but who I’m seeing down there. And this time I can’t even blame ADS who was partially responsible for previous escapades like The Day of Three Lunches and The Fifteen Banh-Mi Smorgasboard.

My friend La was also partially to blame for those previous experiments in human food-storage capacity. And it’s true that this time she is again partially responsible for enabling a long weekend of unbridled gluttony. But there were also others who contributed to pushing my body to its physical limits.

It was a great trip. These days, I’m no longer bouncing back quite as well from overconsumption like I used to. Right now I’m even toying around with the idea of finally starting an exercise regimen. However, I can’t expect anyone would be interested in that. Instead, I’m going to lay out the last few days of feasting.

Friday Night
Korean fried chicken. This was brought in from the local BonChon. ADS likes to describe the impossibly crispy skin on these remarkable legs and wings as being akin to Magic Shell ice cream topping. It’s so crisp it shatters. The meat is ridiculously moist. And the flavor of the spicy sauce is infused into the chicken skin.

As I get older, spicy food inflicts greater and greater damage on my body. So this is a sometimes treat. What amazed me was my personal restraint. Yes, I ate more than I should. My appetite was sated long before I stopped eating. But despite wanting one more piece, just because it was so damn delicious, I was able to resist that last wing, which surely would have pushed me over the line into feeling sick.

Saturday Day
Korean BBQ. Light the fire. Cook meat on the table. No gimmicks like chefs throwing shrimp into your mouth or flaming onion volcanoes. Just marinated meats, fermented cabbage, and garlic dipping sauce. In mass quantities. Pork belly, sweet beef, spicy chicken, and more. Of course there were plenty of banchan to delight the tastebuds.

More importantly, I was delighted to see some old friends. Coming up with anonymous nicknames for people is exhausting. But they know who they are, and I’m really looking forward to getting together in south Jersey with these guys before we move back to the Great White North.

Probably it’s worth mentioning that going into lunch, I was still full from dinner the night before. And even so, I found myself scraping off a few of the pieces of meat that had stuck to the grill at the very end of the meal. They are the best bits.

Saturday Night
This was the rehearsal dinner, and La had arranged for her guests to take over the upstairs loft at a small plates restaurant. It was kind of brilliant, because we were all sitting down, and it was kind of like the experience of passed hors d’oeuvres, without having to hover around the waiter who has the bite you want.

There was a lot of sangria, and I can’t even begin to remember all of the dishes that came our way. Half the number would have satisfied any hungry adult. Forget about the festival of meat that was lunch, I think I was still full from dinner the night before.

Let’s see what I can pull out. I recall bacon wrapped pork loin, grilled chicken skewers, dates filled with blue cheese and wrapped in bacon, mussels, fried potatoes with garlic cream, tomato toast, salad, beef stew, grilled salmon and fried squid.

But the food just kept on coming. Course after course in rapid succession. It was obvious that people were getting full halfway through the meal, because while our consumption slowed down, there was no stopping the march of food. My effort to keep up with the pace was nothing less than heroic.

Luckily we got to walk a little of dinner off during an evening tour of some of DCs closed monuments. Everyone should try to sneak into the Lincoln Memorial once in their lives.

Sunday Morning
Our friends wanted to make breakfast. Apparently it’s part of their Sunday morning routine. If I’m making a fancy breakfast with guests involved, there might be bacon or sausage to go with the French toast. This was a little bit more involved.

Think scrambled eggs, two kinds of sausage, shrimp, refried beans, steamed tortillas, shredded cheese, roasted Hatch green chiles, guacamole and hot sauce.

Let’s just say there was no way I would be eating lunch that day.

Sunday Night
This was the big event. The wedding of the century. The one that I never thought would happen, but am thrilled that it did. The one that was decades in the making. The one that involved a woman who changed the course of my life and almost killed me in the process. Her groom, as a former chef, wanted to cook a lot of the food for the wedding. He had some help with execution on the day of the event, but it was clear a lot of love went into the dishes.

To say it was a feast would make other feasts look small by comparison. There was shrimp cocktail and oysters and caviar and cheeses before the meal. But I had to go back into the kitchen for a second plate of the main affair, just because it was so damn good. Roasted lamb loin and beef fillet along with plump grilled scallops were accompanied by a variety of vegetable side dishes each more delicious than the last.

It was probably a mistake to go back for a second plate and then follow that with dancing. But it was just too good to pass up.

And naturally later there was cake.

The dancing might have worked off the calories from the shrimp cocktail. Maybe. Just to be on the safe side, I’m going to avoid stepping on a scale for the next couple of days and just assume that it will be prudent to be on my best eating behavior.

That means no donuts and no cheesesteaks stuffed with mozzarella sticks and french fries. Unless of course I actually do start exercising, in which case I might treat myself to a more modest hoagie or a few more bites of pork roll.

We’ll see.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 15, 2013 3:52 pm

    BonChon is nowhere near the best Korean fried chicken. Actually, I haven’t had anything on the east coast (including Momofuku Noodle Bar) to match the prep that’s readily available in San Francisco. Since you feel you need to restrain yourself on this dish, I suggest you hold off until you can get to SF or else just try this recipe:

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