I’ve had a couple of interesting comments on my Facebook page.  I seem to post a lot about food, especially with pictures taken with my phone.  It is pretty immediate.  I like something, I take a quick snapshot, and upload it to Facebook.  A high school friend made a recent comment, about how she was surprised at my willingness to try other types of food.  In particular, she knows I love the Vietnamese dish – Pho.  And, she recently learned that I enjoy fried Plantains.  I’ve been able to enjoy both a Nicaraguan and Salvadorian version of fried plantains.  Man, it was really good!

This got me thinking.

First, I would like to point out a few of the places that I’ve learned have really good Pho.  My personal favorite is a little place, right here in Lake Worth.  It is called Lieu’s Vietnamese Restaurant and Coffeehouse.  I’ve also enjoyed a place in northern Fort Worth called Noodles @ Boba Tea House.  It was simply fantastic!  And, of course I can’t forget the first place I ever tasted this delicious dish, Pho’s Little Saigon.  I highly recommend all of these places.

I’ve started wondering why a little white kid from South-Central Texas might have a taste for such non-Caucasian cuisine?  Thinking back, I’m sure it has to do where I come from.  I was born in Houston, lived in Hempstead until Jr. High, and spent Jr. High through High School in Palacios, Texas.  Most of my memories revolve around this little coastal town.  For such a small place, we had somewhat of a diverse population.  I had friends that were Caucasian, Vietnamese, Hispanic, and African American.  As I moved into college, I found more Hispanic and African American friends, as well as some Chinese friends.  Starting in Palacios, and on through college, I was able to experience some exceptionally good food, much of which I was unable to pronounce. We had some seriously good food in Palacios.  Mrs. Llanes  made the best Tamales I’ve ever had.  Her husband made chilled shrimp and a hot sauce that I would make any man proud.  I don’t know who kept giving my mother the homemade Vietnamese food, but again it was some of the best stuff I ever ate.

Since becoming an adult, I have a very good friend that is half Hungarian, and half Nicaraguan.  He introduced me to Hungarian Salami, and well as my first experience with home-made fried Plantains.  Oh my gosh, I thought I had died and gone to heaven!  And so, I see where I’ve been blessed with a number of friends from different cultural backgrounds, that have deeply impacted my life.  I don’t know if I care as much about the food as I do about the relationships that made the food-experience possible.    If I look back, I’m sure I can trace every good food experience to an even better relational experience.

People are what matter, not the food.  However, it is amazing how sharing something to eat with someone feels so right.  We are meant for fellowship.  We are meant for each other.  It seems that a table, with a heaping helping of culinary goodness, shared with a friend makes the day better by 100%!

I know that I’ve no right to ask this of anyone that may read this.  But, get with a friend this week, and try something different.  Or, get with a friend this week and try something that brings back memories of home.  No matter what you do, get with a friend.  The relationships are what count most of all.


Ballpark Bratwurst

I had this with a friend at the Ballpark in Arlington, on opening day 2010. So bad, yet so good.  🙂