Friday, April 14, 2006

David Fong's is my new local

  • We have been experiencing a stretch of summer-like days here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, which puts a serious strain on one's creative capacity. I don't want to be inside, mama.
    Last night the child bride insisted we get out of the house, and this somehow resulted in my eating at David Fong's for the first time in my life.
    David Fong's is possibly the oldest Chinese restaurant in the Twin Cities and it is almost certainly the oldest surviving business in Bloomington Rock City -- it has been around since 1958. The restaurant is an institution in Bloomington because for many, many years it was the only place in town with a full bar, which means that it was the only place in at least an 8-mile radius with a full bar. For decades, if you wanted to drink anything other than 3.2 beer* in Bloomington, you went to David Fong's. With the exception of the bars at the Mall of America, it is still one of only a handful of full bars in Bloomington, the others being** Bennigan's, Applebees, and Major's. Keep in mind, kids, that upward of 87,000 people live in Bloomington.
    Despite its legendary status and the fact that my family has lived in the city for almost 20 years, I had never before been to David Fong's. It was what I had expected, but in that way that makes me want to go there all the time.
    It has the interior you would expect of a Chinese restaurant in a Midwestern suburb, with red vinyl chairs, red and gold things on the walls, and aquariums with koi all within a windowless utilitarian building. In the lounge, a group of people with haircuts that were popular when I was in high school sang karaoke. It was East Bloomington in all its glory (ask Tuckmac, he lives over there). But it was strangely appealing. The restaurant was clean, the food was good, and even the karaoke was enjoyable -- especially one woman's oddly appealing use of country twang in "Because the Night."

  • Much to my surprise, David Fong's is about the best Chinese food I've had in the Twin Cities. Admittedly, I don't like Chinese food all that much, but score another point for Bloomington Rock City, which also has the best Indian food I've found in the region, and some of the best Mexican food. It even has a decent Vietnamese restaurant. Who knew?!

  • Come on Ireland, you can do better.

  • In one of those ridiculously poorly-thought-out setups that so strangely seem to be the norm of corporate culture, the copy editing group at the headquarters of my benevolent employer is located right next to the television production area. So, a group of people who need quiet and calm to concentrate on words sit right next to a group of people who need to watch commercials over and over and over again.
    Today, the production team spent TWO FUCKING HOURS going through tapes from voiceover artists. That's TWO FUCKING HOURS of hearing clips of radio ads; TWO FUCKING HOURS of hearing lame ass comedy accents (most popular is the Mike Myers-style Scottish accent); TWO FUCKING HOURS of hearing affected sympathy on shit scripts ("Millions of lives are touched by breast cancer each year...") -- all while I was trying to concentrate on news copy that I really did not care about.
    At one point, I got up, walked across the building and shouted, "I can hear that from over here," but, appropriately, they did not hear me.
    Clearly, what they should have done was call Dave and offer him whatever he wanted. This would have saved everyone a lot of time and frustration.

  • Go team! Who are they competing against?

  • Today's post, by the way, is No. 801 for this blog.

    *An explanation of 3.2 beer from Wikipedia: "in some jurisdictions (Minnesota and Utah for example), beer sold in some establishments must be less than 3.2% ABW (4% ABV). This style of reduced alcohol beer is also referred to as '3.2 beer' (Minnesota has a full-service alcohol license, permitting sales of beers up to the normal alcohol level, but 3.2 licenses are easier to obtain)."

    **I think that the VFW, the American Legion, and the Knights of Columbus all have full bars as well, but even though they are open to the public, I think a lot of people tend to think of them as private clubs.

    Neal said...

    I think on an average year (if we were actually a country) Antarctica would be at the top of the beer drinking charts. The only thing that might hinder us would be the excessive wine and hard liquor that takes up space in our stomachs.

    OldHorsetailSnake said...

    3.2 beer? In Minnesota? I could believe it if this were the funny-licensed South, but in the Midwest, land of a billion lakes full of beer? Say it ain't so.

    Samsung said...

    Yeah, American Legion has a full bar; you have to be either a member, a family member of a member or a guest.

    If you've never been in one, you're not missing out on anything.


    Huw said...

    So much for your blog-burnout, eh?

    Sometimes, during a hard night out on the sauce, I need a 3.2 beer, but round this way that means inflicting a Carling or Fosters on oneself, and no-one wants that.

    tuckmac said...

    Oh... Man... "FONGS!"

    Yep... That marvellous place that gave me food poisoning at age 12, thus insuring my absence from said establishment for the rest of time.

    But you're right... If you want to see the best and the brightest of East-Bloomington, you must go to "Fongs" (Photo as example, not actual East-Bloomington-ite, but he could be.)

    Chris Cope said...

    Are you sure that guy's not from East Bloomignton, Tuckmac? He really looks familiar.

    Thomas said...

    Hasn't global warming reduced Minnesota to the "Land of One Lake?"

    Lindsay Hansen said...

    I have never been to Fong's, but I figured it must be pretty good, because when I worked at Leeann Chin everyone went there afterwards.

    If you're wondering why I didn't go with them, I was only 17 and it was not super fun to hang out with drunk people.