Monday, December 10, 2007


It's always fun to completely gross out your family when you're out to eat.

Yesterday we hit an upscale Chinese buffet (well, international buffet, really, as they have just about everything under the sun there) to celebrate a birthday. My first pass through the line was for typical stuff: chicken fried rice, crab rangoon, egg roll, that sort of thing. It was okay, but I wanted something different. So when I went back, I ventured into the unknown.

I got some chicken-and-sticky-rice that looked like it was wrapped in a big ol' square oak leaf and steamed, a spinach dumpling (Asian dumplings are completely different from American dumplings, just FYI), some other stuff that I can't remember, and then I got it.

It would be a small plastic cup filled with milky liquid with multi-colored spheres in the bottom. The sign said "Bulbb Tea," but it should have said "Bubble Tea." That's what happens when you have someone for whom English is a second language make your signs. I'm sure it was spelled correctly in the Asian version below.

I took my Bulbb Tea back to the table and asked everyone, "Hey, does anyone know what this is?" Shock, horror and disgust registered on almost everyone's face. "Oh my God, you're not going to drink that, are you?" "I saw that...what is it?"

Which, of course, was more than enough incentive for me to at least taste it.

It was good. It was beyond good. It was sweet and delicious and smooth. Mmmmmm. We finally found someone and asked what it was, and he didn't know (which typically isn't a good sign). He found someone else who mumbled incoherently something about tapioca, brown sugar and spices. This description was still not enough to assuage the fears of my tablemates, but I managed to get Jim (Winkler!) (because he insists on being identified by his full name) and Dan to at least try a couple of the little balls.

You bet your ass when we got home last night I googled "Bubble Tea." If you check out the Wikipedia definition, you'll see that Bubble Tea isn't anything scarily exotic or even remotely dangerous to your health, which is what nearly everyone I was with yesterday is firmly convinced of. A couple of people said, "You don't know what that's going to do to you!" to which I respond, "Look around. You're in a buffet with 600 food items made by people who don't speak English, and being self-served by 250 Americans with questionable don't know what any of this is going to do to you."

Bubble Tea, for those of you too lazy to click on the link up there, is basically a liquid version of tapioca pudding. The balls in the bottom are just jumbo tapiocas. Three cheers for M, Jim and Dan for venturing into the great food unknown with me yesterday. You guys are true manly men.

Shout out to my little sis for her birfday! Bing Bong Birfday Beanie! I love you!


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