My second official “G” dog of the summer was the alluring-sounding Spicy Chicken Thai. This item has been on the “G” dog menu for quite some time, and I’ve eyed it before when I’ve followed Nick in to watch him eat and pitifully pick at his fries (if he has fries). I often do things like that, follow friends or my boyfriend into a restaurant, declaring that I Will Have Nothing or Maybe Something Small immediately upon entrance, only to end up picking frustratedly at the other person’s meal with either my eyes or my frayed, thinning fingernails.
This is going to be a blog post about nutritional deficiency, but wait, I’m just winding up to that.
I’ve followed Nick into many a restaurant I’ve had no intention of eating in, and looked over many an appealing-sounding food without actually partaking. I don’t order in these situations because I have a tortured relationship with my own appetite: I have a slow metabolism, so my appetite takes longer than average to ramp up. But in addition, I spent a lot of years laboring to ignore my appetite and eat only sparsely, in a doomed and misinformed attempt to streamline my #stacked physique, and have lost the ability to readily attend to and honor my hunger as a result.
This has gotten better, lately, but it’s still a source of constant mild annoyance for Nick, who wants to do nice human things with me, like share a meal. And I want to spend time with him doing human things, too, so I often pretend or try to be hungry en route to the restaurant, and then announce at or near the door that I am actually not hungry. It is such a rare occasion for me to announce I’m Hungry that Nick has started treating it with urgency, or like any of the other times I complain about anything, which is to say he feels immediately compelled to help me address the situation as quickly as possible. But, unlike my annoyance with traffic noise or spare socks under the couch, my pangs of hunger are quick to subside and disappear. So he’s gotta act quick.
And that is what happened last Saturday morning when I got up and decreed that I Am Hungry, And It Is Time to Go to “G” Dog. Nick put himself together, stopped playing nasty PS4 games about pixellated boys who use tears to fight poop, and we bolted to the restaurant, making sure to bring cash. (Have we posted enough reminders that this place requires cash?)
From the second my worn Keds hit the pavement I knew I wanted that Spicy Chicken Thai “G” Dog. I had seen the menu item before, and it sounded like a dream: spicy meat, seaweed, a bird’s nest layer of chow mein noodles on top like a Christmas Haystack cookie sans butterscotch.
I love Asian-fusion crap as much as any other Mind of a Chef-watching-ass dilettante, and I had delusions that this dog might be nourishing. Healthy-seeming. Not the type of thing to weigh me down with brothy burps all day. Of course going to a place like “G” dog and hoping for a light digestif is a loser’s game. Fortunately I am a battle-tested loser and always dtf (down to fail).
I also wanted to eat this “G” dog because of the promise of spiciness. Nick had told me it was very spicy, too spicy almost, so spicy he had to stop eating it before he was full. He felt the need to warn me about this “G” dog’s spiciness several times. And Nick knows that I have a more callused palate, when it comes to spiciness, than he does. And I assume he was taking that tolerance curve into account.
Make no mistake, Nick is no Oak Parky middle-aged white lady at an Applebee’s: he’s reasonably adventurous, he can stand some spice. But he regularly finds meals at restaurants a touch too hot. I have never been overwhelmed by the spiciness of anything I’ve ever eaten. I’m not saying I have the Quaker Steak and Lube Atomic Wings bumper sticker on the back of the Pontiac Aztek I totally do not own, but like, I’m pretty tough.
But I was ready to be challenged. I wanted to meet my gustatorial maker. I mean why the fuck not? Life is arid and lifeless tedium punctuated with brief flashes of notable pain and nothing bad has happened to me all summer, so like, fuck it.
I mean #fuckit. I’ve taken to hashtagging with my fingers, lately. During actual face-to-face conversations, I mean.
I’m insufferable, so like, just another good reason for this hot hot “G” dog to singe me. Let the pits of hell open up and consume my arrogant taste buds, the way those scarves almost scorched off Frollo’s dick in that scene of Hunchback of Notre Dame where he was JOing to thoughts of Esmeralda.
The dog is hot. Not temperature hot, but hot in the way that certain spiced foods can make a flurry of heat wash over your palate. But that’s all there is to it. There are several kinds of spicy in this world: there’s the sour, nose-tingling spiciness of wasabi or other horseradish products; the complex spicy-sweet tingle of Sriracha or anything else partially comprised of chili flakes; there’s the taste bud-murdering, nerve-ending-destroying sting of capcacin-based products (yes, some spicy foods really do kill your taste buds), and then there’s just Hot. This dog was no spice, all heat.
I have an ambivalent relationship to the heat. For years I worshiped warmth. I used to spend my winters huddled under blankets, blasting the radiators, curled up, waiting for summer, and I’d lounge in the sun for hours like a lizard when summer finally came. I loved the heat, and never overheated. I barely had to sweat. Indoors, in the A/C, I shivered. Sometimes I even turned a space heater on. When I went home to visit my mom, I’d change the thermostat to 75 from 70. She was (and is) always too warm, and it was not a Menopause Thing, and I couldn’t understand it, not ever in my life.
Then my fervent sun-worship grew into a literal fever-pitch, and I got to the point where blazing 90 degree weather could not end my chills and shivvers. I was suddenly cold all the time, bone-shakingly so. I wore blankets and sweaters even in the height of summer; I used the electric blanket so much one July that I wore it out. Every night I was overcome with a heavy fatigue and a fever, and I shook and chattered, visibly freezing while everyone around me looked on, perplexed.
I lost weight. I was tired all the time. Sometimes I couldn’t walk to work or the store. This lasted nine months or so. I’ve written about this before, but suffice to say the culprit was a mysterious chronic anemia that had gotten so severe I had heart murmurs. I started taking iron, and forcing myself to eat more often, and more substantially, and then all the symptoms vanished. I still take iron every day, two years later. Except when I forget. The head fog and the blueness of my fingernails reminds me. Or Nick does. Again, he’s very vigilant regarding my needs. But like not in an annoying way, in the way that will make me live longer.
And now, at a healthier weight with a healthier red blood cell count, I fucking detest the heat. It’s fucking hot out there guys!!! What the shit! I’m always pulling off layers and dousing myself with ice water and sitting before the A/C as if it’s a demigod I’m worshiping, which incidentally is exactly what my chinchilla does.
In the summer, my pits are always damp. There is a roiling, bubbling hotness inside me that desperately craves release. I want to break my noisy, over-active radiator with a hammer. I want to lay on the toenail-covered floor of King Spa’s ice room. I don’t want to exercise in any space that’s more than 60 degrees, ever. I don’t want to dehydrate myself. I don’t want to get a fucking suntan anymore, that shit is not worth it. Part of that is making peace with my discordantly “”feminine”/curvaceous body. I don’t need Mother Gaia’s contour brush (the sun) anymore because I don’t give a shit.
I just want to be a comfortable temperature for the rest of my life, and not die by my shitty eating’s own hand. That shit is LITERALLY what killed my dad. Or how my dad killed himself. Whatever. Not becoming that asshole is such a deeply embedded personal edit that it might as well be carved into my tombstone when I eventually DO die. Of something reasonable and not-my-fault.
Not that I actually want a tombstone. Turn me into a tree or one of those Body Worlds plastic assholes please.
Anyway. I’m going to eat shit with iron in it. And eat in general. Even if that means jizzing out $9 on disappointing “G” dogs like this.
What else can be said of the Spicy Chicken Thai dog? The seaweed is brined or pickled, which I wasn’t expecting. It lends a bit of soft, tangy-salty interest to each bite, but does not round this meal out. I’ve watched enough bullshit Anthony Bordain or whatever to claim, without evidence, that this dog is not “balanced”. Acid and base are not in alignment. Also I desperately wanted more chow mein noodles. And I wanted them drenched in melted butterscotch, like a haystack.
So what’s the overall verdict on this underwhelming food? It’s not very Asian-fusion-y, except for the toppings. It seems a little thrown together and slipshod. The flavoring inside the chicken sausage is one-note: pure hotness. But it is a fortifying meal, one that kept me sustained throughout the day with only moderate heartburn. Like my matured, post-anemia self, this dog is kind of a mess, reasonably okay, and very, very hot.
Originally published at hotblogdog.tumblr.com.