Friday, May 23, 2014

Hunan Garden, RIP?

We've been eating at Hunan Garden for many (~20?) years. Reliably tasty Chinese food in a pleasant space at a good price. The kids grew up eating the pea greens, and the flounder in spicy salt, learning to manipulate chop sticks and appreciate tofu and hot pepper, and drinking a Shirley Temple as a "special" treat every time (a Tsingtao for Aidan after age 21). The fried tofu in a mildly spicy soy broth arrives at the table as a lagniappe every time as well. And the owner Simon knows your name and inquires after the kids every visit. We know it is his business to remember, but we appreciate the effort nonetheless: Yes, it is commerce, but it is community too.

I wish Simon's son Jarvis well in his new venture as he tries to update this comfortably predictable establishment: We owe him our business at least a couple times. I hope Simon will be there when we come... He and I are strangers in almost every way that matters, but one: We have seen each other pass the torch to the next generation. That makes us brothers, in a way.

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