New Seasons Hot Wok
I really like when food establishments trust me enough to serve myself for a set price. It makes me feel like a grown up. Like a valued and respected member of society. Unfortunately, I also really love to take advantage of this trust they’ve given me and I use it to serve myself the greatest amount of food possible. Which is why I love the pile of vegetables and noodles that New Seasons calls the hot wok. And I know I’m not alone. I’ve debated strategy in line with my spandex’d neighbors, traded construction notes, offered tips, snickered at rookies, all trying to build a stack that will feed me for three days. I once saw a woman so eager to prove her hot wok mettle that she carried her stainless steel bowl, piled 10 inches above the rim, on a plastic tray full of fallen soldiers, crispy and uncooked victims of a stir fry summit attempt gone horribly wrong. Other deli patrons stood and watched in shock as she handed over the entire tray to the counter, motioning to the field of vegetables and noodles around the bowl with a gesture that “these too”. One woman looked at another and whispered “She’s gone too far“.
She was right; this had indeed gone too far. I’m paraprasing Walter Sobchak here when I say “This isn’t ‘Nam, lady. This is hot wok. There are rules.”
New Seasons is aware of the problem, and recently took a minor step towards inconvienencing us into submission. Knowing that customers had dialed in the construction process based on the layout of the building materials, New Seasons rearranged all of their hot wok options in what appears to be a totally random order. Gone are the days of the seamless transition from tofu foundation layer to the carrot insulation followed by the green bean lattice that provided the framework for the entire second floor. The peppers are now over by the lettuce. They’ve removed the wedges of tomatoes that I had once used to wall in the smaller ingredients. These days I’ve often given up by the time I get to the baby corn. “I can’t find anything anymore. Just take it!” Looks like that second floor addition will just have to wait.