On Freeport Boulevard there is a popular Chinese restaurant, featuring a giant lunch buffet with a number of different ethnic foods. It’s an all-you-can-eat place still in business probably because it hasn’t been discovered by body builders, yet.
In front and center, there is the section with Chinese food; Spring Rolls, Dumplings, Bao Buns, Chow Mein, Lo Mein , Egg Foo Yong, Peking Duck, Sweet and Sour Pork, Kung Pao Chicken, Fried Rice, Wonton Soup, White Rice, Fried shrimp with cashew nuts, and Ma Po Tofu.
Along the right wall, as you enter the food display area of the restaurant, there are the containers and platters with your more typical American food like Mac’n Cheese, Burgers & Fries, Jello Pudding in various neon colors, Pancakes with maple flavored Syrup, Boston Clam Showder, Coleslaw, Pizza, Pasta Salad, Buffalo Wings, Meatloaf, Potato Salad, Meatballs, Baby back ribs, and Corn Dogs.
Immediately to the left is the Japanese section offering Sushi Nigiri and Maki Rolls with Salmon, Tuna Fish, Crab, Avocado, or Giant Shrimp. There’s Miso Soup, Chicken Teriyaki, Sashimi, Shrimp or Vegetable Tempura, Tonkatsu with a pile of Shredded Cabbage served with a bowl of Rice, and sides like Pickled Ginger, Seaweed Salad, Marinated Octopus Salad, Kimchi, and Wasabi.
Beyond and next to the Japanese section are the Mexican dishes laid out in a colorful display of Guacamole, Salsa, Tacos, Chimichanga, Enchiladas, Black Beans, Chile Rellenos, Gazpacho Soup, Refried Bean Dip, Quesadillas, Nachos, Tortilla Chips, Chili Con Carne and Burritos.
There are information signs posted on the wall of each section. In a beautiful kind of Chinese calligraphy writing, they spell out the kind of foods offered in each section of the buffet.
I was sweeping through the Mexican section, heaping it on as I had missed breakfast that day and was famished. On my way back to our table, as an afterthought, or actually without any thought at all, except looking forward to digging into my fully laden plate, I decided to scoop up another, generous serving of guacamole.
Finally seated at the table, and while chatting with my new colleagues during our lunch break from the office across town, I grabbed a tortilla chip, dipped it deep into the guacamole. More dip than chip in that mouthful.
It wasn’t guacamole. The green goo was wasabi.