I had several hours to kill before meeting actors at the Peacock Room. I had seen the work being done to modernize this Yum-mi Vietnamese Sandwich Shop on Mills Avenue. I figured it would serve holistic healthy food so I went inside for a taste and sketch. The warm glow looked inviting as I approached. I read the menu for a while, not sure what to order. I finally decided a, "Miss Piggy" sandwich sounded good. It would have pork in a sweet sauce along with plenty of greens on French bread. I like coconut, so I ordered a coconut freeze to drink. Rosa Phan asked if I would like tapioca in the drink. "Sure", I'll try anything.
I sat in a corner booth and started sketching while I waited for my sandwich. I paused after my first bite wanting to spit it out. "Miss Piggy" seemed to be full of thick slabs of raw bacon. I gagged. The fat was rubbery and difficult to chew. The next bite surprised me with a flaming hot jalapeno. I politely pushed my sandwich aside and took a quick sip of my coconut freeze to cool my mouth. The straw had a really wide diameter and I immediately found out why. A quarter inch wide black ball of tapioca was the first thing to pop into my mouth. It was like sipping in a dead jelly fish. I chewed the rubbery mass hoping its slimy exterior housed a tasty treat inside. No luck. I gagged again. Since all the tapioca was on the bottom of the cup, I lifted the straw and sipped just the drink which was passable. I nursed the drink and ignored the sandwich for the duration of the sketch. I tend to be like a famished dog ready to devour anything. I was shocked to find food that I just can't swallow. People were asked how their meals were and there were polite responses of, "wonderfull" or "fine". Could they have tasted the same food? I'm not likely to return. I rushed down the street to the Peacock Room to get a beer to cleanse my pallet. I hoped the enzymes in the beer would keep me from being sick.