There's no shortage of great food in the Seattle area. Many of the great eating establishments are what could be described as a bit shabby. Many are in the suburbs, and do not spend very much (well, nothing actually) on decor.
So it was without trepidation that I ended up sitting outside of a new Thai restaurant, called the Bowl Tong, a few blocks from work. I sat down at a table outside and had immediate second thoughts. For a new restaurant, the table top looked, shall we say, a bit distressed (see picture). It was either used as a chopping block in a turkey factory, or the last occupant of the seat in front of me met a brutal and messy death at the claws of a Bengal Tiger.
I may have even spotted the last residue of his clotted blood nestled between the cracked vinyl and the paperboard interior. Alternately, it may have been ketchup.
The owner came out and wiped the table with a wet cloth, and removed many years of accumulated grime with several wide sweeps, then dried it with a towel that looked as if it had been used all week. What I thought was a rather drab sort of grey colour top, turned out to be a rather drab sort of white.
I didn't leave, thankfully, for what was about to follow was worth the risk. One of the many things I like about Asian food is the lack of pretentiousness. Not a "drizzled with" or "encrusted with" in sight. Just a plain old red curry served with a fresh green chili and fish sauce condiment.
If you have to die from a Tiger mauling, this would be a fitting last meal.
I'll be back soon, next time with my own tablecloth.