Fast Food For Thought: House Chicken With Brown Rice And Edamame

One of my first posts was about the cook named Mario, who I got close to even though there was this weird language barrier.  He spoke majority of the time in spanish, I only know little.  We were both working at this Japanese Fast Food restaurant called Kyoto Bowl. He was working there much longer than me, but we became buds. When I moved out of Tempe, I really couldn’t eat there as much. Eventually that particular Kyoto Bowl closed, kinda sad driving up to your favorite restaurant, only to find that it shut down. I did not cry, but at one time in my life the Kyoto Bowl in Tempe was the coolest place to eat. I knew the cooks, I lived right up the road from the place. It was a two-minute walk. I would get dinner there on my days off. I never did find out where Mario went after they closed.

I remember this one time Emily the manager had got the kitchen some new frying pans. They were small but they help measure out the serving for the separate dishes that were ordered. Mario was fast, when things weren’t busy those pans came in handy. Once it got ordered, Mario would take the small pan and get to work.

So he takes these two brand new pans and places them on the top shelf like they weren’t anything special…

The manager and myself question him instantly about his frying pan actions. He goes back to the old pans. And those pans were not in their original color. They seem to be darker and the silver was more of a copper.

It’s no good

Mario said that about a lot of things. The Phoenix Suns were no good, complaining customers were no good, the other food places around town, they were no good. Emily asks him in spanish…

Then she said he said that they were too new and they are not ready to be used. Shaking her head in confusion wondering why her head cook wasn’t using these new utensil she bought for the kitchen.

Mario continues to do his kitchen duties, as do we. There was always these quick moments when we were all trying to understand each other, that job was a lot of help for me and I met some interesting individuals.

I’m in Scottsdale at this art show, after the show I need a place to eat for lunch. I remember there was a Kyoto Bowl on the way back leaving Chandler. I already know what I’m going to order.


You know thinking back about the time Mario put the new plates to the side because they weren’t ready. I thought about the pans or any other kind of cooking apparatus and how they grow a soul over time as they get used. Maybe the burnt stains helped hold the flavor for the food. And Mario just couldn’t jeopardize the wonderful tastes he knew, he would get out of the old faithful dark pans. Especially during the lunch shift, or maybe he knew some secret about pans heating up faster when they were new. I don’t know, but the guy could take the heat in the kitchen.



Author: storiesfrommystomach

I am from a Village called South Komelik on the Tohono O'odham Nation. I enjoy poetry and philosophy. Hope you enjoy the blog! :)

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