RECOMMENDED DINING:

Canton House
4825 Buford Highway, Chamblee, GA 30341
770-936-9030 | www.cantonhouserestaurant.com

This restaurant, which has a large following in the Chinese community, regularly makes “best of” lists for its dim sum. The best time to go is weekends at your usual brunch time. f you want something green – and you will – order a plate of snow pea vines.

Beijing Kabobs
5090 Buford Hwy Doraville, GA 30340
770-455-8388 | www.beijingkabobs.com

You really can order grilled, skewered ox penis. It doesn’t taste bad, but…well, go ahead and order it. Stick to kabobs and dumplings here. The lamb kabob coated in cumin is everyone’s favorite.

Lee arrived. “This place is kind of over-lit for a romantic dinner, isn’t it?”

Robert balked. Had Lee anticipated his plan?

“Yeah, it is over-lit,” he said, “but it’s not crowded and we can talk without screaming. Plus they give great dim sum.”

He pointed to the other side of the room where a server pushed the traditional dim sum cart loaded with snack-size portions of steamed and fried dumplings, soft billowy buns stuffed with barbecue, little ribs and much more, including chicken feet.

“So how was your day?” Lee asked.

“Pretty good,” Robert replied, “although I managed to bore my students with a discussion about gay marriage.” He picked up his book and waved it in the air. “I read it long ago and I think he still makes the best gay argument against gay marriage.”

“Oh yeah,” Lee said. “I read that. Marriage could turn us all into simpering conservatives lined up at Tiffany’s to get on the bridal registry. Those who choose not to get married will become second-class citizens.”

“Yeah, basically,” Robert said. “But talking about marriage brings up something more personal I wanted to talk about. We’ve been seeing one another regularly, but we haven’t had, um, real sex, if you know what I mean. I’m just wondering how you see us – as friends, boyfriends, what?”

Lee looked around like someone in urgent need of finding the restroom.

“Okay, okay,” Robert said. “We don’t have to talk about it. I could tell you about eating ox penis at Beijing Kabobs down the road.”

“No, no,” Lee replied, laughing. “Of course, I’ve wanted to have sex, but everyone says now you should wait and get to know someone before jumping into a bed or a sling or whatever. At the same time, my freak show’s point, like Michael Warner’s, is that embracing your otherness, including wild sex, is better than trying to conform. So, feeling all lovey-dovey is confusing to me.”

Robert nodded. “Ah, the inconvenience of reality. We aren’t going to overturn the benefits accorded the married, so it’s hard to blame anyone for choosing that route. And then there’s the whole thing about love….

“Love,” Lee interrupted. “Yeah I know. I never understood why anyone needed their love approved. Then I saw photographs of people receiving marriage licenses in San Francisco. Everyone looked dazed with happiness. I realized I couldn’t oppose their choice.”

“Exactly,” said Robert. “So people like me, about to turn 50, remember the pleasure of being a sexual outlaw, but I’ve also seen the pleasure that comes to those who want their love publicly recognized. You and I are in between. It’s like holding off on sex because it’s what you’re supposed to do, but nobody really does that…well, nobody but you, mysterious as always.”

“Ouch,” Lee said. “Alright, that’s ending tonight. We’re officially boyfriends. Cool?”

Robert nodded. They clinked their little cups of tea and hurried through their meal.

 


Food Porn is a fictional series by longtime Atlanta food critic Cliff Bostock. Set in real Atlanta restaurants, it chronicles the adventures of Robert, a gay man in search of a husband — or at least a good meal. For past chapters, visit www.thegavoice.com

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