JANG TUR CHARCOAL BBQ

Fear. Anger. Hunger. They all sit, Gollum-like, in the pit of your stomach, clawing at the sides and hissing bile. Wretched, debilitating and nauseating, each selfishly demands the resolute attention of your senses, cells and synapses. Combine the three and you’re basically a hyena. And they all make you do stupid, regrettable things. Like punching someone, or eating a whole box of uncooked dry spaghetti, or weeping quietly and uncontrollably on the bus. In fairness, the dastardly trio can also inspire greatness in their victims: resourcefulness, momentum and mettle.

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MON AMI GABI

Food makes a worthy weapon, if you think about it. ‘Oh, you’re allergic to peanuts? Whoops.’ Or, ‘Yeah, of course that chicken is fresh.’ Or, ‘if you stop crying I promise I’ll buy you an ice cream.’ Or, ‘I swear to you I am gonna beat that guy to death with this baguette.’ And, ice bullets. With so many meals come so many opportunities to maim, manipulate or murder. But we all know it’s not baguettes that kill people; people kill people. As dangerous as food clearly is, it’s the hungry people wielding wheaten-weapons that are lethal. Opposite the famous dancing fountains of The Bellagio (Casino), sits the splendid faux Eiffel Tower of Paris (Casino), in the glorious home-of-CSI, Las Vegas. Nestled beneath the 1:2 scale tower is full scale French café and bistro, Mon Ami Gabi, and wandering the footpath in front of Mon Ami Gabi is the World’s Worst Street Performer (WWSP). Wearing an ill fitting 90s black suit, grey tee and waistcoat, a dirty ponytail and a headset microphone, he paces back and forth, back and forth, spruiking his show. ‘Hey.’ He says to no one. ‘Show’s going to start in four minutes.’ Oh, no one is listening. ‘The greatest show you’ll ever see.’ Wow, what? ‘Hey, you’re drunk.’ He turns on the passers by. Starving, we order the French Toast ($12.95), French Frites ($4.50) and French Tuna Melt Tartine ($12.95). Our French waitress repeats for clarity: ‘The toast, the fries and the tuna melt?’ Toot sweet, silverplate. We order mint tea to wait and are – ‘hey’ – taking photos up our noses and up the – ‘four minutes’ – tower, compounding the novelty – ‘you won’t regret it.’ Ok, no. He’s wandered off, hands-free, but his little speaker box remains and from it his plaintive brag bellows. Looks are exchanged – with our fellow diners: desperate; with the servers weaving busily between tables: pleading; and with each other: twitching. Our frites arrive and are twirly, snappy, deep fried curls of ‘tater – a Frankenstein’s monster of fries and potato chips. ‘Hey’ – oh god – ‘are you ready for this?’ – I pick up the salt shaker – ‘she’s too hot for you buddy’ – draw my arm back – ‘I didn’t mean it’ – I relent and salt Frank instead. Our French Toast comes smothered in real whipped cream, blueberries and confectioners sugar, a bountiful mound of teeth-aching delight. With food, comes calm. ‘Four minutes to the greatest show on earth.’ With dude, leaves calm. Forty-five minutes later and still no closer to the greatest show on earth, a low fence and a pair of short shorts are all that save WWSP from a brisk and brutal beating with a baguette.

http://www.monamigabi.com/