We went looking for the Banzo food cart yesterday after work because My Darling B really really wanted falafel. The Banzo cart sells the best falafel we know of on the east side of town. Really the only falafel that we know of on the east side of town, but there you go.

The Banzo cart is usually parked somewhere downtown, but on Tuesday nights we can sometimes find it in the parking lot of the East Side Club, which is where we found it last night, but when we got there it was all closed up and stayed that way even though we hung around for five or ten minutes. B still wanted falafel, though, so we couldn’t just go home. That’s why we went looking for Banzo’s take-out store front on Sherman Avenue.

I went looking for the Banzo take-out store once before and couldn’t find it so I didn’t have much hope that we could do it this time around, but I didn’t want to go home without trying. Sherman Ave is practically all the way back to the part of town where I work, but just north of there along the train tracks. As we pulled onto the road I told B I’d look out one side of the car if she looked out the other.

“Is this Sherman Avenue?”

“Yeah, sure, of course it is.”

We went about a block before she said, “This is Fordem.” And you know what? It was.

I hung a left on the next cross street, because I knew that Sherman was on the west side of the tracks. Not only was Sherman the next street over, but I’d turned on the cross street that put us right on the corner where the Banzo take-away store was!

B ordered the Banzo platter and I ordered the F-Bomb, a spicier version of the platter B got, and with chicken, my favorite dish from Banzo. The F-bomb is two balls of falafel, rice with lentils, diced spicy chicken, a couple wedges of pita with a very generous dollop of hummus, and a salad. The Banzo platter is almost the same, but B got three or maybe even four balls of falafel, I forget. And we got an order of fries to eat in the car on the way home because we were literally starving!

One pleasant surprise: The platters from the take-away store are enormous! Compared to the take-away we’ve had from the cart before, I’m pretty sure there’s more hummus, rice and salad. Still just two falafel balls, but still the best falafel we can find.


Not sure there was anything going on today worth talking about. Work was the same as always. Biked to work, so that was good. Biked home, too. That was a little buggy. And the Banzo cart was parked in the lot at the East Side Club, so we brought home a couple orders of falafels and wolfed them down. They’re so good, that’s the only way you can eat them: wolfing them down.


The most unexpected thing to happen to me this weekend: I ran into a distant relative at the Isthmus beer and cheese festival. Standing in the middle of the room with My Darling B, just minutes after we got there, I looked up from the map we were using to plan our attack on the next vendor and I saw, or thought I saw, my dad’s sister’s daughter’s daughter – I don’t know if makes her my first, second or third cousin, so I’m just going to say “cousin.” There was more than a little doubt in my mind it was actually her because, as far as I knew, she wasn’t even living in town after graduating from school, but I kept spotting her in the crowd and kept getting the same eerie feeling until finally I had to walk up, tap her on the shoulder and introduce myself. And what do you know. It was her. Small world.

I guess the next most happy surprise was that the organizers of the festival brought in Ian’s Pizza and a food cart called Banzo so we didn’t have to eat the miserable crap that Aramark sells from their stalls around the convention floor when everybody got the munchies as the day went on. B and I stopped by the food cart late in the afternoon to grab a bite to eat before we went home and were very pleasantly surprised by how tasty their food was. B got a very generous helping of hummus with pita slices to spread it on. I ordered falafel and shared with B, and we both made so many yummy noises as we scarfed it down that I went back to order more. Now I can’t wait for summer so I can look for them on the street.

But the beer and cheese was what we came for. Actually, I came for the beer. B is the cheese connoisseur. I didn’t even remember to bring my milk pills. You’d think if I was going to an event named Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest, I’d be able to remember my milk pills, but no. So I stuck to the aged cheddar and only ate a little bit of that.

The beer selection was surprisingly ordinary. Everybody seemed to be serving “safe” beers, the kind I could get at Jenifer Street Market or Star Liquor. Not bad beer by any stretch of the imagination, just … safe. Which is disappointing only because, if I’d bought it at the store, I could have saved myself a lot of money. I tasted fourteen or fifteen beers. Each vendor poured three or four ounces into my glass when I started sampling at the beginning of the evening, but toward the end of the evening they tended to fill my glass almost all the way up with maybe six ounces of beer, although I only had two or three of those. That’s about fifty-eight ounces of beer, or just two ounces short of five 12-ounce bottles. I paid forty bucks to drink less than a six-pack of beer.

The most unhappy thing to happen to me and B this weekend was right after the show, when our cab didn’t show. We made a reservation with Green Cab to pick us up, and when they didn’t and B called them to ask where the hell they were, the dispatcher told her they were really busy. Go fish, basically. So we fell back on the gold standard, Union Cab, and they didn’t disappoint. A cab was there to pick us up on less than twenty minutes, and he played a game of “Cash Cab” on the way home. I won a whiffle ball.