North America Dispatch #40: Cambodian Karaoke, Cider Doughnuts, and a Trampling by Stallions
Topsfield, Massachusetts; Revere, Massachusetts
I was invited to a Cambodian lunch at Floating Rock Restaurant (144 Shirley Ave, Revere, Massachusetts; 781-286-2554), by my friend Chris, whom I cajoled into trying a durian milkshake. For those who don’t know, durian is a hyper-stinky sulphurous fruit, but it’s nicer in milk shakes … a little:
The food was authentic but undelicious. This isn’t a crack Cambodian chef cooking his heart out, it’s just a foothold where immigrants crank out sustenance, sans flair.
At least they make the beef salad (a.k.a. “tiger tears”) with lots of toasted rice flour, which is how I like it:
French bread with beef stew was enjoyable home cooking:
Here’s the menu:
The owner was impressed by our prowess with Cambodian karaoke (which was admittedly wretched, yet also, paradoxically, kind of hard to beat, considering): MP3.
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Topsfield Fair, in Topsfield, Massachusetts, is “America’s Oldest Agricultural Fair (Established 1818).”
The cool, hyperrealistic model railroad was a nice touch:
As always, food choices were dominated by the generic festival shlock that’s dogged me for thousands of miles on this trip. But I felt a good vibe from a certain cider doughnut concession (the woman in charge radiated sincerity and the oil smelled fresh):
Sure enough, her doughnuts were wonderful. So crisp, so creamy/melting. Great doughnuts are logarithmically more delicious than pretty good doughnuts, and it’s been ages since I had truly great ones:
View, if you dare, Ron Wallace’s obscenely overgrown 1,345.5-pound pumpkin:
These cucumbers, for reasons neither you nor I nor anyone we know could ever pretend to fathom, are blue ribbon cucumbers:
I got a charge out of this cool little all-produce racetrack:
Now, about the cow …
The sign reads, “Please do not pet me … I do not play well with others!”
In my opinion, this is a woefully misunderstood cow. I spent a bunch of time with her and had no problems whatsoever.
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This is phenomenally non-food-related, but go ahead and experience the oh-so-kitsch Royal Canadian Mounted Police equestrian team at Topsfield Fair, complete with trampling (which, I admit, I amply deserved), in this video. (Note: You need to watch all the way through to catch the trampling.)