On the other hand, having a little lady in the rental car who will get you to any address is pretty cool. That and a credit card are a dangerous pair. Come to think of it, a credit card and anything is a dangerous pair. :) And I've learned something: Tell the little lady in your rental car where you are staying before you leave. And if you go anywhere incriminating while you're out and you tell the little lady about it, push the buttons that ask her to please forget where you went. Otherwise, the next renter of the car will be able to scroll back and see where you were. I know, it's not much of a security hole, but you can never be too careful. ;)
So where should I go in the next few days for lunch or dinner that's within easy driving distance of Stanford/Menlo Park, CA?
I like to cook. I don't cook so much as I want, but I try. And I grill: my grilling season runs from February to December. For years I've done that grilling on a cheap hibachi. I think I paid four dollars for it at a drug store. I had to assemble it: stamped sheet-metal body, grates that looked like recycled engine block, and unfinished, pre-cracked wooden handles. But it worked. It worked for, oh, eight or ten years. I left it out in the rain. I dropped it. I moved it from house to house. Three moves may be as good as a fire, but my hibachi kept working.
But I got upscale. I bought a $100 charcoal grillCook's Illustrated said was the best of the lot. You can cook a turkey in it -- hell, you can probably cook half a hog. Adjustable fire pan height, temperature gauge in the lid, side tables: this thing has it all.
I think Elie Wiesel said (maybe Joseph Fletcher beat him to it) that the opposite of love is not hate; the opposite of love is indifference. All I know is my hibachi fell apart a few weeks later.
I live by myself. I don't need to fire off five pounds of charcoal and heat up something the size of an oven for my Friday hot-dog-on-a-bun. My new grill is too damn big. Hell, I can put my old hibachi inside it. And there was my idea: I'll buy a new hibachi, keep it inside the cavernous new grill, and keep the hibachi in better shape.
So where are they? I've been all over this town: hardware stores, dollar stores, emporia, even the aforementioned drug store. No cheap hibachis. No hibachis at all. Turns out my friend Reiko has been looking too -- no luck.
At first I thought maybe grilling had become too popular, and no one wanted to pay four dollars for a cheap hibachi: they'd rather spend $40 for a Weber knockoff. Then I found a $4.99 round barbecue grill at the aforementioned drug store. But it's just not the same.