Back To School
A friend of mine swears that he ate at Mr. Chopsticks in Denton at least five times a week during his tenure as a student at the University of North Texas during the late '90s. He still makes a half-hour trip to the place a couple times a month.
I could never understand this obsession. We all have memories of one college dive or another, places we almost lived at during our undergraduate days. But most of us graduate, so to speak. Besides, I'd been a UNT student at about the same time and was pretty sure I had eaten there once or twice, but couldn't really recall. Obviously, the place hadn't left nearly the impression on me that it had on him.
Recently, we planned to meet in the Little D for a club show and decided to get a bite beforehand. I suggested Greek food at Yummy's, my favorite bit of Denton nostalgia (don't you love college town restaurant names?), and mentioned my memory failure regarding Mr. Chopsticks. That pretty much ended the "where do we eat" debate.
Mr. Chopsticks' original location was on the corner of Hickory and Welch before the development pushed it out. The new location is nice enough, with an outdoor patio perfect for cool nights. Without any prejudice for or against the new digs, I was pretty happy with our table's view of the parking lot. My friend said he initially missed the old place out of nostalgia, but has come to appreciate the roomier new location more.
You know who ordered his customary Kung Pao chicken with fried rice and a fried vegetable spring roll as an appetizer. I settled on the cashew chicken and a liquid appetizer.
We lived. In fact, for a college town hangout, it was pretty impressive: whole cashews, crisp breading, a prickly ginger sauce. My friend is adamant that the food has not changed a bit, despite the move.
Next time I relive the past in Denton, I might choose his instead of mine. --Jesse Hughey
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