Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I do not like beef jerky. However...

Only known photograph of "asian beef jerky place"
(from Google Street View)

A few years back, my friend Alex and I were wandering around the outskirts of Chinatown so he could find this beef jerky place he had been raving about. Exact address unknown. That is just how we roll; by intuition.
Thanks to a trip downtown this weekend and Google maps - more specifically street view - I have pinned down the name and location of, what was previously known as "the asian beef jerky place."
After a few trips, I remembered that the beef jerky place is on Elizabeth Street, somewhere south of Houston and north of Canal, on the west side of the street. I couldn't even remember if there is a sign outside and, if so, what language is on that hypothetical sign. With this post in mind, I set out for the asian beef jerky place with the goal of not only obtaining some of that fine beef jerky, but also coming home with a name and address.
It was hot. It was humid. The sun was blazing and there was no shade while walking south during the early hours of the afternoon. But I persisted and came upon my beef jerky heaven; Malaysia Beef Jerky, Inc. Of course I forgot that this little store has no air conditioning, so I found little relief once inside. Other than relief from my hankering for that fine asian jerky. The store is split in half by the counter. An older Asian woman sits on a stool in the back corner while another woman tends to the customers (me being the only customer at that time). Behind me, the wall is lined with the typical market refrigerators, though not stocked with the typical market fare. This leaves a fairly narrow walkway and I can imagine it being difficult to maneuver on a busier day. Although, I cannot imagine it ever being all that busy in here. I could inquire, but I am not sure I would understand what the woman says (subsequent communication issues on both our parts confirms this), nor do I have the patience to figure what odd delicacies might be stored in the various cardboard boxes and plastic bins being refrigerated.
A quarter pound of spicy pork and a quarter pound of beef jerky later and I was back out on the street, unable to resist tearing a piece from each wax-lined bag, noticing the heat, humidity and sun just a little less than a few minutes earlier. Only now I really needed a bottle of water.
With a name and address now in hand, I got a little curious and hit the internet to see what anyone else might have to say. What did I find? The dinky little store pictured above has a website! A website! They will ship the beef jerky to you. This was mind-blowing, even with the rudimentary website setup. I am still in shock and must stop typing to fully gather my thoughts. 

Malaysia Beef Jerky, Inc., 95A Elizabeth Street (between Grand and Hester)

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