I’ve eaten at Mai Tai in Jacksonville, NC a couple of times since this ticket. David is an excruciatingly thin human being that I have known, from Mai Tai, for many years. He always remembers my name, and we usually shake hands if I haven’t been in for a while (which is normally the case since I have been living in Fayetteville for over 17 years).
Tony (Chow?) is the owner, and I hadn’t seen him for years until my last visit to the Mai Tai. He passed by a few times, and then actually looked at me and when he recognized me, gave an acknowledgment. As I was leaving, I had a chance to stop him and ask how long the Mai Tai had been running. He said that it was now 30 years and that he was 26 years old when he first started it. I told him that I had started coming to the Mai Tai about two years after it first opened.
I remember that before the Mai Tai was in this location, there was a pizza restaurant. The walls were all painted black and they showed movies on the black wall just above the fireplace. *I think there was some problem. Don’t recall if someone got hurt or if there was embezzlement involved, but the pizza joint closed.
When the Mai Tai first opened the walls were still painted black and there were booths that had grass awnings (like grass huts). Eventually, Tony had one wall knocked out and a larger room added on.
I’ve always liked the chicken wings. It is best to get them when they are dark with whatever sauce they soak them in overnight. They are more flavorable then. When they run out of those wings, the next batches are not as dark or as flavorful.
I’ve also liked the egg rolls, and recall many, many years ago taking a friend to the Mai Tai and gave him some hot mustard to go with his egg roll. Apparently, from his reaction, he wasn’t as enamored of hot mustard as I was;-)
I recall one time when I was at the buffet counter there was a woman on one side of the counter picking all the meat out of a certain dish. Her male counterpart was standing next to me at the same dish, but he soon moved onto a different dish and I got some of the meat. As I moved on, I actually heard her reprimand her beau for having moved because she wanted to get ALL of the meat. *Hmmm, she didn’t know me very well. If she had actually gotten all the meat, I would have yelled out to Tony or David to bring some more out because a greedy woman had “hogged it all”.