Chains we can believe in

I heard my first joke from a Kyrgyz person the other day. There’s no real punchline, it just makes fun of how bad Kyrgyz people’s English is, so when they heard Barack Obama’s iconic promise to bring change, they were disappointed when the harsh Kyrgyz winter rolled around and Obama wasn’t providing chains for their tires.

And it must have been with this sense of humor that some creative Kyrgyz businessman decided to open the Obama Bar and Grill (on the corner of Toktogul and Erkendik). It’s only appropriate that I, a true American patriot, should eat at the restaurant honoring my president.

All of the decor is blue, I’m assuming because Obama is a Democrat, and there are pictures of him everywhere. Prices are decent, not too cheap but definitely reasonable for Bishkek. Food is standard American chain-restaurant fare. There are plenty of dishes with “extreme” in the name and a whole lot of buffalo sauce.

After subsisting on meals of meat, starch, and carbs for weeks, I could only stand to order a salad. For some reason, it was called “Hemingway’s Greek Salad,” although I can’t find the connection to Hemingway in a bowl of lettuce, canned olives, Uzbek tomatoes, and chunks of Turkish cream cheese. Farrell and Gulzara both gambled on Mexican and ordered fajitas and enchiladas. Farrell insists that it was a fair meal, and he was impressed with the quality of the tortillas. Gulzara was a total wuss about her American-sized portion though.

We finished off the night with brownies that were the size and texture of bricks, but completely covered in hot fudge, caramel, and vanilla ice cream.

Just like home.