Da Kao

Inmate: Wallace, James Russel

Inmate number: 2377-096

Location: Ohio State Penitentiary

Crime: Capitol Murder

Today is my last meal. I went to this Vietnamese restaurant, Da Kao, for my last meal. It felt like I was back in the hood. The outside was real shady looking. The parking lot was small and the cement was cracked and uneven. There was a window open in the back from the kitchen that looked like it was blackened from grease. It definitely wasn’t the nicest looking joint on the outside. Once we got inside, though, it looked like any Chinese restaurant I’ve ever been to. There was decorated with eastern style art on the walls and just had that Asian feel to it.

Da Kao on W. 7th St. Sioux City, IA.

Da Kao on W. 7th St. Sioux City, IA.

When we got our menus the first thing I noticed was how many choices there were. There were at least 75 different things on the menu it seemed. There was a Vietnamese section and a Chinese section. I went with Vietnamese since I’ve never had it before. The names of the dishes were hard to read and pronounce. Everyone I was with seemed real apprehensive about ordering. Choosing a meal felt like that roulette scene from the movie “Deer Hunter.” The wait staff were pretty friendly and helpful, which made ordering easier, though it was tough to understand them a lot of the time. I finally came across something that sounded appetizing. It was called Tom Hoac Heo Ram Man, or grilled pork in “special sauce” with rice. I figured McDonald’s has special sauce that’s decent so I’d try theirs, too.

Here's what I ordered from the menu. Mine was the number 40.

Here’s what I ordered from the menu. Mine was the number 40.

It didn’t take very long for the food to come out. I got a big bowl of rice with it as well. I asked for chop sticks and the ones they brought out were big heavy plastic ones. They gave me a hand cramp. They were ideal for making a shiv out of, though, which made me want to hide one in my sleeve for when Spider tries to start stuff on the courtyard during rec. Anyway, the plate was full of pork and onions that were cooked in some sort of soy based sauce. It was a little salty but the onion gave a nice taste to the pork. The pork was actually decently tender; it wasn’t so chewy like some Chinese restaurants make theirs. The rice was real tasty. I think it was jasmine rice because it was a little sticky and had that jasmine rice taste to it. It almost tasted like it was cooked in a little bit of soy sauce though it was plain white rice.

Pork with "special sauce" and rice.

Pork with “special sauce” and rice.

I finished the meal fairly quickly. It honestly wasn’t that filling but satisfying enough. Not quite last-meal-before-lethal-injection-satisfying but good enough to go out on. The last time I ordered take-out from Da Kao I had the combo fried rice. I have two regrets: getting myself in prison for stabbing a man in the gut and not ordering the combo fried rice again. But, like I said, it was satisfying enough.