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Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Search For The World's Greatest Kung Pao

I have been at it now for 26 years. At least once a week since the great snowstorm of 1983 shut Philadelphia down and I skied to The Szechuan Inn. You people already knew I was nuts, so I might as well bare all. In my defense, the interpretation of Chairman Mao's favorite dish differs markedly from restaurant to restaurant, and even day to day at the same restaurant. And I sometimes get something different if I "go Chinese" more than once in a week. Since adopting Anne from China, I have been treated better and better at every restaurant I visit. I have a few favorite restaurants, but all in all, they are all good. In China, the dish was presented with meticulously tiny cubed vegetables and chicken, with virtually no sauce. The flavors were exquisite! In Austria, I was served Kung Pao by German speaking waitresses, quite disarming. But yesterday I entered the world of P F Changs, an upscale corporate Chinese Bistro in suburban Philadelphia for the first time.. The Kung Pao was great, but African-American chefs and Hispanic waitresses seemed very weird. The quest will continue. I will return to P F Changs soon to try the Kung Pao Scallops. I wish I had a menu from every place I've visited.

1 comment:

  1. My love and respect for the Chinese people has no bounds. My intelligent, beautiful daughter is a testament to that. Kung Pao is the world's greatest food. It may be the only thing Chairman Mao and I agreed on. African-Americans and Hispanics working in Chinese restaurants is OK in my book too, just rare and "weird" at first. (But no weirder than me eating the same thing over and over!) No offense to anyone is intended. A plate of Kung Pao will smooth over any ruffled feathers. Cartman's obvious racist feelings are combated quite well by the actual Chinese people in the CARTOON. No one at PSU Track Alumni Golf shares Cartman's twisted world view.


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