Monday, December 18, 2006

Pork Stomach with Sour Pickle

Tonight after work, I’ll be meeting Miss Healthypants and another friend of ours for our monthly restaurant get-together. It’s usually the three of us, but sometimes spouses or other friends join us too.

We often try new restaurants and have had some pretty fantastic meals, what with all the fantastic restaurants Chicago has to offer. We’ve eaten in Thai, Moroccan, Ethiopian, Italian, Persian, Chinese, and Indian restaurants to name a few.

However, we keep going back to this particular Chinese restaurant in Chinatown that specializes in Szechuan cuisine. Lao Sze Chuan was recommended to me a few years ago by a co-worker who hails from the Szechuan province of China and she said it was her family’s favorite restaurant.

I can see why.

Their menu is huge. And I mean huge! If you want hot-n-spicy rabbit or octopus, they’ve got it. If you want lamb, sea cucumber or sea slug, it’s there too.

I try to order something different every time I go and I’m always surprised at how different every menu item is and how utterly tasty everything is. If you like hot and spicy food, this is the place to be. It really is authentic, for everything there is like nothing I’ve ever eaten in your run-of-the-mill American Chinese restaurant. This is the real McCoy.

There’s a section of the menu called “Very Chinese Special” that we’ve always shied away from. Apparently, in the southern portion of the Szechuan province, they eat all the icky parts of the animals. My friend who recommended the place scoffed and said, “Oh, they eat anything down there!”

Here are some menu items from the “Very Chinese Special” portion of the menu:

Fish Head Casserole Soup
Pork Stomach with Sour Pickle
Pig Ear Szechuan Style
Stir Fried Beef Maw

I don’t know about you, but I have a hankerin’ for some good maw. I’m going to order that just to freak out Miss Healthypants. Or maybe the Pig Ear Szechuan Style.

If I’m going to eat a pig’s ear, I definitely want it Szechuan Style.

I mean, really.


At 2:44 PM , Blogger Red7Eric said...

I grew up all over the world as a Navy brat, and learned from a very early age to be an adventurous eater. It was the one thing I could do that would simultaneously please my parents and gross out my big sister.

Next time I'm in Chicago, I'll take my clients to the Lao Sze Chuan -- sounds like a kick.

At 9:48 PM , Anonymous Miss Healthypants :) said...



--MHP :)

At 11:23 PM , Blogger Iwanski said...

I read that the chef goes back to Szechuan for a month each year to buy spices and find inspiration.


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