At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


One of the Chinatown standards closed its doors at the beginning of this month, due to their lease ending. Now, whether it's a case of the new rent being too high, or the clientele fading and becoming poorer over the years, is immaterial. They are gone now, and some damned Szechuan concept restaurant is going in. Probably staffed by snippy barking Northerners.
Nothing ruins a Chinese neighborhood like Szechuan concept.
White folks, Mandarin speakers, idiotic food.
An insane excess of chilies.
Pig slop.

Same goes for Hunan.

Not that anyone can tell the difference. Instead of subtle flavours and an expression of culinary talent, what is highlighted is brash insecurity and a simplistic reliance on peppers and customer ignorance. It ain't fit for man nor beast, but the mainlanders and white yuppies think they're getting something special.

But no matter, back to the ABC Bakery & Cafe. The milk tea was stellar, the Hong Kong style western food was in a few cases extraordinary, they had Sriracha hot sauce on the premises, and the wait staff was calm and competent. Indeed, one had to select one's food and drink from a basis of knowledge, otherwise one would get surprised -- sometimes a little less than endearingly so -- but if you wanted French toast with peanut butter between and a drizzle of condensed milk on top, this was the place.

Their Baked Portuguese Chicken Rice wasn't that good, but the Black Pepper Pork Chops were 100% excellent.

Curry seafood fried rice, Amoy fried rice, fried chicken, spare ribs, baked seafood spaghetti, Singapore style fried rice noodle, Sampan congee, ...

Hainan Chicken: famous, fresh, and beautiful.

Two dishes that I regret not trying were Mixed Vegetables and Mushrooms Soup (田園雞菌魚湯泡米) and Tofu and Salted Egg with Seasonal Vegetables Soup (魚湯豆腐鹹蛋浸時菜). Both were offered among the Mother's Day Specials during the entire month of May.

Just the names alone sound scrumptious!

I do NOT regret avoiding the dish with "haslet". Haslet is defined as the heart, liver, and sometimes also lungs and pancreas, of the beast, whether pig or cow, and besides not being that fond or organ meats, these excite my gout. I shall eat haslet only with a 'short French bastard'.
A tribute to the Aubrey-Maturin books.

They had been in business on Jackson Street for 27 years. During the last five months of their existence I ate there more than a dozen times.

Yeah, I asked for the bottle of Sriracha nearly every time. I like hot, but not being insane and stupid, I avoid Szechuan concept. As I shall also do regarding the restaurant going into that location now.


Yesterday I had the Baked Portuguese Chicken Rice at one of the few chachanteng that remain in the old neighborhood. It was very good (potato!), and I got to observe the other customers from my corner. Five single male diners, a family without electronic devices, a man with beautiful hair who took photos of his food with his cellphone, and a table of elderly worthies dawdling after their meal with more milk-tea than is healthy.
And a woman reading the newspaper.

Today I'll probably have bitter melon fish and rice (凉瓜蘢脷飯) at a curiously misnamed place up on Powell Street.

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