Wednesday, February 08, 2023


An article in SF Gate touts several Chinatown culinary destinations as the places to go. Totally 'it'. Most of those are not, strictly speaking, for the local residents, and one of them is a nasty dump. I shan't detail my thoughts about them. I'm just mighty glad that swarms won't be invading my turf. Yesterday's lunch was at a place where the food is good, the Hong Kong Milk Tea excellent, the staff recognize me, they have bottles of Sriracha, and there were no other non-Chinese. Today's lunch will be at a different place with the same conditions.

No, I do not know how their sweet and sour pork is. Or the kung pao.
Or General Tso's meat options. They have egg rolls.
Egg rolls are totally totemic.

It's a given that much of the food Cantonese people like for some reason will not appeal to many white folks. Steamed pork patty with salt fish, for instance, is an easy choice for someone from there, and an insurmountable obstacle for someone from Kansas.
To be perfectly honest, American-borns and folks from the north probably don't have much or any affection for it either, seeing as it's a low-brow home-cooking thing and doesn't impress them. The first mentioned probably have it occasionally when they visit their parents or aunties, the northerners eschew Canto salt fish and other fermented seafoods.

And European tourists, who of course know absolutely everything there is to know about fine dining, have never heard of it. So it's probably déclassé peasant muck.

Sorry, I shouldn't have brought it up.
You're upset now.
We can all agree on steamed fish, yes? Simple, elegant, perfectly juicy ..... Well, folks from the Great American Heartland won't order it, because fish isn't their thing. And that's alright too, nothing wrong with having some food-related hang-ups (deepseated psychological issues), it's what makes our country great. You are all special.

You'll be pleased to know that you can easily find ketchup in Chinatown. Yellow mustard, thousand island, and ranch, well maybe those are a bit harder. And sadly there is no blue cheese dressing anywhere, seeing as bufallo wings aren't a neighborhood favourite.

Which is odd. Overcooked meat nuggets with a sticky coating?
That's like kung pao and General Tso combined!
The apogee of scrumptious.

Now, lest you think me an unbearable snob, I should mention that for very many years when I worked in the Financial District I would every week or so enjoy a hot dog for lunch.
Bread and hot animal protein; sheer heaven. And of course I also like cheese-burgers.
A tasty savoury juicy handful of dripping cholesterol, oh my.

The best versions of Kung Pao Chicken and General Tso's that I ever had were in Berkeley, by the way, near the university. Berkeley is food-heaven.

They also have the best tofu, in Berkeley.

It's yummers.

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1 comment:

Alcyon said...

You know, I bet if Portuguese visited S-F, they'd be all over that: pork and salt fish...together!? Seems right up their alley. If I can't make Chinatown for my now favourite milk tea, I can hit a Portuguese area for a real, handmade espresso with a custard tart for the same price as Starbucks.

Today I did have a milk tea, happily, with an odd, delicious cheese bread. Followed by a bowl of Amphora Kentucky in the Falcon.

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