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Meat the Vegetarian

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I have been craving Chinese for about two weeks.  Max looked at me like I had 16 heads when I told him I wanted Chinese for dinner.  Typically, it is on the bottom of my cuisine choices.  I have all the generic complaints: heavy, salty, and disgusting after feeling ( I know, I know, it depends on what you get).  For whatever reason, I decided that I would put those issues aside.  I don’t typically go to Chinese, so I had no idea where to even get it.  Which place is good?  I mean, it’s New York City– there are millions of places to choose from.  Max suggested we try some place he had ordered from at work, but it was on the west side.  Me, being the east sider I am, sorta rolled my eyes and said “really?  All the way over there?”  We had both never been in the restaurant, but Max assured me it was delicious.  So, I copied what Jack Burton would say at time like this (WARNING: 1986 Movie Reference), and said “What the hell?” 

Location: Szechuan Gourmet, 39th between 5th and 6th, NYC 

Price:  I am pretty sure this is a standard price Chinese restaurant, most entres are between $10 – $15.  The portions were HUGE.  Three people could share two entres and leave completely stuffed. 

Difficulty: Easy to Medium – they have a vegetable section, but the problem I ran into was spice.  I had to narrow down to vegetarian and non-fire breathing dragon spicy.  


Meat-Eater:  Max had spicy lamb, on the waitress’ recommendation.  When they said spicy, they meant it.  There were several, as Max put it, “international symbols for burn your mouth off” hot peppers.  They waitress brought out this HUGE bowl of SPICY, with lamb.  Max found it to be a little over powering (but he liked it), but fairly salty.  He said he had better things when he had ordered take out, but this was “good too”.  So not a slam dunk, but definitely a try again soon. 

Stir-Fried Tofu and Rice

Veggie:  I made a good choice for me.  Very happily, I chose the sitr-fried five spice tofu.  I loved it.  I will probably try something else the next time… but this was really good.  I think Max ate more of it than I did, which was totally fine because there was NO WAY I could have even put a dent in it by myself.  Thinly sliced tofu and Bok Choy– Yum!  But, that wasn’t even the best part.  Max, who is the greatest (fill in the blank) ever, suggested the BEST appetizer: Scallion Pancakes.  They weren’t really pancakes.  They were more like fried flat croissants with scallions that you dip in a soy inspired sauce.  I could eat millions of these.  MILLIONS.  This is what I want at 4 am on Saturday before we go home.  Not pizza, not fries.   I would be in heaven if a place closer to us served these.  I would also be bigger than a Thanksgiving Parade Float, but I would be so happy.  Even if the rest of the meal had been bad (which it wasn’t, it was really good), I would have recommended this place simply for the scallion pancakes.  They made me want to kiss my fingertips and throw them in the air, while shouting “MWAH!” 

Scallion Pancake. YUM

Order online, go there, whatever you need to do.  Scallion Pancakes:


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