MOST RECENT DINNERS
A Trip(e) to Flushing
Ni hao, ‘Nauts,
We trust that you all had a happy and booze-soaked New Year’s eve. We did, too (or what we remember of it). And in that spirit, we found a restaurant that has temporary amnesia.
We’d love to tell you where we’re taking you this month, but we can’t exactly. That’s because the name of this month’s restaurant is, well, umm … we’re not entirely sure. Neither is the restaurant. We know it once was called Northwest Taste — this much is true. But they changed it about five days ago. New menu, new chef. (Apparently his name is Wang and he’s a BFD in Tianjin, a small city of some 12 million not far from Beijing.) We asked the waitress for the name, but she didn’t know either. In fact, we asked her what was good on the menu: she shook her head, side to side — it was all new. We kid you not. We tried looking to the menu for help with the name, but no. It’s only printed in Chinese. The manager mentioned the new name might be Spicy Road, but she wasn’t sure about how it translated into English. So she handed us her business card, but it was the old one.
And honestly, none of this mattered — at all — when we sat down to eat. The menu reads like an pleasure palace of offal goodness: tripe, sea intestines, chitterlings, kidneys. And we’re telling you, the food is terrific. Wang — or whatever his name is — definitely knows his stuff. So, it turns out that Tianjin cuisine is lighter and more delicate than its Beijing cousin, with a greater emphasis on fish, and some wacky meat and seafood combinations. Who doesn’t like their pork kidney with squid and jellyfish, anyway?
Now, kids, it’s been awhile since we’ve had a Chinese feast — and trust us, you’re going to love this one. Plus, as far as we’re concerned there’s simply no better way to celebrate the new year than to get down and dirty. So what if the restaurant doesn’t have a name? We’ll give it a name…and you’ll like it. Come one and all, and let’s kick off this year in style. Bring something sparkly and cheap (to drink … not your date), put your New Year’s digs back on, and join us for a little Tianjinaliciousness — or whatever it is.