Pea Tips and Spicy Pig's Ear
In addition to old-style Cantonese for older seniors and Hunan/Szechuan for baby boomers, Evergreen has added a "traditional Chinese menu" for the new generation. Greg called over a waitress, and she quickly circled the most popular items on it: Shanghai-style pork buns, spicy beef tendon, spicy tripe, lamb stew, cumin lamb, jalapeno beef/pork, meatball casserole, salt-and-pepper baby ribs.
She hesitated a bit over pork intestine, conceding that intestines are popular with the Chinese but a pretty tough sell to Americans.
Later that day, over at Great Lake Seafood Restaurant on Carpenter, I was hoping to have a conversation like the one I'd had with Greg Guo. The waitress allowed that whole fish, and fresh lobster and crab from the live tank, were particularly popular with Chinese customers, but she wasn't interested in an extended conversation about who orders what.
She did say, though, that she thought General Tso's chicken had been kicked around enough: "We Chinese like it, too."
[Originally published in June, 2013.]