Monday, February 2, 2009

Greetings from Chengdu

Where I just had the worst sirloin steak ever -- it came on a skillet with noodles and an over-easy egg, with lukewarm red tea. The waiter who delivered it said something like "zhou" and pointed to a napkin. I had no idea what he meant so I gave him a confused look. Zhou, he said. I told him I was confused. Then he opened the napkin for me and had me open it before me as a shield while he lifted the lid on the skillet. I think he was afraid of the grease jumping onto my shirt.

Anyway, later I saw a Chinese couple presented with the same dish, and they seemed to know the drill. This only exacerbated my confusion.

The noodles had a distinctly Asian taste and the egg... well, it made no sense. Oh, I also got a mushroom soup, which was a bit cold and reminded me of nothing at all. Please understand, I'm not complaing -- merely pointing out that Sino-ized American food, like Americanized Chinese, just doesn't compare to the real thing.

This was the first steak I've ever ordered in China. I guess I couldn't have expected much when the menu (Houcaller is the name of the place, in case you're interested) listed it as 29 Yuan, or three-and-half U.S. dollars.

More later, including a picture of what real Sichuan food looks like. And sometime next week I'll post pictures and stories from the Beijing miaohuis (spring festivals, which I like to call "county fairs") I've spent all of last week attending.

POSTSCRIPT: I'm betting on the Cardinals to cover in the Super Bowl. Secretly, I think they're going to pull the upset. But keep that between us.

1 comment:

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