Re: New Friends

1

Impossible to know, sadly. You'll have to have multiple suave responses worked out ahead of time.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 5:44 PM
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Get a menu then ask them what they recommend.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 5:45 PM
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3

Oh, that seems easy enough. Good.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 5:49 PM
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4

Yeah, if they suggested the restaurant, the "what do you recommend" line seems very natural and open ended.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 5:50 PM
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5

Just be prepared for them to respond "I dunno... I like hot dogs!"


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 5:51 PM
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Racist, Josh. Everyone knows stereotypes about Chinese dog-eating are overblown.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 5:52 PM
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They did say it was a new restaurant, in the same location as some other China Buffet place, and made it sound like they've been wanting to try it, so it's not some place they frequent. But I still think the basic point stands.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 5:53 PM
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You should get to know yourselves better before worrying about what you're going to eat at a restaurant. Self-actualization is very important.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 5:58 PM
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9

(Sorry, I'm editing some shit I wrote, so the comma splice in the second sentence tripped me up.)


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 5:59 PM
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10

I took the quiz further down the front page. What more do you want.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 5:59 PM
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11

Oh, I see what you did there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 5:59 PM
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12

You should order for them. And when the server looks confused when you order "dog for the table," make little "woof woof" sounds to explain yourself.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 6:29 PM
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13

Really? My intuition about this situation is all off.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 6:30 PM
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14

So if I'm understanding you all correctly, I'm to order the Cum of Sum Yun Guy?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 6:32 PM
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15

Bring peanut butter sandwiches just in case.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 6:35 PM
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16

Actually, their younger daughter has a peanut allergy. Maybe ham and cheese?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 6:38 PM
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17

Yelp's account of Chinese restaurants in Heebietown is not at all encouraging.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 6:48 PM
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18

Bring soy nut butter sandwiches, and when they remind you about the allergy, don't say anything but "Oh, it's fine."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 6:48 PM
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19

Too Jewish.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 6:52 PM
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20

All these weirdass but butters anymore. Weren't things better in the old days, when kids would just die?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 6:55 PM
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That should have been "nut butters" or, sure, yeah, "butt butters", gross-face.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 6:56 PM
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19 to 17.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 6:56 PM
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23

Even if you don't speak/aren't Chinese, it's perfectly reasonable to ask the server about specialties or things that are particularly good. They don't even have to be things that are off the menu, just whatever the cooks are skilled at or have the best ingredients for.

(You're going to report back, right?)


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 7:04 PM
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it's perfectly reasonable to ask the server about specialties or things that are particularly good.

Well, this is different advice. This would yield what they think a gringo would most enjoy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 7:06 PM
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Ask what the server recommends, and if he says something like "Beef with Broccoli," pull at the corners of your eyes and say "Now what do you recommend?"


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 7:09 PM
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26

"Try the butt butter, whitey!"


Posted by: Ulysses S. Grant | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 7:09 PM
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27

Just ask for the special in perfect Mandarin.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 7:10 PM
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28

What do I look like, Wayne Campbell?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 7:10 PM
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26 explains why Reconstruction failed.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 7:12 PM
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30

Butt reconstruction?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 7:15 PM
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This would yield what they think a gringo would most enjoy.

Maybe. I think even asking gives you a better chance of getting something better than average.

The major Chinese restaurant in the hippie college town I lived in for a couple of years was relatively open about how to get the best food from them - they had a farm, and "whatever vegetables we most recently harvested, plus some meat or tofu, with a sauce of our choice" was the right way to go.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 7:19 PM
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32

Yeah but that is not specific to eating out with new friends in this context. It's always a thing you can do, to ask the server what they recommend.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 7:24 PM
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they had a farm, and "whatever vegetables we most recently harvested, plus some meat or tofu, with a sauce of our choice" was the right way to go.

We are really not talking about the same kind of place.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 7:25 PM
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34

24: A more favorable balance of trade for American manufacturing?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 7:33 PM
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35

Just ask "(name of server), what is best in life?" Go with the answer unless it involves lamentations.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 7:34 PM
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36

I went to the dunes one summer with a union organizer friend and when I suggested we get Chinese food in Bishop beforehand he was all, "Chinese food? Out here?" and I was like "they built the railroads!" and he was like "Oh, awesome!"


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 7:58 PM
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37

Yeah but that is not specific to eating out with new friends in this context. It's always a thing you can do, to ask the server what they recommend.

It still makes the most sense in this context. You don't want them to think you expect they'll be instantly chummy with the waitstaff - they might not even have much of a common language besides English. But if you ask for recommendations, that indicates an openness that they can step into if they want.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 8:01 PM
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38

Maybe I'll just ask our friends if they order off the menu or ask for stuff not listed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 8:03 PM
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39

Isn't the "secret menu for Chinese people" phenomenon limited to places that can expect a certain amount of Chinese clientele, such that they'll actually have "something authentic" in the kitchen?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 8:20 PM
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40

"secret menu for Chinese people"

Run. It's a cookbook.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 8:22 PM
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39: It's not as if the set of ingredients is going to be totally disjoint, right?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 8:39 PM
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if you are actually Chinese, you just chat with the server and order something authentic,

It depends. If you and the waiter are both Cantonese, then go for it! If one of you is Cantonese and one of you is from northern China, you'll probably just get into an argument about noodle types.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 8:44 PM
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I tend to take a "if they can't even do beef broccoli well, don't bother going there" view of Chinese restaurants. I've never been aware of a secret menu when I've gone to restaurants with my Chinese-speaking family members, but then I don't do the ordering. There are a few places where my relatives seem to have been regulars and could have been ordering off-menu but in most places we actually read the menu before ordering and then made clear reference to it while ordering, especially if we hadn't been there before. If there have been differences I bet that they were more on the order of switching red for white sauces at an Italian restaurant than anything truly special.

In my parents current town, the non-Chinese must have a secret menu in the Chinese restaurants because the food I've eaten has all been pretty much horrible and yet some of the Chinese restaurants stay in business.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 8:47 PM
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36: I'm not sure if that restaurant is there any more, and I guess there's probably more than one, but my parents have raved about the good Chinese food they found in Bishop. They've been across the country on RV trips a few times and have found the most success with Chinese restaurants that, from the outside, look like crappy places in dull shopping strips. So that might be a good sign for heebie.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 8:53 PM
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45

Yeah, I don't do much chatting with waiters myself, but when my mother does it, it's usually asking for help choosing among the things that are on the menu. Especially when the menu has a gazillion different dishes, you want to find out which of those things the chef does well.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 8:55 PM
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46

Ask them to order for you, because "you people write funny and we can't read the menu." Scoff if they point out the menu is actually English. Then joke you'll eat what they order except for dog. If they look offended make a comment about sushi tasting better than you thought it would. Ask for ketchup. When the food comes eye it suspiciously and ask the server if they chopped the vegetables on the floor. Mutter about how you got diarrhea from "that Mexican place." Eat your peanut butter sandwiches.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-19-14 9:36 PM
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47

38 seems the simplest and most obvious first step.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 12:28 AM
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48

I don't think Buttercup has your best interests at heart, heebie.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 1:05 AM
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49

She's probably right about the peanut butter sandwiches, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 1:18 AM
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50

The peanut butter at Chinese restaurants is made out of dog. True fact.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 1:24 AM
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51

That's why you need to bring your own.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 1:38 AM
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52

I mean, come on.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 1:39 AM
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53

IME the "secret menu" has only one or to different dishes, but considerably lower prices.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 1:41 AM
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54

A while ago I ate in a rather good Sichuan restaurant in Birmingham and I noticed that the check printed out by their computerised till had a field for something in Chinese. Googling it, I learned that a lot of Chinese restaurants log which tables have Chinese people, or perhaps also regulars, so the kitchen knows - and their POS software has a database field for it, which is awesome.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 2:27 AM
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55

I had jellyfish for the first time at a Sichuan restaurant on Wednesday. It was OK, but I probably wouldn't order it again. I think it works mainly to counteract the spicier dishes.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 2:31 AM
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when the server looks confused when you order "dog for the table," make little "woof woof" sounds to explain yourself.

Oh ogged, everyone knows that if you want dog, you have two order it two days in advance.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 3:11 AM
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43 is what I would have guessed, but I honestly can't imagine that there's a Chinese restaurant in town that makes edible beef broccoli.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 3:32 AM
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For actual advice, I agree it's fine to say you don't know much about Chinese food and ask if they would want to recommend anything. That allows them to say yes or no. Generally Chinese people eat family style. Traditionally whoever is treating orders everything, or if it's a group of friends each person picks out a dish, with an eye torwards balance.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 3:34 AM
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I've never been aware of a secret menu when I've gone to restaurants with my Chinese-speaking family members, but then I don't do the ordering.

I've certainly eaten in restaurants in Glasgow where the menu in Chinese and the menu in English are different. With the former usually a bit cheaper, and including a somewhat wider range of stuff. It wasn't secret, it was publicly posted on a big blackboard, or in the Chinese language pages of the printed menu. But it wasn't the same.

A former flatmate of mine was Chinese [well, her parents were, she was born in Irvine*], and we used to go out to eat quite a bit together. Another flatmate worked in one of Glasgow's best Chinese restaurants, and had similar stories. Not of some radical difference, but of a few extra things, and different prices.

* the one in Ayrshire, not the one in California.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 3:58 AM
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I wouldn't have believed the "secret menu for Chinese people who speak the same dialect" thing beforehand (but had never actually thought about it) until I went to dinner with a friend who speaks apparently very good Mandarin and had an excellent meal consisting solely of dishes both not on the printed menu and selected collaboratively by my friend and the wait staff to soothe a slightly bruised heart and a bad cold. It was a memorably sweet meal.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 4:12 AM
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61

That was me!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 4:13 AM
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found the most success with Chinese restaurants that, from the outside, look like crappy places in dull shopping strips.

Also consistent with my experience. And Tyler Cowen says it's SCIENCE, same as the minimum wage driving up employment, so it must be true.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 4:21 AM
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63

A strip-mall restaurant is more likely to try daring ideas than is a restaurant in, say, a large shopping mall.

Well, maybe, but you could just go somewhere that isn't in a mall at all.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 4:35 AM
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64

Ginger Yellow knows nothing of Texas.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 4:48 AM
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65

The best Chinese meal I ever had was when my friend the Rhodes Scholar who peaks fluent Mandarin and is also really fucking honky ordered for me (and now I always just ask for that sort of thing again). So I suppose that's the solution?

(But seriously, I think talking to waitstaff is definitely the way to go. If there's a "Chinese menu" often just indicating a willingness to go off piste is what it takes to get you into that territory, in my very limited & very honky experience of the aforementioned restaurant.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 4:50 AM
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62/63. Even in Wardour Street (heart of London's Chinese restaurant country), the best food is often found in places where the entrance looks as if it might lead through to the bins in the yard behind.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 4:54 AM
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And Tyler Cowen says it's SCIENCE, same as the minimum wage driving up employment, so it must be true.

It's not SCIENCE because it involves zero evidence. The entire article is just a wild guess. I was waiting for the bit where he orders takeaway from various places - some trendy, some terrible-looking and blind-tests them but it didn't happen. Man's a hack.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 5:00 AM
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re 65.last

Yes, a friend of mine lived above one of the restaurants I'm thinking of. Used to chat/smoke with the chefs in the alley at the back of the restaurant. Just being friendly, and knowing a few people to nod to, was enough to get him onto the Chinese menu list. IYSWIM. He'd just ask what was good that day, and the guy on the till would point out anything on the Chinese language menu that he might like.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 5:07 AM
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63 is the saddest comment in Unfogged history.

Dallas -- which has a metro area population of 4 million -- has a Chinatown that is literally a strip mall of all Chinese restaurants, called "China Town". (Here is a video, if you want to see it in all of its glory.)


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 5:11 AM
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67: Easy, Tiger. The record will show that I think Cowen is full of shit.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 5:12 AM
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Was Tyler Cowen the same one who wrote the similar piece about the secret Thai menu, the point being that unlike all other white people, he was manly enough to eat the extremely spicy food that they serve to actual Thai people, and he had the devil of a time convincing the wait staff of his true manliness, but once he did he got the best food ever because it was so incredibly spicy?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 5:55 AM
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72

I don't know, but I don't eat much Thai food because asking for something without coconuts or peanuts is too hard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 5:58 AM
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71. This can rebound on you. A friend of mine went to a Sichuan restaurant in Beijing and ordered "Five (I think) chilli chicken". The waitress scrapped together her knowledge of English and firmly said, "No!" So he had to make a fuss until he got it. He said he thought he was going to die. The waitress stood over him until he finished every last morsel.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 6:07 AM
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73: My wife did the same thing (though in Bangkok, not in China), but she actually liked it. Because there's something terribly wrong with her.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 6:11 AM
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A friend of mine lived in Thailand for a decade or so; when I visited her, the only phrase she could really deploy fluently (she is not that great with languages, turns out) was "wash the bowl", which is to say "wash the bowl you make the papaya salad in because even if you don't put any peppers at all in mine the residue left from everybody else's will be enough to kil lme."

Anecdote two: the first friend's baby daddy was visiting and got some papaya salad from a street vendor. She held up her fingers 1, 2 or 3, to indicate how many peppers he wanted. He thought to himself "you know what? I'm tough, I'm trying to integrate myself with the local country, why not" and held up three fingers. As he was eating his painfully hot salad, a thai dude came up and ordered one. The woman making it didn't ask anything, she just chucked a generous handful of peppers into the bowl.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 6:14 AM
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76

One night in Bangkok makes the hot chicken palatable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 6:14 AM
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77

Anyhow, I have generally liked food from cultures that like spicy food when it is made authentically spicy but it is so, so douchey to go full Cowen and try to get them to give it to you so I generally skip it. Also once I tried to get them to give me authentically spicy food in Cambodia and, sure, okay, they made it authentically not at all spicy, which is how they like it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 6:17 AM
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70: I didn't mean to imply that you were a Cowenist.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 6:19 AM
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|| So, it looks like my characterization of BS as the thinking man's Sarah Palin might have been a little unfair. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 6:40 AM
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80

To Sarah Palin, you mean?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 6:47 AM
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My experience with authentically spicy Thai food in Bangkok was not pleasant. I guess I'm just not the man that Tyler Cowen is. I was only 18 at the time, so that could be my excuse.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 6:57 AM
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82

Yep.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 7:02 AM
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83

There's a local (excellent) Thai noodle place, with a 1-5 scale where 5 is "Thai spicy". I didn't think I was doing anything foolish when I ordered 3, but boy, howdy. Not inedibly spicy, but I spent much of my meal mopping my brow.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 7:24 AM
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84

JRoth - what is this excellent Thai place of which you speak?


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 7:41 AM
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85

It's on the secret menu at Primantis.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 7:43 AM
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86

The world needs a standard spiciness scale, as well understood as Well/Medium/Rare, such that "I asked for 2 and you gave me 4" is grounds for being pissed off and not yet another Silly White People anecdote.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 7:47 AM
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IME the Secret Chinese Menu is not full of mysterious wonders. It has, like, jellyfish, cuttlefish, chicken feet, etc. And native Chinese have different seasoning preferences; the chef will give you the same dishes, only saltier/oilier/spicier/etc.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 7:50 AM
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86: Make it an ISO standard. Then you could go into an Asian restaurant and say: "ISO spicy?" and get kicked out for sounding like you're making fun of accents.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 8:36 AM
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The world needs a standard spiciness scale, as well understood as Well/Medium/Rare

Except the Well/Medium/Rare scale is not uniformly calibrated.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 8:42 AM
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86: There already is such a scale.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 8:46 AM
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I think now that I've had some time to think about it, the detail that confounded me is that we're surely going somewhere so shitty. Oh well, I'll let you all know how it goes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 9:49 AM
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Ask for "sweet and sour bitter melon." (Search for "Gosper.")

I like spicy food, but I usually admit to "American spicy" when waitstaff ask "how spicy?" in a Szechuan or Thai place I don't know.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 2:26 PM
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One of my friends, originally from Shanghai, got annoyed with some of the American visitors in Beijing for going on and on about how awesome the Szechuan food was, because spicy food is a small fraction of all Chinese cuisine. Shanghainese cuisine is delicious and not at all spicy. (Except maybe by, like, my dad's standards, where a green pepper or an onion counts as "spicy".)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 2:57 PM
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94

We're going to Wok and Roll. See? Confusing!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 3:13 PM
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95

Suggest that they add "Stop" to the start of the restaurant name. Then order the duck and ask that it be brought to the table covered.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 4:06 PM
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"With your superior knowledge of Chinese cuisine, would you recommend the beef with broccoli or the lemon chicken? Perhaps the sweet and sour pork would harmonize nicely with this egg-drop soup?"


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 6:14 PM
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Also, why Wok and Roll? Is it literally the only Chinese place within 50 miles of where you live? Was the Panda Express closed at that time of night? Are you sure they're Chinese?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 6:15 PM
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It was fine. Food was medium. Company was excellent. We did have duck, among other things.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 7:23 PM
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But how did you decide to have duck, among other things?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 7:26 PM
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I asked them what they recommended. It turned out that it changed ownership about two months ago, and they like the new owners at least for heebieville. I taught them the saying "valedictorian of summer school". They also said they weekly go to Austin or San Antonio to do their own grocery shopping.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 7:31 PM
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I don't understand 97. Wok and Roll isn't a chain, is it? I thought it was just a name that lots of places independently use because they think it's clever or something.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 8:53 PM
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102

Pet Wok would be just as clever but maybe not what a restaurant is going for in terms of association.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 9:00 PM
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103

I think there may be a Wok and Roll chain, but also places using the name independently. Google turns up a reference to a chain in Sweden as the top result for me.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 9:05 PM
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104

Top result for [wok and roll chain], that is.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-20-14 9:06 PM
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101: not that it's a chain, but that you'd assume it to be a total dive. We'd been there years ago and it was gross, but now it was cleaned up and pleasant. Solidly medium.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 5:39 AM
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Ok, my bad. I only know it as an incredibly awful chain--like, bad mall food court bad. I don't know any non-lobotomized Chinese person who would set foot in there. Also, googling things, there's also a restaurant somewhere called Wok, Wrap, and Roll.


I would eat at Pet Wok. Also: Wok and a Hard Place? Bed Wok? Ready to Wok? Hard Wok Cafe? Wok-a-by Baby?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 6:01 AM
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I don't know any non-lobotomized Chinese person who would set foot in there.

Do you know many Chinese people living in very small towns in Texas?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 6:05 AM
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as well understood as Well/Medium/Rare

This is not as well understood as you think. If I want a steak Medium Rare (US standard), I'd order Rare in better English restaurants and Endangered Species in cheaper ones or most places in Ireland.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 6:16 AM
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I don't know any non-lobotomized Chinese person who would set foot in there.
Do you know many Chinese people living in very small towns in Texas?

Well considering you ate duck it definitely is not the Wok and Roll that is part of the chain I know.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 6:42 AM
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107: 23,065.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 7:06 AM
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Huh, there are several Hard Wok Cafes (in Seattle, Sault Ste Marie, and Liberty, SC). There's also a Wok Around the Clock in Cairns.

This reminds me of an old (early 1900's) newspaper article about how the residents of Palo Alto had driven out the first two Chinese restaurants to open there; now seen to have been a very short-lived victory.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 06-21-14 10:49 AM
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84: Noodlehead. Sorry I missed the question.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 3:14 PM
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Heebie often wonders how to keep her children near her. I know of a Vietnamese family in San Jose/Cupertino who kept their five sons near by having a restaurant do well for the last fifty years and giving each son a local house (early in the rise of Silicon Valley) now worth incredible amounts of money.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 3:33 PM
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This is not as well understood as you think. If I want a steak Medium Rare (US standard), I'd order Rare in better English restaurants and Endangered Species in cheaper ones or most places in Ireland.

Yeah, for some reason in the US the big food-related stigma of unmanliness (aside from not wanting spicy food, of course) is wanting your steak to be cooked.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 3:39 PM
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I recently dined at a restaurant in NYC where the ludicrously pretentious waiter informed us that the chef simply will not bow to the convention of medium rare, and instead cooks all steaks to medium. He's very daring.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 3:42 PM
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96 reminds me of...oh I'll post it on the flickr feed maybe. It's funnier as a visual. Added.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 4:01 PM
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115: friends of mine have horror stories about the various Mario Batali places and their insistence on such things. One place has gelato with a sprinkling of nuts on top and my friend who has an anaphylactic reaction to most nuts ordered it without and was told that they wouldn't serve it to her that way.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 4:06 PM
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117: I was with Our Mutual Friends B & E at the time. B sent me a link to the personal website of our waiter afterward, and it turns out he's some sort of performance artist with radical disruptive aesthetic commitments.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 4:08 PM
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115, 117: I'm relieved and amused to discover that no matter how hard it tries, the Bay Area is still just a pretender to New York's insufferableness throne.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 5:34 PM
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The relationship between eating meat and manliness in the US is problematic. Halford.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-23-14 7:02 PM
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