Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yang Chow

Did you ever have one of those mornings that seemed to consist of a long series of annoyances, and then at a certain point you thought of something that would make you happy and that's all you could think about? Yesterday morning I drove Elizabeth downtown to the CHP station to pick up a copy of her accident report from last week. It could have been worse, but it was not fun by any means. Then we had to go to the mall in Arcadia. I took the 10 east, thinking traffic would have cleared out by then, but it was still a parking lot. 

The mall, of course, was terrible. Four different people bumped into me while they were talking on their cell phones. Listen, if you're going to walk around talking on your phone, you already look like a jackass. But you can at least look where you're going, especially in a busy mall. My favorite was the woman who bumped into me because she was walking backwards. Seriously. Walking backwards and talking on her phone.

Eventually I became very hungry. But that mall doesn't have a very good selection of restaurants, and besides, they all seemed to be filled with screaming kids running around in circles. We stopped by my parents' house a couple miles away so that Elizabeth could check her email on their computer, and suddenly it hit me, the one thing that was going to put me in a good mood: Yang Chow's slippery shrimp. We went there around 2 PM and were the only people in the entire place. 

I wrote about Yang Chow back in June. I don't eat there as much as I used to, but it is always a good standby. Their chicken salad is my favorite Chinese chicken salad around, but yesterday we started with some spring rolls. They were very good, however the hot mustard wasn't very hot. I've become somewhat addicted to the mustard at Golden China in South Pas and now whenever I have spring rolls I want that sinus-clearing heat.

We ordered some steamed vegetable dumplings as well. (We were told they would take 15 to 20 minutes. They took more like 25. We'll come back to that later.) Our slippery shrimp arrived after we ate the spring rolls. They hit the spot, they were as good as ever. I cannot think of a single food in my life that I have found more addictive than these shrimp. Not King Arthur's pizza, not freshly made cotton candy, not even Arthur Bryant's cooked-in-lard french fries. We ended up taking some of them home with us - something I'm not sure I've ever done before - and I plan to eat them for breakfast as soon as I finish this post.

The steamed dumplings eventually arrived. They are the only thing I have ever had at Yang Chow that I didn't like. They were flabby, bland, and, unbelievably, only lukewarm. They were served with black vinegar, which I used liberally, but I only ate a couple of them and gave up. 


"Cool," I said, "maybe I'll have fun tomorrow." 

Elizabeth gave me a dirty look. Which I probably deserved.

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