I've taken folks on various roadtrips before and have even explained my strategy to folks....you need to have a basic plan of eating....what needs to be consumed right away and what you can take home, something that might even taste better later. You have to approach things with a rather balanced approach....you can't be like PeterL, who tasted a beef roll for the first time and just went after it,even when I told him we'd be getting another; possibly an even better version later.....which of course, he was too full to eat, along with the Xiao Long Bao, Shenjian Bao, etc, etc.... Just because he got greedy.
A recent, really fun roadtrip is a good example of the fun we have. We did a good deal of shopping in between meals and the Missus and I had a blast....and lots of left-overs to boot. I won't delve too much into the food since these are places I've posted on at least twice before.
Song Long - Cha Ca Thang Long for breakfast:
So this is enough for the two of us.........
As I've mentioned in previous posts, this place has become a favorite of the Missus. They open early; we hit them up at just after 9am and the place was empty. For some reason the Missus really likes the Banh Trand Me here and will eat it up before the Cha Ca arrives.
We like this version of cha ca thang long.....but it really won't keep so we had this for breakfast.
The one thing being that the mam nem is the gift that keeps on giving....as in every time you burp, you'll be reminded of what you had for breakfast....until lunch of course.
Song Long Restaurant
9361 Bolsa Ave Suite 108
Westminster, CA 92683
Tasty Noodle House - for my favorite Tianjin Baozi:
So, in my mind jiaozi, xiao long bao, and to a certain extent shenjian bao will not keep. Baozi is kinda iffy; it won't be quite as good, but can be passable. For me; the version at Tasty Noodle House is my current favorite. After going about taking care of shopping and stuff we made it to this part of San Gabriel....even with all the detours and road closures by 11am. It's a tiny restaurant, so it can get filled quite quickly.
For me, the item here is the Tianjin Baozi....but the Missus felt guilty about just ordering one item for the both of us, so we started with some Fried Intestine....hey, who doesn't love fried intestine?
Somewhere between 2006 and 2009, I really developed a taste for deep fried pork rectum...to the point that the Missus says when I die, I'll be headed to the "giant chitlin in the sky". These were crisp and easy to eat; though I'm not a big fan of dipping it into hoisin sauce.
There's something wonderfully yeasty about these that just takes me back to China. The bun is light and not too sweet; there's just a bit more than a smear of meat but it is also very light.....there's a nice ginger flavor that comes through which really refreshes the palate.
Tasty Noodle House
827 W Las Tunas Dr
San Gabriel, CA 91776
When we start thinking in terms of "what's next", it's items that can either: keep real well, or have really assertive flavors. On this trip it meant.....
Hunan Chilli King - almost five years later:
It's been a while since we'd been here.......this is where I first understood what the term "big spicy" really meant. I also remember getting "maced" by the leftovers that I heated in the microwave. I'd been craving spicy food recently; the Sichuan in San Diego is quite timid and doesn't cut it, so it was time to return.
We started with the basic "three steamed meats".....
See the chili seeds? This was kind of spicy and was what we called a two out of three...the smoked pork (la rou) was excellent; the chicken (how lamented that they don't seem to serve duck anymore) was good, but the fish was really hard and chewy.....it was actually better then next day.
The one dish we were wondering about is a favorite of the Missus. It was a dish simply called "steamed eggplant" on the menu, but was so good that I've made this a couple of times. It has not quite reached the heights of the dish as made at Hunan Chill King though. However, it had been quite a while since we had it and wondered if it had withstood the test of time.
Well, it has....though it wasn't quite as salty as we recalled. It was also really spicy when we had the leftovers the next day.....still a great dish though.
As a bonus; we got our fun "San Gabriel sign" fix here as well.
Hunan Chilli King
524 East Valley Boulevard
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Shufeng Garden - my take-out go to joint:
There are basically two dishes I get from here....and perhaps some Liang Cai (cold dishes), we really need to stop by for a sit down meal again someday, but it's always the situation of "so many places to try....so little time".
Anyway, for us it's the Tea Smoked Duck:
And the Sliced Pork with Garlic Sauce.
This makes for some really good take-out....though I think Sammy may disagree.......
I guess he doesn't have quite the same taste in spicy foods as we do!
18459 Colima Road
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
Thanks for reading!