Red Pepperi is back, and The Commodore and I couldn't be happier. After a few months in limbo, where the original owners sold, and it became half Brazilian, and then wallowed around looking for a new business plan, we started going again about three weeks ago.
Three take-out orders that were actually very high quality, even tho they were for Moo Shi, and noodles with chili sauce. Now, I know better than to judge a Sichuan restaurant by its Moo Shi, but this was REALLY good. A little unorthodox, because it had some shredded pea pods mixed in, but all the real stuff was there; they used Napa cabbage, which gave it a lot of fresh flavor and texture, and all the traditional dried ingredients. It was a few bucks more than other choices in town, but so superior that even the normally frugal TC went back and got some on his own.
Last night we went for a sit down dinner, as a treat after I stood on my feet all day serving Mediterranean appetizers to 200 of my closest friends.
The place was brightly lit, vibrant, and full of Chinese (ALL) families and couples, talking, laughing, eating, enjoying. A few kids were running around, for which the hostess immediately came over and apologized. No problem, we felt right at home immediately.
I had been jonesing for Fish Fillets in Chili Oil, and had to try theirs for my main. A little less pool of oil than the usual, and less handsful of dried chilis on top, but lots of fish, lots of flavor, and lots of heat. The Napa Cabbage, tender, and cut into pieces, was buried under the fish.TC got Mongolian Beef, ("If it's good enough for Genghis Khan, it's good enough for me!") which he requested wimpified. No problem. Untrathin slices of well-marinated beef, the tough, but flavorful cut they used was rendered tender and just slightly toothsome by the cooking technique, and had, according to TC "Perfectly cooked onions" and fresh scallions.
In their only glitch, service was such that our delicious scallion pancake (second to Taiwan Cafe, but excellent nontheless) came out with my entree, and our cold dish of Three threads Salad (Seaweed, glass noodles and shredded pea pods) came out after everything else. Oh well...
Lots more dishes to try on the menu, a whole section of poached dishes in chili oil, a whole section of hot pots, and a whole section of dishes with preserved peppers. One menu special listed duck with some kind of tofu made of newt powder, if I can credit the translation of the hostess. She had been consulting the Googles for ingredient translations, and seemed to have copied down some of the Latin.
So, I'm lovin' this place again, and I'm really happy to have it around, for Saturday nights in Framingham.
ETA: I forget it was Red PEPPER, I obviously had chilis on the brain!