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Restaurants & Bars

Athens, Georgia: Peking Restaurant (East Side)

Liana Krissoff | May 12, 201004:54 AM     4

Real Chinese in Athens at last! See Hillary's 5/12 review: http://flagpole.com/Weekly/GrubNotes

We've been to this place a lot since we moved to a house nearby a month and a half ago, and I've been working my way through the Chinese menu. In addition to Hillary's assessment of the dishes mentioned in the review, I can report that the Szechuan kung pao dishes from the orange menu are excellent, though each time we've ordered them they've been a little different. The dan dan noodles are not hand-pulled, but are otherwise just right (hey, it's Athens Chinese, I'll take it!). And the stir-fried Chinese broccoli and the cold asparagus were perfect: simple, crisp, just barely tender and bright green, with lots of garlic and a little ginger. I've seen Asian people eating big platters of sautéed pea shoots there recently, but when I asked about them they said they didn't have any that day. And although scallion pancakes are on the menu (the regular Am-Chinese one) they say they no longer make them—darn it.

Oh, and I'll also add that if you want something really great, ask for the beef with sour long beans to be made extra-extra-spicy. If you close your eyes and pretend the beef is minced pork, it's just like the "minced pork w. sour string beans" you can order at Grand Szechuan International in Manhattan—from the "Mao's Home Cooking" section of the menu. I've been looking for a reasonably local version of this dish for about 8 years, and finally here it is. The cold beef and tendon dish is also very similar to one I enjoyed many times at GSI, although my palate is not sensitive enough to have discerned much ma la—not much numbing, mostly just spicy and very tasty. (Is this dish made with some sort of air-dried beef, by the way?)

Anyway, Athenians: definitely check this out. It's the first good Chinese I've had in town.

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