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Restaurants & Bars 3

Delicious sandwich at Spring World

Adam Stephanides | Mar 31, 200202:59 PM

I was up in Chicago last week and ate once again at Spring World, my favorite Chinese restaurant in Chicago (at the Chinatown Square Mall at Cermak and Archer). The highlight this time was a delicious sandwich, which the menu misleadingly denotes "Beef and Maw Szechuan Style Cake." Either the chef or the manager was concerned enough to come out and make sure I realized that I was ordering maw. I'm not sure what they were so apprehensive about--I don't think there's anything about the taste or texture to disturb Western palates, and if I'd been given the sandwich without being told what was in it, it wouldn't have occurred to me that there was anything exotic about it.

In any case, the "cakes" (two of them) turned out to be fried buns sliced in half, but not quite (a bit like pitas), stuffed with sliced beef and maw and an oily red sauce, which I would guess was chili oil, with bits of green herbs. The maw was white, and somewhat coarser than the beef, but didn't stand out in taste. The whole thing was delicious, and would make a good light lunch on its own (it's listed on the menu under "snacks" and doesn't cost more than four or five dollars, iirc).

For my entree, I had the "Hang Tashan" Assorted Delicacies. I ordered this under the impression that my waitress, who didn't speak English very well, had said it was five different vegetables, but it turned out to be primarily meat. It was five different cold dishes on the same plate. There were three types of sliced meat: roast beef; what I would guess was beef or port tongue; and what I think was roast pork. All were served plain, without any sauce or accompaniment. There was fried sliced tofu, again served plain. And in the center there was cubed meat of some kind, in a spicy, oily sauce. It was good, particularly the tofu and the cubed meat, but once again the appetizer was the best part of the meal.

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