Headed to Chinatown to relax and focus a little bit before a big day ahead. Was surprised at how different Chinatown is in the early morning: more mellow but at the same time busier, with more of the early-bird Chinese up-and-about. Here are a few quick observations:
*Saw a big sign just around the corner from the el stop for the Richwell Market on Canal just south of 18th. I think that this place has been mentioned before on the board. Anyone been there recently? Apparently it's quite big and there's a Chinese-BBQ house and a Chinese bakery inside. I didn't take down the address but it's 18XX S. Canal.
*We have been trying to piece together what we know about Spring World Szechuanese/Yunnanese. I think the last agreement was that the owners are in fact Yunnanese but that the chef is Szechuanese. Today, I saw an enlarged photocopy of a Chinese newspaper article outside the shop discussing the career of the chef. His name is Chef Chen Ding Kuo (chen of k'eh chen = syllabus, ding of yee ding = surely, kuo = nation) and from what I understand of the article, he has the title of chuan (Szechuan) cai (cuisine) di jong (authentic) ta (grand) ssi (master) and has won some kind of competition in Tokyo. Who knows where that title is from and it could all simply be a blurb but the information might be interesting to pursue. Perhaps we have two Szechuanese masters on that mall in Tony Hu and in Chef Ding...?
*I have already mentioned the Chinatown to Chinatown bus service between Chicago and New York. There is also service from Michigan but the exact city is not indicated. From Chicago $80 ow, $140 rt. Signs are everywhere: check for instance the sign outside San Shing Fookienese.
*Was outside Hing Kee (?) and could not help cracking up once again at the "creative" translations so beloved by VI: "Icy Mountain of 100 Multilateral beef tripe" "Lovebird Fried Rice" "Saliva Chicken" "Piggy Stomach with Tangy Vegetables" It's just too good to be true. They're extra-literal translations: the menu writer must have been using a dictionary and translating word by word.
*The Chiu Chow menu at Shui Wah looks great! I have to come try it one of these nights.
*Has anyone tried Taipei Steak House on Cermak?
*Saw a sign for free Cantonese opera performance at the Chinatown Community Center at 250 W. 22nd. It's at 1 p.m. this Sunday, June 22.
*Also on Sunday at 2 (I think, or 2:30?) is a lecture and booksigning at the Spertus Jewish Museum. It's the launching of a new pictorial history of Maxwell Street. (See Spertus Museum ad in section 1 of last week's eader, p33 I think.) The authors Grove and Kamedulski will be speaking. The admission is I think $12. I don't know if Hammond wants me to reveal this at this point but I think that he and MikeG were able to interview Lori Grove a bit for the Maxwell Street video. I sent out emails to a few people on this board asking if they'd be interested in meeting up but didn't get any responses. Oh, well.