After reading Jim Leff's praise of Ping's New Year's menu, following that of Eric R., I went there this evening, hoping that the New Year's menu would still be offered. When I got there, I was given two menus, one bound in black leather (or imitation leather) and one in a clear plastic binder. It was this latter menu that had all the dishes Jim and Eric mentioned that I remembered to look for, so presumably it's the one they're talking about. But it's the same menu I had received on my earlier visits to Ping's in January, when I had assumed it was the regular "specials" menu. Is it in fact a New Year's menu? If so, does this mean that on some future visit to Ping's I will be given only the leather bound menu, which is the one with all the standard "American Chinese food" items? (Although the leather bound menu does have some more unusual dishes, it's the plastic bound menu that stands out in this regard.)
In any case, the food was as good as on my previous visits. The sizzling ribs were very good, although I still prefer the "Pings Famous Dish" I had on my first visit. But even better were the fried crispy pig intestines. These were nothing like tripe (and not actually crispy); essentially they were bisected tubes of reddish-colored fat, with a thin layer of tender skin attached, and served with a thin, sweet dipping sauce. I don't know what other ingredients were used to flavor them, but they were absolutely scrumptious. (They were best eaten as soon as they were served, when they were hot). If chitterlings are anything like this, I've been missing a lot.