Okay, lunch isn’t so bad…

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Despite yesterday’s rant about how much I hate lunch, sometimes it is actually the highlight of my day. Last Friday was one such lunch.

A new Chinese bistro has opened in the neighborhood called 888, and the date was 08/08/08, and the Olympics were opening that day in China, so naturally a large group of folks from work, many of them either from China or of Chinese descent, went out for a feast. I was lucky enough to be invited along.

888 specializes in Szechuan style cooking, and it features some of the best examples of the style that I have eaten. Much of the food is quite spicy and is not for the faint of heart, but is very well balanced so that the heat enhances the food instead of burying it.

The food was served family style. This is what we had:

Shredded Pickled Vegetables with Chicken (Pao Cai Ji Si)
Beef with Black Pepper Sauce on Sizzling Plate (Tie Ban Hei Jiao Niu)
Ma Pao Tufu
Tea Smoked Duck (Zhang Cha Ya)
Double Cooked Pork
String Beans with Minced Pork
Home Style Triple Delight (shrimp, chicken and eggplant)
Shredded Potato with Green Pepper (qing jiao tu dou si)
Fish Broiled in Spicy Red Sauce (shui zhu yu)
Szechuan Style Sliced Beef Flank and Beef Tendon (fu qi fei pian)
Mango Chicken
Flaming Beef
Pepper Steak
Duck Tongues

Everything was delicious, and I can’t wait to go back. My only quibble with the place is that they have two menus, and the really good stuff is on the one written in Chinese. I can’t wait to try the tea smoked duck with a glass of something white, crisp, and maybe just a touch sweet.

Thanks to my friend and fellow food adventurer, Chinglan, I got to try duck tongues for the first time. They are very tasty, and beg for a fruit forward Pinot Noir.

So, lunch isn’t really all that bad, but it would have been better with wine or an ice cold beer.