Taste of China Part Deux + Wild Wings Cafe

18 04 2010

Readers, you get a special treat today. Two back-to-back restaurants!

Yesterday night, Chris’ parents and his sister came to visit him. We went out to eat at Taste of China. When we arrived at the restaurant, it was jammed packed with people and we had to take a number. About 10 minutes passed and we were seated at a really big table meant for 8-9 people. Most of the waiters looked stressed, walking briskly around trying to take everyone’s orders and bring around dishes and drinks.

Our selections:

  • Hot appetizer: 3 scallion bubble pancakes (葱油泡饼).
  • Hot appetizer: Hot & Spicy Beef Rolls (麻辣牛肉卷).
  • Cold dish: Sliced beef and beef tripe with hot pepper sauce (夫妻肺片).
  • Chef’s Special (Entrée): Roast fish with green onion (竹塔烤鱼片), which is fried fish sautéed with onion and chili powder and ground cumin.
  • Meats: Braised beef with tomato in hot pot (蕃茄牛腩锅)
  • Entrée: Braised beef fillets with chili sauce (成都水煮牛).
  • Veggies: Oilseed Rape (油菜).

The food was delicious. We also got a big tub of rice, which helped with the spiciness. I especially liked…everything! But in particular, I enjoyed the sliced beef and beef tripe with hot pepper sauce, the roast fish, the braised beef with tomato and the braised beef fillets in chili sauce (so essentially, everything!). The oilseed rape was good too, and so were the scallion pancakes. We ate most of the food, and only the oilseed rape, braised beef fillets in chili sauce and a very small portion of rice were left. We boxed our leftovers and Chris’ parents gave them to us.

Scallion pancakes

Sliced beef and beef tripe with hot pepper sauce

Hot & Spicy Beef Rolls

Braised beef with tomato in hot pot

Roast fish with green onion

Braised beef fillets with chili sauce

Hmm, doesn’t everything look so appetizing? Very good food in very good company :)

Today, Chris and I went to Wild Wings Cafe. The restaurant is located right next to the Amtrak station, on West Main Street, towards downtown Charlottesville. I must comment, the parking lot is super bumpy and not at all paved. When we went into the restaurant, initially we were going to be seated upstairs, but the hostess discovered there were no seats left, so we were seated in a booth downstairs. Our menus were handed to us, and Chris and I began looking at the menu of this highly popular restaurant, which we never set foot in until today.

Our selections:

  • Appetizer: Steel Town Spuds (a generous portion of Big Fat Fries or crispy Buffalo Chips covered with ranch dressing, bacon, scallions & melted cheese) – we chose the Big Fat Fries!
  • Main course: 25 piece sampler, 5 flavors (Jalapeño cheddar, the Slayer (hot garlic wings), Ragin’ Cajun, honey mustard, Flaming Parmesan). All the wings were served with celery and homemade bleu cheese or ranch dipping sauce. We asked for both sauces.

These wings were super yummy! I especially liked the Slayer and honey mustard. Chris’ favorite was the Flaming Parmesan. Unfortunately, we forgot the camera back in the dorms, so there are no pictures of these fantastic wings :( However, we really like Wild Wings Cafe! Can’t wait to go back someday!

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Taste of China

4 04 2010

Happy Easter!

Warning: Reading this post while hungry might send you straight to the fridge/freezer/telephone.

On Friday, I made spaghetti for dinner! Quite simple; we had a bag of Italian capellini pasta and a bottle of organic tomato and basil sauce. I heated up some ground meat first in the pot, and then added the tomato sauce in. Stirred in some more basil leaves and a splash of pepper. Then, I remembered that we had some leftover baby bella mushrooms in the fridge, so I chopped the remaining mushies and added them to the sauce as well. In our rice cooker (creative, n’est pas?), I heated up some water and put the pasta in there to cook. As we didn’t have another pot for the pasta to cook in, we usually use the rice cooker. One has to be a bit inventive in college dorms.

Making spaghetti

Chris' bowl of spaghetti

The spaghetti was good; Chris gobbled it all up quickly and then went for seconds. He finished it all on Saturday for lunch. I wish I had bought meatballs to school, because they would have made the spaghetti tastier.

Saturday night, Chris and I went to Taste of China (川娃) for dinner. He had been there before with some people from our hall, and said it was really good. The restaurant is in this semi-remote shopping center, where the biggest attraction is the Outback Steakhouse. Next to the restaurant was an insurance company o.O But there were plenty of people inside the restaurant, all munching happily on authentic Chinese cuisine. Chris and I were seated by the window, and we took awhile to glance over the menu.

Our selections:

  • Hot appetizer: 3 scallion bubble pancakes (葱油泡饼). Cost: $5.50.
  • Chef’s Special (Entrée): Roast fish with green onion (竹塔烤鱼片), which is fried fish sautéed with onion and chili powder and ground cumin. Cost: $14.50.
  • Entrée: Braised beef fillets with chili sauce (成都水煮牛). Cost: $12.50.
  • Veggie: Pea shoots sautéed with Chinese green vegetables (豆苗抄青菜). Cost: $8-9 (wasn’t on the menu).

The food arrived, and it looked so yummy I just wanted to gobble it all up right away. But I restrained myself long enough to take pictures of our selections and then, Chris and I started eating. The scallion pancakes were warm and although they looked really big, it was just filled with air, so once you tore open the pancake, the size diminished significantly, leaving behind a crispy and delectable pancake. The braised beef was delicious; not spicy at all in my opinion (though I’m relatively resistant to spicy foods), but the beef was very tender and I loved mixing the sauce with rice; it gave the rice a nice, zingy flavor. The roast fish was really scrumptious; each piece was crunchy and savory. And the pea shoots and green veggies were a healthy and tasty choice.

Pea shoots and Chinese green veggies

Braised beef fillets with chili sauce

Roast fish with green onion

Scallion bubble pancakes

We had to have most of the food bagged up for takeout afterwards, as it was too much for just the two of us to eat in one sitting. But we did finish the scallion pancakes and most of the roast fish. The beef and the pea shoots/green veggies remained in plentiful quantities for today’s leftovers :)

Taste of China was an excellent restaurant! I definitely want to go back sometime. It is perhaps the best, most authentic Chinese restaurant in the Charlottesville area.

As always, bon appetit!