Grand Central Market was no doubt a beautiful place, but often inspiration can be found from stepping out of your comfort zone. Maybe this night was about setting my senses ablaze. Or at least the epidermis of my tongue.
In a sea of NY restaurants, this place is a great find. It was introduced to me by some friends and I felt it was time to pass on the recommendation. Don't come here for the hipster vibe or romantic ambiance. The decor is an unassuming Chinese restaurant.
Ready with our rumbling stomachs and tall glasses of water, I asked my girl friend, Janice, how adventurous she felt. Tolerance for spicy food was already a given. Why?, she asks me. Because the tripe and oxtail is fantastic! And yes, it is served cold. Did I mention it is fantastic?
If you have never eaten tripe before, I know the kind of reservations you are experiencing. Stomach lining. Enough said. However, chances are you have all too often already eaten something that would sound just as gross if someone took the time to explain it to you. Think hot dogs.
The first time (and admittedly the only other time) I had tripe was at an engagement dinner in a restaurant in the Italian countryside. It was Tripa alla Romana and this place was the place to have it. The dish was passed around the table along with freshly made pasta entree`s and mouth-watering charcuterie. Although everything else was delicious, the tripe left an unpleasant aftertaste that I couldn't get past. However, as a rule of thumb, I think each gastronomic adventure deserves more than one shot before being stricken from the list of what you would order off a menu. I would even say more than two or three. Did I get on this soap box and relay these thoughts to Janice at dinner, I wonder? Maybe that was when her expression stiffened and she replied "I'll try some of yours." Let me record this and set it free into the Internet universe: she ate half. That's the spirit!
Some other things you should try at Grand Sichuan NY:
|Clams in Black Bean Sauce|
|Green Beans and Duck|