Let’s get this out out of the way. For those of you who don’t know me, if there was a catastrophic planetary die off of all animals on this planet, I would be one of the first humans to die of starvation. That’s right, I am the one of the world’s pickiest eaters. Right after my two youngest children.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love Chinese food. AMERICAN Chinese food. American Chinese food that I can identify the meat products. American Chinese food with identifiable meat products and vegetables that are easily avoided or removed. That pretty much leaves me eating sesame chicken or sweet and sour chicken.
As you can imagine the thought of moving to a city across the planet where the term “silverware” means bamboo chopsticks, mystery meat (because I can’t read the menu) and vegetables are the norm had me TERRIFIED of either starving to death or living on noodles.
With this knowledge you can imagine the fear that gripped me as our hosts came to take us to dinner on our second night in Beijing. We were assured we were going to an authentic local Chinese restaurant as we walked several blocks to dine.
We were greeted by hosts in traditional Chinese attire and seated, and I was handed the menu first. There was an attempt to westernize the menu with English subtitles below some, but not all the items. I perused the usual fare like pig intestine and duck’s blood but simply told our hosts to pick something for me with chicken or beef and no vegetables. Johnny laughed at this because he and I had discussed my limited diet earlier in the day. Combine this with two kids pickier than me and a wife who doesn’t like spicy foods, and we were the ideal guests.
In the end we let them select our dinner, and we were served several dishes to choose from. One was fungus (black mushrooms which appeared pickled and had an interesting crunch), sleeve fish, schezwan chicken, and several dishes that I couldn’t begin to tell you what they were. Stand back dear reader because I TRIED THEM ALL. Ok, I tried all the dishes with mushrooms or meat!
I may have left out the reason for my exploratory culinary mood. I was drinking “Chinese White Wine”. I can tell you it was white, as in clear like vodka and smelled so strongly of pure alcohol that I believe now that I may have found a new fuel source for our vehicles, because when I saw it in the store I realized it was cost effective too.
Between myself and three other gentleman we finished the bottle. They had refills, I did not, and I still felt like I was doing shots at a bachelor party.
But I digress. The food was fantastic, our hosts were spectacular and we all had a great time.
The children? Emily fell asleep on the walk to the restaurant and Braedyn followed suit after his first two bites of noodles.
I can tell you the schezwan chicken and a spicy beef dish that was served cold were amazing. I guess that means I have found at least two dishes I can eat, problem is I don’t know how to order them.
I may starve after all.