Have you ever seen the episode of Seinfeld where George thinks his parents are avoiding him? After they abruptly hang up the phone on him and make the excuse that their Chinese food had arrived, George gets suspicious. The next day, he sneaks around their house and discovers a distinct lack of leftovers in the fridge, apparently proving his suspicions correct. While recounting the experience with Jerry he says that he knew that were avoiding him because "Where there's Chinese food, there's Chinese food leftovers!!" This was one of the few moments in Seinfeld where I didn't really get the joke...until now.
Feeling adventurous after a thrill-a-minute day of right-angle trigonometry and vector math, I knew it would be difficult to keep my heart rate at such a high level, so I decided I would order something that I had never even heard of and give it a shot. Enter the Dragon...Bowl, that is. Yeah, so there's this Chinese place here called The Dragon Bowl and I figured if there's any place I could get something I couldn't pronounce, this would be the spot. After asking for a takeout menu and browsing for a few minutes, I knew two things for certain: first of all, I had no idea what most of that stuff was, and second, I refused to get my usual side order of fries(my "security blanket"). Eventually, I settled on "beef foo young" and "deep fried wontons", sat down, and had a staring contest with the giant pink fish in the aquarium while I waited.
Now, I had(and still have) absolutely no idea what the heck I ordered, so when I got back to the hotel, it was like unwrapping a Christmas gift. Except after you open a Christmas gift you usually know what you're looking at. Take a look at the picture at the bottom of this entry. Using my advanced, Batman-like powers of deduction, I figured that the item on the left was the deep fried wontons, and by process of elimination, the beef foo young was on the right. There was also some kind of red sauce, which was pretty good, too.
Anyway, the wonton things were kind of like nachos..I might be waaaay off, but it seemed like some sort of deep fried flat bread or something. Very crunchy, and more like something I'd eat as a snack while watching a hockey game, rather than as a meal. Also, and maybe they're supposed to be this way, but they were a little bland, although dipping them in that red stuff fixed that little problem.
As for the beef foo young, it was nothing like I expected. I envisioned some sort of stir-fry type of thing, but when I opened it, it seemed like a bowl with some kind of crust on top(like the delicious mushroom soup I had at a fundraiser with Jenn several months back). I quickly discovered, however, that there were several layers of this crust. In fact, the entire dish was like a stack of pancakes that were stuffed with random things like noodles, vegetables, and of course, beef. At first glance, it seemed like a rather unappetizing combination of breakfast and dinner, but it all blended well. In fact, I couldn't taste any single ingredient above any others, it was more like a food harmony. Definitely something I'd be willing to try at other Chinese places, so I could actually have a point of reference.
Oh, getting back to the little Seinfeld anecdote, I was utterly shocked at how quickly this stuff filled me up. I mean, it's not like it's a huge portion...and anybody who has seen me eat pizza and garlic fingers knows how much I can pack away when I'm hungry, but holy crap, I could barely eat half of this before I felt 30 pounds heavier. Looks like George was right about the leftovers(and about his parents, incidentally, who actually *were* avoiding him). Good old TV, it's never led me astray!