Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Teahouse surprise

I've heard more than a few reputable sources tell me the Chinese place up the street from my office is surprisingly good, but I rarely venture out of my office during the day, much less cross the highway for a meal. When I'm coming or going from work, I'm trying to get to or from my home in Minneapolis as fast as possible, not sample the local cuisine in Plymouth, MN. One recent night, I decided to work late, so I took a dinner break to try out The Teahouse.

The best Chinese places have the humblest of exteriors, so this unassuming strip-center resident, across a parking lot from a fading multiplex theater, looked promising. I was offered 2 menus to peruse - an authentic Sichuan menu and a "regular" menu - read "nothing we'd really eat in China, or anywhere else except in a "Chinese" restaurant in America, but if you want it, we've got it!" I opted to try the Chun King Spicy Shrimp from the Sichuan menu with a starter of egg drop soup.

The soup was solid and thick with egg and the broth appropriately just short of custard-like in its thickness. The shrimp was lightly battered and sat on a thin sauce loaded with chile peppers and garlic. The eating experience was an exquisite sinus clearing affair. Dining alone takes away the embarrassment of frequent nose-blowing, but left me bummed I couldn't share this with someone (or better yet try another dish to get my mouth on more of the Teahouse delights. I think I've found a reason to try to get out for lunch more often.

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