Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Frisco Road Trip, Pt. 7: Choosing Chinese
We were walking through our new neighborhood...yes, we called it ours even if it was only for a few days...in the early evening and came upon a throng of people nearly blocking the sidewalk outside a small storefront. Edging past, we looked in and saw throngs of diners, nearly all Asian, slurping and laughing and chatting as white-shirted waiters hoisted large trays full of delicious-looking food through the crowd.
"We're having dinner here tonight," I said to Dave. And after a quick martini back at the apartment, we found ourselves sharing a large table with four other diners in the spare but also somehow festive dining room at San Tung Chinese Restaurant.
I'd done a little research while sipping my martini and found that the dry-fried chicken wings there were considered among the best in town. And since chicken wings have figured so prominently on our summer table, we ordered those while we perused the several-page menu.
The Colonel may have coined the phrase "finger-lickin' good" but the grease dripping off his digits had nothing on these sweet and slightly spicy flappers with plenty of garlic and crunch. With these (literally) under our belts, we dove in and ordered the dry-fried green beans, tea-smoked duck and some shrimp-leek dumplings.
The delightful little packets that arrived at our table were perfect envelopes for the fresh flavor of the shredded leeks, and the toothy bite of the luscious bits of chopped shrimp made the soy dipping sauce (almost) unnecessary. The beans were the only disappointment, being merely good versions of this ubiquitous dish, but the arrival of the tea-smoked duck made us forget any shortcomings.
With the instruction from our waiter to "Make sandwich!" we tore off bits of juicy meat from the bone and put it between the rolls. The meat-meets-sweet of the little rolls and juicy duck with its toasted-tea smokiness made for an unexpectedly lush mouthful.
And despite our best effort to finish off all the food we'd ordered, and even sharing some with our tablemates, there was plenty to take away for later.
Details: San Tung Chinese Restaurant, 1031 Irving St., San Francisco, CA. Phone 415-242-0828.
Read the other posts in this series: Getting There, Paying Our Respects, Resting in Redding, Schmoozing in Sacto, Home Away from Home, Off on the Right Foot, The Ferry and the Hog, The Point of It All, and The Last Meal.