When I was a child, country-style chicken and dumplings wasn’t a thing in my citified family, but I wanted them to be. I would read about dumplings in children’s books and dream of tasting these succulent-sounding goodies.
“You wouldn’t like them,” my mother said, declining to make some for the family table.
Eventually I got to try some, and sure enough, Mom was right as usual. Thick rectangles of flabby dough, floating in chicken stew? Meh.
But that was before most folks in these parts knew of Chinese dumplings. Continue reading Soup dumplings? Soup in dumplings wins at The Joy Luck
I love Chinese food, and I’ve loved it since I was a little boy, when the only places you could get it in Louisville were the old Hoe Kow — then at Bowman Field, gone for years — and the sibling eateries House of Chen in Shively and Oriental House in St. Matthews. Only the last remains, and Grandma and Grandpa would probably recognize only part of its 21st century menu.
After all, back in those days when the Beatles and the Stones and Dylan were new, so was Chinese food. Well, not to the Chinese, who’ve been eating it for millennia, but certainly to folks in Louisville who were suspicious. Continue reading Don’t expect ‘authentic,’ but the apps satisfy at PF Chang’s
We rolled up to our destination in the gathering darkness, and I found a parking spot at the curb out front. I turned, looked up, and … wow! This looks just like our old neighborhood in New York City! It’s a sturdy, three-story block of brick, not brownstone — visualize Queens, not Greenwich Village — with cozy lights in apartment windows on the upper floors, and busy storefronts opening on the street: a meat market, an Italian gelato shop and a family-run Chinese eatery.
Continue reading Tea Station’s simple pleasures warm the heart and tummy
It didn’t seem obvious at the time, but looking back on it now, it’s clear that Louisville’s affection for gourmet-style and ethnic food skyrocketed when the first wave of Baby Boomers grew up. It must have been the middle 1970s when we suddenly realized that it wasn’t necessary to keep all our food from touching on the plate, and that there were more exciting things to eat than Mom’s steak and potatoes and tunafish casserole.
Continue reading Szechwan, Sichuan, hot or mild, Jasmine is fine
“I went to Oriental House for lunch the other day, and we had a really good Chinese meal that didn’t cost us an arm and a leg.” This statement would have been perfectly grammatical, and factual, in 1960, and it still is.
Continue reading Top-notch Chinese a tradition at Oriental House
Think back to the days when Oriental House was new. One of the first Chinese restaurants in Louisville, it’s getting on toward 50 years old now. St. Matthews was just starting to sprawl when Oriental House settled in to its colorful quarters on Shelbyville Road back in the ’60s. The St. Matthews mall still had that new-mall smell, the Watterson Expressway had just inched around to US 60, and there were still plenty of potato fields around.
Continue reading Oriental House looks mighty good for its age