Thursday, January 08, 2004

Question for Reader (or reader's)

I got around to looking at the latest issue of the Reader. Every week, the Reader lists about 20 or so places around a theme, with the pity comments of their reporters. This week's summaries, Uptown. I was highly surprised when Palace of China got called "strictly Szechuan Chinese."

C'mon guys, true? Last time I checked this place out, it was a rather traditional Cantonese place: salt and pepper shrimps, steamed fish, whole crabs and lobsters from a tank, that kind of stuff. Is my memory off or does the Reader need a fact checker?

For an idea of what strictly Szechuan means, I suggest perhaps the Reader's editors make a visit to Lao Sze Chuan or maybe the newly opened Sky in Chinatown. The other day the Sun Times' Pat Bruno stated matter of factly that "I have seen an erosion of quality Chinese food in too many of the restaurants in Chinatown (one exception is Phoenix, which is still the best dim sum and then some restaurant around)." I got to wonder do these critics actually eat in Chinatown or Argyle or do they just not know what Chinese food is?

UPDATE: Two quick things. First, since I wrote this on Thursday morning, you should know I was talking, really, already, about LAST week's Reader. Second, it got worse when I looked at it some more. The same restaurant list in last week's Reader, has Cantonese, Silver Seafood as "Mandarian." Hard to elevate the Chinese food discourse in this city if we hardly know what Chinese food is.

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