Monday night’s dinner plans kept getting screwed up for various reasons, which kind of sucked.
The original plan was to get together with my friend Brian and we would make a sweetbreads from a recipe he has from one of his favorite restaurants in New Orleans (I can’t recall the name of the restaurant right now).
I went to my butcher on Saturday. He had every other part of a calf save sweetbreads – and I do mean every other part. I was advised to check back Tuesday or Wednesday, which I may in fact still do, though the urgency is gone and I probably won’t.
Later on Saturday my chef was asking about my plans for my days off, and I told him about the now scrapped plans for a sweetbread dinner. He offered to place an order for me if I could remind him Sunday night – which I did. Midday yesterday my chef texted to inform me that the supplier called and told him that the sweetbreads were unavailable until Tuesday or Wednesday. Sound familiar?
So that left Brian and I with a problem – where and what to eat? My initial idea had been to go to Sun Wah BBQ on Argyle Street. He’s eaten there once based on my recommendation and agreed. Later he tossed out a favorite of his on Broadway, not too far from Sun Wah, called Silver Seafood.
Monday night was a nice night, so I walked to Brian’s house (nearly a two mile walk), and then we walked over to Broadway to catch the bus. We got off and checked out the menu at Silver Seafood, then continued up to Sun Wah because we were both itching to have some bbq.
We got to Sun Wah – both starving by now – only to discover that it’s closed for vacation. So we walked back south to Silver Seafood and got a table.
The waitress seemed amused with us from the start, especially since we couldn’t make up our minds on what to eat. This is a problem for me when I’m starving and the menu has something like 200 items on it. We did know that we wanted beer though, so we started there.
The first two appetizers we ordered were pretty easy – a five spice beef dish and deep fried crab claw. Fortunately we were both in the mood to try something neither of us had ever tried. The duck web caught our attention, but our server informed us that they didn’t have any. I’m not sure whether they really had any or not or she just didn’t want to put up with two white guys trying to order (for us) some weird shit. Well believe it or not neither of us had tried chicken feet, so we agreed on that and were informed that these they did have in stock.
The beef dish was pretty basic and pretty good. The crab claw turned out to be breaded and you used the actual claw as a sort of handle. The sauce for it was good, though the breading seemed unwieldy at times and was amazingly hot.
The chicken feet were good – I’d definitely order them again – but seemed like hell of a lot of effort for not much in the way of sustenance. This dish was all about the sauce as well, which was good. I’m sure there are thousands of different ways of preparing chicken feet, but ours were served cold, which was really refreshing given the temperature and humidity outside.
For our main courses we stuck with more familiar territory. Brian ordered the Mongolian beef while I ordered roast duck ($9.95 for a good chunk of food as well) and some vegetable chow mein (to try at least to make our meal somewhat balanced).
The duck was good (very good in fact), but I had to inform Brian that the duck at Sun Wah is even better – which now has him yearning to go back there and try it out, even though they don’t re-open until the 16th.
After dinner we ended up at the Ginger Man, a bar close to where he lives in Wrigleyville. Unbelievably I’d never been there either, even though I’ve walked by it hundreds of times when we used to live up there. It was a cozy little bar that had tables that made me feel like I was in an elementary school.
All in all we had a great night, even if we didn’t get our first pick.