Q: According to the Jewish calendar, the year is 5771. According to the Chinese calendar, the year is 4707. What do Jews call the 1,064 years without Chinese food? A: The Dark Ages
As that joke is an undeniable fact, it does beg the question: Do Chinese people love latkas??? While we all ponder who in this world does not love those little fried potato pancakes, I find myself riverside in Sandy Springs. Peter Chang, the mercurial wokman, is back with his crack. As a consequence, I’m eating my traditional Christmas Day meal of Chinese food while in the capable hands of Sir Chang.
But before we get to the end, let’s start at the beginning. Any commentary on Peter Chang MUST mention his time at Tasty China and a few other places. Now that that’s out of the way … let’s get to the good stuff!
Now that that is out of the way, y’all should check out Eat It Atlanta’s recent trip with the Legend to Tasty China in Smyrna/Marietta. It was one impressive looking meal that was worthy of The Legend’s birthday (as denoted by the video above). Of Particular note, PC himself was back in the kitchen. Alright y’all, gotta go grab some lunch. Back soon to write you up some stuff to look at.
Right now, there are a bevy of national food media peeps cavorting around our city. In the midst of this, news of Peter Chang’s return to Atlanta has turned food enthusiasts from here to New England inside out and upside down. It seems that there’s a bit of a “Where’s Waldo?” game going on. Luckily, I had the chance to get my hands dirty and see what was what. As dumb luck would have it, today I made a quasi-planned lunch trip over to Tasty China, the epicenter of all this bru-ha-ha.
Peter Chang was absolutely there and in the flesh. However, reports of Chang’s permanent return to Atlanta seem a bit premature at this juncture. In fact, I’m not entirely sure he is even in the kitchen at TC. While the food today was freakin’ delish, I didn’t actually see The Sichuan Don until after I had consumed a good bit of the food in front of me. He didn’t appear to be in cooking mode … so who knows? It’s possible he had just arrived when we showed up right around noon. According to the elusive man himself, he’s just in town for a few days on a little vacation and his return to Virginia is imminent. [UPDATE: PC did cook our meal today, however, there is no guarantee that he will be in the kitchen more than one or more days].
What all this essentially equates to is a hodgepodge of unconformable rumors. In the world of print media – nothing merits a mention in print because it’s apparent that nobody is 100%. A couple of members of Atlanta’s food media made a trip over to TC just a few hours after me, so we’ll have to wait with bated breath to see if any of this actually adds up to anything. So again … here’s what we know:
Peter Chang is in town
Peter Chang is spending time at Tasty China
Peter Chang may or may not be is cooking at Tasty China, but only for a short while (possibly just a day)
Peter Chang is not back for good … but may be shortly.
And with that – here’s some lame excuse for food porn:
The pork meatball in clay pot was a kick ass adventure in glass noodles, flavorful broth, and juicy pork. Meanwhile, the Dan Dan noodles remain the best in the city!
Peter Chang is easily the most talked about Chinese chef over the past few years to plant a flag in Atlanta. His work is a thing of legend and is the single biggest reason Tasty China caught the attention of so many Chinese food fanatics (myself included). According to Tom Maicon of Atlanta Cuisine, Chang is back with a vengeance.
After departing our fare city for Nashville, and after a short stay in West [Note To Self: Richmond is not in West Virginia] Virginia (from what I hear), Maicon has confirmed that Chang is back in the Dirty South. In the short term, PC is setting up shop at TC. However, Tasty China owner Dahe Yang plans to open a new restaurant with Chang somewhere in Sandy Springs.
Apparently, Phuong has mysteriously gone missing from Tasty China. Two weeks ago, I was told she was out sick. Didn’t think much of it… until I read this in my twitter feed. So is she gone for good? Boy I hope not. I will see if we can get to the bottom of this.
A friend of mine was asking me for advice on where to go for her birthday. I realized by the time we were done … that was good fodder for a post. This is by no means an attempt to offer up a “definitive” list of party grub in the Dirty. Rather, here are just a few spots that seem to work well for when you want to hang with your crew. The focus here isn’t as much on the food as it is on the experience. That said, *most* of these offer up serviceable grub. The list after the jump!
If you don’t know any better – take a clue from the fish tank that sits in the front entrance way – this place is the real deal. That’s not just for decoration people – they use those suckers! Last week, I returned to Tasty China (twice in fact) for my first meals there in approximately six-months. Not much has changed – and thank god! It’s in a dumpy little strip center in Marietta (across from what looks like a building that was fire bombed), but the restaurant has that very comfortable sort of feeling. The interior is washed in red and gold, very apropos. It’s a good sized spot – a bunch of booths and even more tables. In fact, you know this place will do you right if you bring a group – I think there are at least four tables with lazy susans (and maybe more than that).