Italian Chinese Food

By Elizabeth Greenberg, Staff Writer

I think this is the first time I’ve ever really disagreed with Jennifer Lee.  She claims in The Fortune Cookie Chronicles that “the only good ethnic cuisine you can get consistently in Rome is Italian.”  I found that to be the case everywhere in Italy but Rome.  There were 3 Chinese restaurants within walking distance of the train station in Rome, and I’m fairly certain I missed a few.  Since I’m never one to miss that kind of opportunity, I dragged my brother to a restaurant on Via Magenta.

It was small, but familiar—there was a “fu dao” hanging on the wall (a Chinese pun intended to bring fortune to a place).  The dishes were likewise small, but the cheapest food I’d acquired in Italy—3.5 Euros a dish, as opposed to the minimum 4 Euros I’d seen for appetizers at Italian restaurants.    All of the waitstaff were Chinese, very friendly, and, much to my gratitude, willing to speak Chinese with me rather than my stumbling Italian.

By The China Insight Restaurant Review Committee

How to cure the dog days of summer, when the vacation has been spent and the Minnesota State Fair is not yet in session? Re-visit a favorite Chinese restaurant, of course. Our committee did just that with an evening at The Tea House. This time we went to the original Tea House in Plymouth.  There are now four locations: Plymouth, St. Paul, Downtown Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota.

We began with the appetizer combination platter, which included egg rolls, fried cheese wontons, chicken wings, pan fried dumplings and teriyaki chicken. This is a very traditional platter; all guests enjoyed the sumptuous items accompanied with sauces.

The myriad snacks available in the capital are not only delicious delights but also offer a taste of history.

By Eric Jou, China Daily, Beijing

Beijing is known for a cornucopia of foods, from Peking Duck to the snacks along Wangfujing snack street, where one can munch such mouthfuls as fried scorpions on a stick.

But Beijing is now taking a leading role in bringing all of China’s snacks and goodeats to the table.


By The China Insight Restaurant Review Committee

For 50 years David and Helen Fong's Minnesota-friendly Cantonese restaurant has been a home away from home for the south metro society. Opening in 1958 as a small carryout operation, Fong's has grown into a landmark with several, all family-owned, locations. With this great presence in the Twin Cities, the China Insight Restaurant Review Committee decided to check out the Fong community and cuisine. The committee recognized that David Fong’s restaurants are neither the latest nor the most authentic cuisine now emerging from China and arriving in the Twin Cities. However, it must be recognized that for a whole group of Minneapolitans, this is what they know and love that comes from China - both the Fong family and the Fong restaurant gastronomy. And there is nothing inauthentic about this successful family with friends and customers that are loyal in their patronage and generous with their praise of this beloved all-American Chinese family.

By The China Insight Restaurant Review Committee

Szechuan 四川 is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu. Grand Szechuan 大四川 is a restaurant in Plymouth, Minn., near the Carlson Company Towers where Highways 494 and 394 intersect. There is also the original Grand Szechuan 大四川, which is in Bloomington at France and Old Shakopee Road.

Our China Insight Restaurant Review Committee visited the Plymouth Grand Szechuan 大四川 recently for Father’s Day dinner. The same as last month, our committee was challenged by logistics, as two committee members showed up at the Bloomington location first. This venue was packed, and it is not a small space. A phone call sent them on their way to Plymouth, which also had business, but was not packed. While waiting for the rest of the group, our committee took comments from customers waiting for take-out or take-away at the Plymouth location.

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CHINAINSIGHT (CI) is published monthly ((except July/August and November/December are combined) by China Insight, Inc., an independent, privately owned company started in 2001 and headquartered in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

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