Saturday, December 25, 2010

Another Kung Pao Christmas

I absolutely love this time of year. We all get to surround ourselves by those we love the most. Everyone must eat, but the meaning of what, when, how and with whom we eat with are all cultural inventions. In America, the food of ones ethnic group symbolizes tradition and community. Hanukkah came and went to early this year, but I don't mind! In fact I like when Hanukkah does not fall on Christmas. I can not see myself eating Latkes (potato pancakes) on Christmas.
I am Jewish and I celebrate Christmas. I get just as excited about it as anyone else. Like most who celebrate Christmas I surround myself with those I love the most, but my choice of food is Chinese Food. I have to have it either on Christmas Eve or Christmas. I am not sure how this Jewish tradition started but I think it has to do with Chinese food restaurants being just about the only restaurants open on Christmas. Its a tradition I love and cherish and Christmas would not be the same to me with out it. Of course we always end the evening with a Golden Globe nominated movie.
This Christmas Eve I went with some very close family friends of mine who are Jewish as well to eat Chinese Food and see a movie. Normally we would have ventured to the trendy China Max. One of my favorite Chinese Food places. We would of ran into others from "the tribe" and enjoyed our meal but this year I wanted to try someplace different. I wanted a Kung Pao Christmas Adventure.
Some good friends of mine who are foodies and have amazing palates had suggested to me to try Spicy City. It is located in the same shopping center as China Max which was a perfect plan, in case the Spicy menu scared us away. So I took their suggestion and we went. Spicy City was slammed. Every table was filled with families and this place is authentic. There was not another Jew in the place as they for sure were all at China Max. We put our name on the pad of paper and there were 6 ahead of us. We waited 45 minutes and during that time the paper filled up with others waiting behind us for a table. 2 sheets were full of names. I knew Spicy City had to be good. We are all so excited to eat and had the dishes we wanted to order picked out by the time we sat down.
Now just about everything on the menu is spicy. After all Spicy City is the name of the restaurant. On the menu they have 1, 2 or 3 chili's listed next to the name of each menu item to distinguish how spicy the menu item is. There are very few without chili's, but don't worry we found a few. None of us are too crazy about really spicy food and we wanted to be able to eat the food and taste the flavors so we told our waitress we don't want anything to spicy. It was almost as if our waitress new what to expect from us. Most of us from "the tribe" cant handle all that spice but a rare few can. I admire you.
Many of the menu items we picked were suggested to us by my friends and thank god for them. Great suggestions!
We order the Green Beans. I don't know what kind of spice they were mixed with but they were amazing! It was like a sweet browned garlic & soy sauce. Not spicy at all and so flavorful. A favorite for sure. They were cooked to a perfect crisp.The Kung Pao Chicken was so good. It had the perfect amount of spice and the flavors were amazing. Like no other Kung Pao Chicken I have ever had before. None of us dared to eat those spicy red peppers but that didn't effect the dish at all! YUM!Eggplant with Garlic Sauce was my personal favorite. I love Chinese eggplant and this dish was sweet and delicious. Not too spicy at all. I loved it!
The Beef Chow Mein was delightful. So good!
The last dish is the Special Fried Shrimp. The perfect amount of breading and the shrimp cooked to perfection. It was the best fried Shrimp I ever had, but it lacked flavor. It would of been nice with a dipping sauce or something to go with it. After all the flavors we tasted from the other dishes this was bland and mediocre.If you love spicy food this is the spot for you. I was so happy to know that those who don't love spicy food can still partake in amazing Chinese food and Spicy City will make it how you like. No attitude here at all. Spicy City is my new favorite. Goodbye China Max.
After dinner we went to see the movie True Grit. It was a perfect Christmas Eve. Amazing Chinese food followed by an amazing movie with amazing people. I hope you too have a Merry Kung Pao Christmas. Celebrate how you like with those you love the most. That's what this time of year is all about.
Now off to celebrate Christmas Day with my second Family. They are Italian and are serving homemade pasta & lasagna at 2:00 pm. I LOVE Christmas!
Spicy City
4690 convoy street ste 107 san diego ca. 92111

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