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Food at movie night
Bar Harbor
Rufinia suggested Chinese, and I'm up for that. The best place that delivers to Melville Keep is The Magic Wok, 617-288-6388 (or -6225). I don't have their menu handy, but they have most of the standards you'd expect.

I want Twice Cooked Pork (possibly known as Chong King Double Cooked Pork). If any one else is up for Peking Ravioli, I'd be interested, but I don't want to eat a whole order of them myself.

What do y'all want?

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*stomach gurgles loudly*

I think I want some moo shi tonight. With extra pancakes, because they always give too little. Chicken, pork or beef are all fine...

I am a big fan of sharing dishes, too, so I'd hopefully get some of the pork, and I'd certainly help you with the ravioli. Not a lot, but some. :)

I should remember to get money before I leave here today.

I'll share my stuff too. Though I'm wary of "Peking Ravioli". I'm feeling General Tso's-ish today.

When are we ordering? I'll try to be there by then so I can take a look at the menu.

One more thing - possibly stupid question, but is Shawmut back in service?

Yeah, it was just for the weekend.

Not a stupid question -- though I would have qualified as stupid if there was an issue that I hadn't let people know about. To the best of my knowledge (and I have numerous spies), Shawmut should be operating as usual. It's certainly worth asking that sort of question for the next year or so...

You might be more familiar with the terms "potsticker" or "dumpling". "Peking Ravioli" is the unusual New England name for this perfectly standard Chinese dish.

Um, I'm not sure we actually *have* a menu in the house. At least, I couldn't find one last time I looked. Should probably ask them to bring one with the food.

They definitely have General (insert-name-here)'s Chicken, though I think the local variant is "Gau". Crab Rangoon is also definitely available.

If it's really a different general's name, it's likely a different dish. Although in this case "Gau" and "Tso" are probably the same guy. I bet you knew that though.

Wish I could come! But Wednesday's is the hubby's school night, though tonight's the final.

I have had at least 4 different (linguistic) variations on General 's Chicken, but they were all clearly the same basic dish. A quick google shows that "Tso" seems the most common, but also turns up "Tsao" and "Tao". "Gau" didn't appear, which makes me suspect it's another case of "New England unique name for Chinese food". Those are all close enough to be either different transliterations or linguistic drift from a single source, though I don't actually know anything about this putative source.

Any chance of you coming over next week for Lion in Winter?

Amazing what you can find on the Web: -- This is a page about the chinese characters you'll see written on menus in restaurants.


There's a long story attached to this one, so I'll tell you what it means first - chicken chunks which have been battered, deep-fried, and then stir-fried with a sauce containing hot peppers.

The actual person was named Zuo Zongtang - General Zuo. "General Tso" is a better way to write this than "General Gau," but they all refer to the same guy. Several sources, including McCawley, compare this gent to General Sherman - he was instrumental and brutal in crushing the Taiping rebels during China's nastiest civil war. Like Sherman, he doesn't seem to have been a success at much of anything else in his life except the military.

The "tang" portion of his name isn't used in this dish - the normal way to write it would just be "zuo zong ji" ("ji" being "chicken"). Furthermore, nearly every menu I've ever seen replaces "zong" with "gong," "public." Not sure why - it's not that much simpler to draw.

I usually try to give you the real character and not the substitute, but PUBLIC is such a useful character, and the substitution is made so often, that I've provided it instead. You can see "zuo," "left," in the menu sample on the next page if you're curious.

It's worth noting that this dish is probably neither very authentic nor very historical, despite the general:

General Tso's Chicken is very much an overseas Chinese dish, filtering the hot, peppery taste of Hunan cuisine, through the sweetening process of Cantonese cooking. Most of the immigrants to America came from coastal regions: Shanghai and Canton. [...]

The details of Tso's life are easy to document. But how the chicken got named for him is another matter. In "Chinese Kitchen" (Morrow, 1999), author Eileen Yin-Fei Lo says that dish is a Hunan classic called "chung ton gai," or "ancestor meeting place chicken."

But to others, General Tso's chicken recipe may be no more ancient than 1972, and may have more in common with Manhattan than with mainland China ....
- The Washington Post, April 2002

Crab rangoon, of course... and I think I'd like to take a look at the menu. I'll be there between 6:15ish and 6:45ish.

I want crab rangoon too! Yum.

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