Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Frisco Road Trip, Pt. 7: Choosing Chinese

We were walking through our new neighborhood...yes, we called it ours even if it was only for a few the early evening and came upon a throng of people nearly blocking the sidewalk outside a small storefront. Edging past, we looked in and saw throngs of diners, nearly all Asian, slurping and laughing and chatting as white-shirted waiters hoisted large trays full of delicious-looking food through the crowd.

"We're having dinner here tonight," I said to Dave. And after a quick martini back at the apartment, we found ourselves sharing a large table with four other diners in the spare but also somehow festive dining room at San Tung Chinese Restaurant.

I'd done a little research while sipping my martini and found that the dry-fried chicken wings there were considered among the best in town. And since chicken wings have figured so prominently on our summer table, we ordered those while we perused the several-page menu.

The Colonel may have coined the phrase "finger-lickin' good" but the grease dripping off his digits had nothing on these sweet and slightly spicy flappers with plenty of garlic and crunch. With these (literally) under our belts, we dove in and ordered the dry-fried green beans, tea-smoked duck and some shrimp-leek dumplings.

The delightful little packets that arrived at our table were perfect envelopes for the fresh flavor of the shredded leeks, and the toothy bite of the luscious bits of chopped shrimp made the soy dipping sauce (almost) unnecessary. The beans were the only disappointment, being merely good versions of this ubiquitous dish, but the arrival of the tea-smoked duck made us forget any shortcomings.

With the instruction from our waiter to "Make sandwich!" we tore off bits of juicy meat from the bone and put it between the rolls. The meat-meets-sweet of the little rolls and juicy duck with its toasted-tea smokiness made for an unexpectedly lush mouthful.

And despite our best effort to finish off all the food we'd ordered, and even sharing some with our tablemates, there was plenty to take away for later.

Details: San Tung Chinese Restaurant, 1031 Irving St., San Francisco, CA. Phone 415-242-0828.

Read the other posts in this series: Getting There, Paying Our Respects, Resting in Redding, Schmoozing in Sacto, Home Away from Home, Off on the Right Foot, The Ferry and the Hog, The Point of It All, and The Last Meal. 


Anonymous said... one these days (except maybe outsiders) refer to San Francisco as "Frisco". For those of us who live here, it's an outdated offensive term used for our gay-friendly city.

Kathleen Bauer said...

With apologies to Herb Caen, San Francisco's chronicler-in-chief who wrote the book "Don't Call It Frisco" in 1953, I'm using the term as a tongue-in-cheek reference for one of my favorite cities.

Though the San Francisco Chronicle, in an article a few years back, said the term was making a comeback.

But anti-gay? I kinda doubt it. Anyone else?

Anonymous said...

Making a comeback? Nope.

As another SF resident aptly puts it, "We only ask for one thing in return: never EVER refer to the city as "Frisco." If you want to instantly change a local's opinion of you from good to bad, try using the 'F' word! I don't know why this is the case - it just is. Don't do it!"

It's considered in bad taste to refer to SF as "Frisco". If you do a Google search, you'll see this as well.

Around these parts we refer to San Francisco by its full name, "SF", or simply "The City".

Rebecca, Berkeley

Kathleen Bauer said...

Looks like I've stirred up a virtual hornets' nest! What say the rest of you?

denwanai said...

frisco, smisko - pass those chicken wings!


Kathleen Bauer said...

I am so with you there, sistah!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, not trying to stir up a hornet's nest...just trying to help! ;) But, it doesn't sound like you care if you offend the locals (Portlander opinions aside).

If you want to appear as a simpleton or an outsider (or both), go ahead, keep calling it Frisco!

Rebecca, Berkeley

Anonymous said...

Yikes anonymous from Berkley! Lighten up, take a load off, have a drink, do some breathing excersises....whatever it takes to reeelaaaaax. When you come visit our neck of the woods we won't mind one bit if you decide to call our fair city (oh, there's more than one "City") Stumptown, River City,'s ALL good. :-)

Kathleen Bauer said...

And don't forget Puddletown, or Bush Daddy's "little Beirut."