Asiatic in today’s Politically Correct society is probably not acceptable, but it is a word that I remember from the great theatrical play and then film called “Mr. Roberts” starring Henry Fonda. It is just a word that has kind of found a hiding spot in some recess of my brain and keeps other words from getting a toehold in my gray matter. Over the years I have written many times that I do not usually go to Asian restaurants, because of the heavy reliance on Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), a food enhancer, that makes me ill, it is also a reason that I seldom eat at weddings, because so many caterers use it as well, and this always drives my Bride crazy; of course there are plenty of things that I do that can drive her crazy. Well to her credit, she has found a couple of restaurants that do not use MSG, and I will go along, though it is not in the realm of my comfort food. With Ms. Yoga in town, I met the two of them in the afternoon, after they had gone shopping at P.F. Chang’s. In the 1960’s Cecilia Chiang had two restaurants, and the second one was in Beverly Hills, California and it was successful. Her son Philip took over the administration of the business and continued with success. The first one in Los Angeles was called Mandarette and the newer one was called Mandarin. Mandarette was a special treat for an Arizona restauranteur named Paul Fleming and he and Philip Chiang created a new restaurant called P.F. Chang’s in 1993 and today there is over three-hundred restaurants across the United States and in twenty-five countries around the globe. The wok is the star in the kitchen, but the food is all fresh and their credo is “Farm to Wok.”
We were ordering all sorts of food, and I guess before America was doing Tapas, they were doing Chinese food sharing, as it seems that sharing is the norm. The other thing that really gets my Bride excited, is that she can show the world that she can use chop sticks, and don’t look at me, as I prefer a knife, fork and spoon. The first dish that I will mention was an appetizer plate, as they didn’t offer it as an entrée, but I did share, and that was Rick’s Northern-Style Spare Ribs dry rubbed with Chang’s five-spice seasoning. There was an order of Hand-folded Crab Wontons with a creamy crab filling, bell pepper and green onions. Orange Peel Shrimp with a Hunan chili sauce and fresh orange slices, which I have to admit tasted better than it sounds. Miso Glazed Grilled Salmon with Asian mushrooms, wok-seared spinach, bok choy and garlic-ginger aromatics along with sides of Shrimp-fried rice and brown rice. There was enough food to satisfy the three of us.
I can assure you, that we also had a bottle of wine to quench our thirsts, and we knew that there really was an unlimited supply at home afterwards, in case anyone was still thirsty. The P.F. part of the association assured that there would be some interesting popular priced wines. We started with Bodegas Fillaboa Albarino 2013 from Rias Baixas DO in the Galicia region of Spain. Rias Baixas is a relatively new DO in Spain as it was granted in 1988 and it focuses on Albarino. Bodegas Fillaboa is one of the oldest estates in Galicia and they have seventy-four hectares devoted to Albarino in twelve separate plots. Bodegas Fillaboa also produces liquors based on their Albarino that has been converted and distilled into three different brandies. The wine had a pretty golden color with a good nose and complimented the assorted foods on the table. It is always fun to go out, and I am trying to expand what I eat, the exploring new wines is the easy part.