When your Taiwanese friend invites you to grab some Taiwanese food, it is wise to listen. Yes, even when that Taiwanese food is all the way in goddamn Allison Park. So we took a long journey out to the suburbs to see what Chow’s had to offer. We found the place sadly empty, but at least it wasn’t full of white people.
I basically allowed my buddy to do all the ordering and what he came up with were some dishes I most certainly wouldn’t have ordered on my own. It began with Sliced Pork Belly with Taiwanese Garlic Sauce. This was a good way to start things out, with the pork belly being fully fatty and warm, and the sauce being the perfect complement to it all. If the rest was going to be like this, we were in for a treat.
Next we had some Pork Over Rice, which isn’t the most creatively named dish in English, but it means oh so much more in Mandarin. What that is I don’t know, but I do know it tasted pretty good. It was some nice, fatty pork cooked with some salty sauce and quite literally placed upon a bed of white rice. A bunch of the sauce made its way into the rice to give it flavor and made it into a more than just a basic dish.
The one dish I did pick out for myself (with my buddy’s blessing, of course) was the Szechuan & Hunan Style Spicy Chicken. While this did come from the Chef’s Specialty’s menu, it seemed to come from a generic Chinese restaurant when it was brought out. Fortunately it did not taste this way, and instead was packed with flavor and a whole lot of spice, especially if you accidentally ate one of the peppers. Which I did, but not by accident. There were some unnecessary veggies thrown in, but I left these to my friend.
Pork & Taiwanese Sausage Sauteed with Leeks was our final dish and is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, except for the addition of a couple veggies that I pushed off to my buddy. This was an interesting sauce and far different from that of the previous dish. The pork was fatty and delicious, which is apparently how all pork is prepared at Chow’s and the sausage was a little bit sweet and a lot of bit tasty. It wasn’t my first experience with Taiwanese sausage, and the stuff is still pretty great.
As our meal wound down, we got to speaking with the chef/owner and his wife/owner/waitress. They were incredibly friendly. In fact, maybe too friendly because we ended up hanging around and chatting until an hour and a half after closing. Nonetheless, it was great hearing the backstory of the man that had just prepared my meal and it almost felt like I had eaten at someone’s home instead of at a restaurant. Well, until the bill came. Hey, they have to make a living somehow. And if that living is derived from preparing food for me I can’t complain.