When I started this blog in March of 2010, I named it ‘Off the Eaten Path’, because my intentions were to only write about hole in the wall establishments.
Well, I certainly didn’t stick with that for very long! I decided that that was too limiting, and expanded my range to include all restaurants in St. Louis (but I still stick with my no chains rule).
Anyway, recently I visited a place that is definitely ‘Off the Eaten Path’:
The Famous Szechuan Pavilion! I wish I would have gotten a better picture of how small this place really was! It used to be a drive through coffee shop, and it is TINY! I giggled when I pulled into the parking lot and saw this tiny little shack. It’s so cute, I just want to put it in my pocket and take it home with me!
Instead of going through the drive through, I decided to walk inside. The door was in the back, so it felt a little funny to just walk in.
I walked in and immediately felt like I was entering someone’s personal kitchen. There were already four people in the place eating and chatting up the cute old woman, and when I walked in, they all stopped what they were doing and stared. AWKWARD.
I grabbed a menu. They had a pretty nice variety of things to try!
After a few minutes of studying the menu, I was ready to order. But first, I had a question.
“What’s the difference between the Korea Dan Dan noodles and the Szechuan Dan Dan noodles?” Innocent enough, right? There were no descriptions on the menu.
The guy smiled and repeated my question aloud, in what I’m assuming was Chinese. I’m also assuming he repeated my question aloud, now that I think about it.
Whatever he said, it was enough to make everyone in the place laugh heartily. I felt even more uncomfortable and awkward. Awesome.
He explained that one had wider noodles than the other. Uhhh…okay. I went with the Szcheuan Dan Dan noodles and the Spicy Wonton soup. Since there was literally no where in the tiny shack for me to sit (or stand) to wait for my order, I went out to my car and waited.
About 10 minutes later, my food was ready. I paid for it, smiled, and left. When I got home, the food was still piping hot!
My Dan Dan noodles looked amazing.
The spicy wonton soup came in two parts. The wontons were in one cup, and the soup was in the other.
I poured the soup into the wonton cup.
Time to eat! I used these chopsticks that my friend Chung brought back from her visit to Hong Kong.
Just kidding! I’m terrible with chopsticks, and these were much too pretty to use, anyway! I used a fork. I’m so…American.
So how did everything taste? Well…it was just okay. Don’t get me wrong, it was decent, it just didn’t blow me out of the water like I expected it to. The Dan Dan noodles weren’t spicy enough for my tastes (isn’t Szechuan food supposed to be spicy?) and the noodles had a mushy texture that I wasn’t a fan of.
The wonton soup was also missing something. The flavors just didn’t pop. This also could have used a lot more spice. I wonder if the Spicy Challenge at Pearl Café desensitized my taste buds?
I’m definitely going to give the Szechuan Pavilion another chance. Next time, I’ll ask her to use a heavier hand with the spices, though!
What: A Blogger’s Dinner Meetup
Who: St. Louis Food Bloggers (and Social Media Friends)
Where: Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar (1004 Locust Street, St. Louis)
When: Friday, August 12th
What Time: 6 p.m.
So far, there’s a pretty decent sized group of us going. It’s going to be a lot of fun — trust me 😉
RSVP by posting a comment here or on Melissa’s blog!
See you next week with a fun post 🙂