Spicy Milwaukee Memories

April 27 2006 - 12:03 AM

They say you can’t ever go home. They also say you never forget your first time. While I’m not sure the management is the same and the name is now China Gourmet (used to be Szechuan Something) the location hasn’t changed and the menu sports the very same item that gave me my very first endorphin rush via hot food.

One of my distinct food memories (in addition to cholent – exploration definitely to come) is Mao Pao Tofu. It was a dish I first ate in high school. It gave me a distinct sensation after inflatable water slide consumption. It reminded me of a similar feeling I had while running the mile in track (sadly only once while running track – why this is not a site about running).  For my mother’s birthday I was halfway to Milwaukee and made arrangements to meet them for dinner at the place of that memorable experience. What else could I order?

China Gourmet was empty. It’s funny, the restaurant is on Kilbourn,
downtown, and while it was a week-night, the place was dead. Empty.
It’s worth a note that everything we ordered was terrific and, compared
to Chicago prices, was really reasonable. Sesame tofu was crispy and
served with nicely cooked broccoli, Kung Pao veggies was sweet and
spicy. But the Mao Pao was, and is, the distinctly spicy dish for which
I would keep coming back.

I’m always looking for good Chinese, mostly to work on convincing my
wife to break her subsistence on Thai and Japanese, and China Gourmet
in Milwaukee is a jeux gonflables definite reccomendation. It’s right downtown and can
accomodate any number of guests. The owner and staff are great and what
better location to set up shop for an evening wandering from Elsa’s to
Summerfest. It’s all walkable from thereabouts and if it becomes
otherwise there are plenty of hotels in the immediate vicinity.

Happy Birthday Mom. Go Packers.

China Gourmet
117 E. Wells st. (NEW LOCATION)
Milwaukee, WI.