Curry Reunion

I wanted to love Fat Rice. I wanted to tell people I went there and feel their jealousy seeping through their pores. I wanted to believe that the fact that this place had a line of people at the door at 5:15 when the restaurant opens at 5:30 meant that it was worth waiting for. Didn’t happen. This place is so hot it’s cold. It’s so obscure it’s normal. It’s even foodier than Girl and the Goat, which I used to believe was the foodiest place in Chicago. You know it as soon as you walk in the door. The waitresses are pulling off trends that I wish I could try. One of them has an afro, the other has a ring between her nostrils, bull style. The menu has a typewriter font and a period after each ingredient in the dish. I’m beginning to think if you use those two components in a menu, you can get away with serving anything.

Watch:

BAKED WHOLE SNAPPER

olive oil. poison ivy. 30-year-old horse manure. rosemary

See? I made it sound “foodie-friendly”.

It wasn’t all bad. The pork and shrimp potstickers were unique and delicious. Essentially an upside down pie, the potstickers are the filling and the crust is a crispy crepe, that the stickers adhere to. Get it? The crepe added an awesome dimension of texture and flavor. A minus.

Cracking the top of the potsticker pancake with chopsticks. Compound words everywhere!

Cracking the top of the potsticker pancake with chopsticks. Compound words everywhere!

Bread coated with bread. Heaven.

Bread coated with bread. How bad could that be?

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Special shrimp dish with shishito peppers and tomatoes. Not that special.

On to the bad news.

Remember all of my posts about Thailand? Somehow in less than two months, I forgot that I hate the smell, taste and sight of curry. My counterparts loved the po kok gai, (mild chicken curry) but unfortunately I started dry heaving and the stranger next to me at our communal table tried to give me the heimlich maneuver. What is the appeal? I can’t figure it out.

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The pepper steak was forgettable and the coconut rice tasted like Hawaiian Tropic SPF 30.

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Bottom line:  Although there were some highlights, I expected this meal to be the pants and it just wasn’t. It was also a rookie mistake not to order the Fat Rice. They named the place after it. I may have to go back.

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