Fans of Asia Cafe / A+A might want to check out this relatively new restaurant at the SE corner of Burnet and Kramer. The family there are incredibly nice; exceptionally good, friendly service - almost cloying.
I ordered P10 ("Beef Tripe and Pork Blood In Hot Pot Sauce"). They seemed shocked (but in a nice way) that a gringo would order this. If this item is anything to go by, be warned: when they say something is spicy (hot), they really mean it. Six hours later and I'm still sweating. Awesome!
They have a cold dish "bar" with about eight items, including "pig face" (probably cheek), pig ear, beef omasa, and the like. You can choose three portions for $6.95. Interesting...
Here's the menu:
Looks interesting. It is a lot closer to me than Asia Cafe, so I'll have to give it a try for my next unplanned lunch. Some curious things in the menu. Ma Po Dofu listened as vegetarian as well as Tofu and Pork. Unless I missed it, their category of chef's specialties is empty.
Had lunch here yesterday. For appetizers we had cold noodles and steamed dumplings which were both good. For main dish we had the Whole FIsh Szechuan Style and it was very good. Nice and spicy and perfectly cooked. There were two ladies taking orders, filling water glasses etc., and both seemed to be shocked that we would order the whole fish, and seemed to be delighted at how much we enjoyed it.
As we were finishing, we overheard orders at the next table, and now, perhaps, I understand why they were shocked at our order. Non-chinese family, like us, and the orders were (not exactly in this order, but I'm not making this up): sweet and sour shrimp, sweet and sour chicken, fried rice, etc. So, the staff here really don't expect non-Chinese patron to order the more "exotic" dishes.
We had ordered takeout from another Chinese restaurant about a year ago, and when the packed food came out, the lady kept looking around and past my blonde wife. Because clearly, we wouldn't order the dishes we did. When she finally realized that we were indeed who the food was meant for, she was mortified. "I didn't put in any fortune cookies," she repeated multiple times, and then stuffed four of five of them in my hand.
happened to be in the neighborhood today, so stopped by to pick up some fuqi feipian to go... that's the "couples lung slices" on the menu, same as the the "spicy honey comb" on the asia cafe / a+a menu...
it was pretty good, and generously oily which means it's authentic, lol... but it definitely needed more mala... i prefer the one at asia cafe, but i'd come back to this place if i was in the neighborhood or for lunch since it's closer to work. i ordered this dish in mandarin, so the lady was kinda shocked. she was really sweet, so i'd go back just for her. ^^
I had an underwhelming meal here last week. A couple of ho-hum dishes--under-seasoned, very light on the sichuan peppercorn--pretty good red oil wontons, and a slightly above average cumin beef. So-so dan dan noodles. Despite that, had a return trip today as we were curious about the cold station, which is only available Fri, Sat, Sun. Much better meal. Sharper, cleaner, more pronounced flavors. Seasoning was better. And the cold bar was great. We had the cucumbers, soybeans & kale, spicy bamboo, smoked pig's face, pig's ear, and a spicy beef stomach. All good. In addition, the mapo was above average, red oil wontons had noticeably more Sichuan peppercorn this week, and chicken & jalapeno was tasty as well.
Outstanding restaurant.. Food and service top notch.. compares favorably to Szechuan Rest in San Antonio and Mala in Houston.. Had the Cheng spicy dumplings and garlic chx entree.. I have a new fav restaurant in Austin!