I went up to visit a friend in Boston this week.  When I go there I usually make it a point to visit my favorite Chinese Restaurant in Cambridge, Mary Chungs.  Mary Chungs is home to my favorite dish in the whole wide world, Suan La Chow Show.  Here it is in its lovely splendor:

Beautiful, isn’t it?  Lovely pillow like wontons, in a spicy, savory sauce, resting on delicate marinated beansprouts.  Delicious.  Some people also like their Dun Dun Noodles, though I am not a fan because I don’t like peanuts in my food (though I love peanuts alone, go figure).

Anyway, after dreaming of how my tasty Suan would dance on my tongue, we get there and find this:

We were very sad and wound up eating at an inferior place for lunch, but during lunch I saw on my phone that a place also in Central Square Cambridge also had on their menu Suan La Chow Show called Pu Pu Hot Pot, right across the street.  While I was eating I actually used my phone to order two of their Suans..

So we get there and wait and get my order, which weighs a ton.   Turns out their version of the dish is coated in a brown gloppy sauce and covered in my hated aforementioned peanuts.  As you can see, theres no way around them.

The wontons underneath were okay, and there was actually one or two bites of some pickled vegetables they put under there that were faintly reminiscent of Mary Chungs dish, but it was really nothing like it and extremely disappointing.

Even before I ate it, given the brick like quality of the bag, I was already disappointed and we were walking back by Mary Chungs.  Some guy rushes by us and tries the door and is shocked by the vacation notice as were were.  We said “yeah, the same thing happened to us.”  He Said, “YEAH, BUT DID YOU DRIVE ALL THE WAY HERE FROM NEW YORK???!?!”.  We were like, “No!  We took the Train here all the way from New York!”.  Then I offered him a tin of the inferior Suan if he wanted it and he looked at us like we were Weirdos and walked away.

Make sure you call ahead to avoid disappoinment.  Mary Chungs has been take out only since Covid.

Oddly enough, This was not the first time this has happened to me!

By admin