How could you not try out a restaurant that served a dish described like this?? We'd been to the bakery portion of Great Taste before - they have dan tat that make my daughter swoon. Their cream buns are better, in my opinion, than Eldo's. They have mini butterfly cookies that are super crispy and sugary and tasty. The baked char siu bao are very good. Their bubble teas and smoothie drinks are supposed to be superb. But we'd never tried the restaurant side, which serves primarly Cantonese food, 'til tonight. And people, it was fantastic!
It took some serious selling to get L. to be OK with not going to Vinh Sun for BBQ pork. Great Taste is kitty-corner across Beach Street from Vinh Sun, and when she realized we were trying something new, L. kicked up a fuss. We prevailed upon her to branch out, and even she wasn't disappointed.
We got there at 5, so unfortunately we missed dim sum, which is served 'til 4. They serve their dim sum off the menu, and there were lots of good choices on that menu. Next time we'll time it better.
We'd read that the scallion pancakes were good at Great Taste, and since D. is a scallion pancake fanatic, we had to try those. They were indeed great - nicely fried so they were crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, with good scallion flavor. The dipping sauce was very tasty - I hinted a little kick - not the usual. Maybe more ginger than usual? All in all, a good call.
For L., we ordered Dry Fried Pork Udon, and out came thick chewy udon noodles, slathered with just enough of some savory brown sauce and nice tender pieces of pork. She was in porkitarian-carbo heaven.
D. and I ordered, of course, the Spicy Salted Sparerib With Rice. Six large, meaty ribs arrived. They were battered, crispy-fried and sprinkled with fried garlic, dried red and fresh green chilis, and perched atop a generous mound of white rice, also sprinkled with chilis and remnant bits of fried crispiness, along with some greens, which were super garlicky and consequently, super delicious. I can assure you that this dish lives up to its billing on Chowhound. I could only manage two ribs - this is rich stuff, but man, with all its crunchy, salty spiciness - it didn't leave me wanting.
But wait! There was more! We decided to try something from the Casserole Specials section of the menu, so I chose the Deep Fried Fish Fillets with Bean Curd. Out came a piping hot casserole dish full of deliciously seasoned (this dish is not spicy, but is full of flavor) boneless fish fillets and fried tofu, along with lots of ginger, scallions, mushrooms and bits of pork. Fan-freakin'-tastic.
We are definitely headed back for more. The service was super friendly and helpful (they were more than OK with our usual off-menu mishigas - some plain pork bits for L. mixed with some white rice) and although the place lacks atmosphere, it's clean and bright.
And of course, afterwards we stepped through to the bakery next door and ordered up some dan tat to go . . . . stretcher, please!