Our old pepper grinder broke a couple of weeks ago; it was over twenty years old, so I suppose we got our money’s worth out of it. Nonetheless, CVH simply cannot cook without a good supply of fresh ground pepper, so we needed a replacement and she was demanding a good one, not some cheap thing from Wal-Mart.
Unfortunately, the store that was the primary source for gourmet kitchen appliances here in Louisville closed down recently, due primarily to the owner being accused of a significant insurance fraud. We did call around and find another place that carried decorative kitchen items, and they said they had pepper grinders.
This store was aimed more at people who wanted their kitchens to look pretty than actually cook in them, and so most of the grinders they carried were meant to be gazed upon as much as used. But they did have one nice hefty model, and we went with that.
By this time we were ready for lunch, and we ducked into the Chinese restaurant on the corner. It had an interesting decor; the space was an old theater that looked like it might have first been converted to a steak house (lots of dark, heavy wood) before its current incarnation. The menu was pretty standard for a Chinese place, except that at the very end there was a list of “Asian specialties” with names in Mandarin and Korean characters and their odd English translations. Ah ha, I thought, here’s the real Chinese menu.
I was intrigued by the item named “Eight Treasures with Spicy Plum Sauce”. I asked the waitress what was in it.
“Which?” she asked.
“Here. 253.” I replied.
“I don’t know. Nobody has ever ordered it before. Most people like the Japanese dishes over here,” she said, pointing to another section of the menu.
“Hmm. But I was wondering what is in number 253.”
“I don’t read Korean, so I can’t tell.”
“I’ll ask the chef.”
To make a long story short, we went with number 253, and it was very tasty, spicy and delicious. I don’t know if it was the same dish that the cook would have made for real Koreans (or any other Asians), but we enjoyed it.