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The Essentials: Ed's Potsticker House

The Essentials: Ed's Potsticker House
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  • Post #91 - March 12th, 2009, 10:33 pm
    Post #91 - March 12th, 2009, 10:33 pm Post #91 - March 12th, 2009, 10:33 pm
    Went to Ed's last week for a late lunch with a pal from work and have to say I was VERY disappointed. I read all the posts in this thread and could see that there were a few (more than a few?) complaints about inconsistent meals but I was hopeful.

    We ordered the cigar potstickers, the garlic eggplant (my companion is vegetarian) and based solely on the pictures on this forum the beef and onion packed cake and the corn bread/cakes that normally come with the fried fish. The result?

    soup that came gratis-nice and I like it better than the one you get at Lao Szechaun

    potstickers- interesting, but greasy and not terribly exciting flavorwise. I had hoped they would be either crispy or very different tasting, but they were neither. Just kinda wilted despite the browning and kinda bland. I would turn these down when compared to potstickers at most of the other places I go.

    beef and onion cake- terrible. yes terrible. I ate 2-3 bites and abandoned the rest. my companion couldn't believe I wasn't taking the rest home I left so much (but remember he's a vegetarian so he didn't try them...). VERY greasy. And they fell apart. It was almost ironic to be called a packed cake as they didn't stay packed... but the worst thing was a good chunk of the meat was just super tough and gristly. Like unchewable (i.e. spit it out). And this is ground meat. Ugh.

    corn cakes- greasy (see a trend here?) and flavorless. I LOVE corn bread. I love savory corn bread that is heavy on the corn flavor and I love sweet corn bread that is better suited for desert or with some tea. This wasn't sweet but it also didn't taste much of corn. It was like a gloppy greasy pancake with next to no flavor. I thought maybe adding some soy sauce or the potsticker's dipping sauce would help. It didn't.

    garlic eggplant- fantastic. Hit it out of the park, drive back just to get this, couldn't stop eating it good. The ONLY thing I really enjoyed. Had I only ordered this my post would be completely different. Unfortunately the other dishes have now made me gunshy of ordering anything else and driving all the way down there for the eggplant is a bit daunting when I can go to Chinatown and get Tony's Chili Chicken and my fave string beans and be happy and contented.

    Maybe I got the between shifts chef. Or a trainee. Or maybe they wanted to make sure we never came back, but something was off. And given the total price tag only liking the garlic eggplant was an expensive lunch. If I find myself in that neck of the woods I'll probably duck in for the eggplant but that's probably it.

    :(

    Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

    --Dirk--
    Dirk van den Heuvel
  • Post #92 - April 19th, 2009, 4:52 pm
    Post #92 - April 19th, 2009, 4:52 pm Post #92 - April 19th, 2009, 4:52 pm
    Finally made it to Ed's yesterday with a group of about 17 people; Chicago and Milwaukee folks from Roadfood.com. We did a tour of the city based on selected stops from that 2007 Saveur issue featuring our fair town.

    Started with standing in line at Hot Doug's at 9:30am, followed by a quick run down California to Borinquen for Jibaritos. Moving down to the south side we went next to Ed's for a sit down meal, then a quick pick up at Lem's. We caravanned across town and south to Calumet Fisheries where we picked up yet more food, set up card tables right there on the sidewalk and did a massive surf and turf of smoked trout and shrimp, fried oysters and clam strips, accompanied by Lem's ribs, tips, and hot links.

    Our day wrapped up at Gertie's for ice cream. A full report with pix can be found at Roadfood.com: http://www.roadfood.com/forums/tm.aspx? ... e=7#505328 (Lordy I wish I could figger out how to use that URL link up at the top!)

    Anyway, the reason I'm posting all of this in this particular thread is, when we got to Ed's, nowhere on the signage outside, nor on the menus, nor anywhere else for that matter does the name "Ed" show up. So how did this place get dubbed "Ed's" Potsticker House? If the answer to this question shows up further upstream in this thread, and if you know the answer, please forgive my lack of due diligence and answer this burning query.

    Thanks,

    Buddy
  • Post #93 - April 19th, 2009, 5:42 pm
    Post #93 - April 19th, 2009, 5:42 pm Post #93 - April 19th, 2009, 5:42 pm
    Image
  • Post #94 - April 19th, 2009, 5:48 pm
    Post #94 - April 19th, 2009, 5:48 pm Post #94 - April 19th, 2009, 5:48 pm
    That's not the sign currently on display at the restaurant. Likewise, as I said, there is no mention of Ed's name on either the in house or carry out menus. I wonder why the change for a place that has built a strong reputation and has (had) such a recognizable name.

    Thanks for the image, however outdated.

    Buddy
  • Post #95 - April 19th, 2009, 7:25 pm
    Post #95 - April 19th, 2009, 7:25 pm Post #95 - April 19th, 2009, 7:25 pm
    Buddy's right, but I think iblock was just trying to show that it DID say Ed's at one point. Ed was the name and force behind it; there has been some shuffling in the kitchen (my favorite chef, not Ed, went over to the Hu side early last year), but the signs changed before that, if I remember correctly.

    An observation: not many Chinatown restaurants have a proprietor's name on the sign (Double Li comes to mind, but that's a pun). "Ed's" is more of an old-Chicago type appellation. Could be they're targeting a broader community than their Bridgeport block. I'd love to know if the new sign (which is primarily in Chinese) contains a character for "Ed" anywhere.
  • Post #96 - April 20th, 2009, 3:44 pm
    Post #96 - April 20th, 2009, 3:44 pm Post #96 - April 20th, 2009, 3:44 pm
    Update (since I went to Ed's today to deliver their GNR renewal certificate):

    They're still DBA, and are fine with, "Ed's Potsticker House." They took "Ed" off when they redid the sign since they didn't think it communicated much to the Chinese community, if my server (not one of the owners) was correct. However, they already had a framed LTH GNR certificate front and center in the window, and were happy to have the replacement with the Ed's name.

    I had the smoked pork pancake and the hot and sour soup today, both of which were excellent. I maintain that the pancake should actually be considered a sandwich so it can make all top lists of sandwiches in the city (it certainly makes mine). Yes, the pork has a big harsh metallic-type smoke profile more than a small batch wood or tea-smoked mellowness, but somehow that's perfect in its crispy-chewy dough and onion robe.

    Nice little article from last month by Mike Nagrant (MJN):

    http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/03/eds- ... inois.html
  • Post #97 - April 28th, 2009, 11:50 am
    Post #97 - April 28th, 2009, 11:50 am Post #97 - April 28th, 2009, 11:50 am
    Maybe it's been mentioned somewhere before, but is Ed's MSG-free? I'm thinking of going there tomorrow with someone who's MSG-sensitive, even moreso than I am.
  • Post #98 - May 1st, 2009, 11:29 pm
    Post #98 - May 1st, 2009, 11:29 pm Post #98 - May 1st, 2009, 11:29 pm
    We had dinner at Ed's tonight after realizing that we had not been in a long while. The potstickers were greasy and not crispy at all. Plus it actually arrived after everything else came which was weird! My favorite cumin lamb is great as usual but the lamb slices were cut bigger and there were a lot more fatty pieces than usual. The highlights of the meal were the stir-fried chinese squash and the napa cabbage/porkballs/tofu casserole.

    Chinese squash is a favorite of mine. This arrived in a very cornstarchy sauce and I was beginning to get worried. But the squash was tender and sweet, and the sauce just lent a velvety mouthfeel to the dish. I chose this dish because it would provide a good balance with the aggressiveness of the cumin lamb and it did.

    Mike loves the casserole. It's actually more of a soup, but listed as a casserole on the menu. Light peppery broth, ginger-y pork meat balls, soft tofu and sweet napa cabbage really work well together.

    We were disappointed in the potstickers and probably will not order it again. Their XLB also took a downturn on previous visits and we could not justify ordering it again tonight.
  • Post #99 - May 8th, 2009, 11:57 pm
    Post #99 - May 8th, 2009, 11:57 pm Post #99 - May 8th, 2009, 11:57 pm
    I visited "Potsticker House" for the first time today. My expectations were very high after reading all the complimentary reviews, but unfortunately they were only partially met. The Sweet and Sour Soup was adequate, not the best I've ever had but not the worst. It was fairly well-balanced from a flavor perspective, maybe a little too sour, but there was enough of it to be a meal in and of itself!

    I remember reading a comment previously about sticking to the specialties menu which I did. I ordered the Soup Dumplings, the Pot stickers and the Cumin Lamb. My co-worker ordered a Seafood Noodle Dish after having a long, drawn out conversation with the waiter. She kept trying to have him give her a recommendation and he seemed strangely reluctant to do so. He was trying to make a vague comparison between American palates and Chinese palates, but failed to offer any real advice. She even asked him at one point, "What seafood dish would one of those LTH people order?" When you can't even get a disingenuous response to a question like, "Which one would you eat?", there is a problem.


    As for the food, I thought the flavor of the Pot stickers were o.k., but found them to be somewhat soggy. I had expected them to be crispy and light but they weren't. The accompanying sauces that he brought to the table (Soy and Chili Oil?) were so bland and flavorless there was no point in them being there.

    The biggest disappointment to me were the Soup Dumplings. They were so very bland; texturally nice but almost completely without flavor. I can't imagine what horrible things Anthony Bourdain would say about them; his Szechwan No Reservations show has inspired me to search for the most authentic Soup Dumpling in hopes of someday copying it. I know these wouldn't come close to making the cut.

    The Cumin Lamb came out next and it was one of the best preparations of Lamb I've ever had. I'm a big Lamb fan and the Cumin and the Chilies and Jalepeno's really worked well together with what can sometimes be a very gamy dish. I ordered mine with the bone and it was magnificent.

    Since I have a Shellfish allergy, I didn't taste my friend's Noodle dish, but she was pretty disgusted by it. She said the Scallops and Shrimp weren't fresh and that it was mainly soggy noodles in a bland white sauce, sans very many vegetables. She was even critical of the Fortune Cookie.

    I thought a couple of the other entrees looked really good, particularly the fish dishes and the Pork Pancakes.

    I'll definitely give the place another try, but this is the second LTH recommendation I've taken her to and she hated Moon Cafe even more than Ed's.
  • Post #100 - May 9th, 2009, 12:02 am
    Post #100 - May 9th, 2009, 12:02 am Post #100 - May 9th, 2009, 12:02 am
    radiator wrote:but this is the second LTH recommendation I've taken her to and she hated Moon Cafe even more than Ed's.

    You mean Moon's Sandwich Shop on Western?

    I can see someone not quite liking Ed's, or maybe an off night, but hating Moon's, that is really hard for me to understand.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Moon's Sandwich Shop
    16 S Western Ave
    Chicago, IL 60612
    312-226-5094
    Open 7 days a week
    5:30 am - 3:00 pm M-Sat
    7:00 am - 2:00 pm Sun
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #101 - May 9th, 2009, 3:59 am
    Post #101 - May 9th, 2009, 3:59 am Post #101 - May 9th, 2009, 3:59 am
    radiator wrote:I visited "Potsticker House" for the first time today. My expectations were very high after reading all the complimentary reviews, but unfortunately they were only partially met. The Sweet and Sour Soup was adequate, not the best I've ever had but not the worst. It was fairly well-balanced from a flavor perspective, maybe a little too sour, but there was enough of it to be a meal in and of itself!

    I remember reading a comment previously about sticking to the specialties menu which I did. I ordered the Soup Dumplings, the Pot stickers and the Cumin Lamb. My co-worker ordered a Seafood Noodle Dish after having a long, drawn out conversation with the waiter. She kept trying to have him give her a recommendation and he seemed strangely reluctant to do so. He was trying to make a vague comparison between American palates and Chinese palates, but failed to offer any real advice. She even asked him at one point, "What seafood dish would one of those LTH people order?" When you can't even get a disingenuous response to a question like, "Which one would you eat?", there is a problem.


    As for the food, I thought the flavor of the Pot stickers were o.k., but found them to be somewhat soggy. I had expected them to be crispy and light but they weren't. The accompanying sauces that he brought to the table (Soy and Chili Oil?) were so bland and flavorless there was no point in them being there.

    The biggest disappointment to me were the Soup Dumplings. They were so very bland; texturally nice but almost completely without flavor. I can't imagine what horrible things Anthony Bourdain would say about them; his Szechwan No Reservations show has inspired me to search for the most authentic Soup Dumpling in hopes of someday copying it. I know these wouldn't come close to making the cut.

    The Cumin Lamb came out next and it was one of the best preparations of Lamb I've ever had. I'm a big Lamb fan and the Cumin and the Chilies and Jalepeno's really worked well together with what can sometimes be a very gamy dish. I ordered mine with the bone and it was magnificent.

    Since I have a Shellfish allergy, I didn't taste my friend's Noodle dish, but she was pretty disgusted by it. She said the Scallops and Shrimp weren't fresh and that it was mainly soggy noodles in a bland white sauce, sans very many vegetables. She was even critical of the Fortune Cookie.

    I thought a couple of the other entrees looked really good, particularly the fish dishes and the Pork Pancakes.

    I'll definitely give the place another try, but this is the second LTH recommendation I've taken her to and she hated Moon Cafe even more than Ed's.


    The group I went with the the first time I was there felt the same way about the soup dumplings. The second time I went there, we got the other dumplings, the ones named after some region of China, and they were better, we thought.
  • Post #102 - May 9th, 2009, 10:17 am
    Post #102 - May 9th, 2009, 10:17 am Post #102 - May 9th, 2009, 10:17 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    radiator wrote:but this is the second LTH recommendation I've taken her to and she hated Moon Cafe even more than Ed's.

    You mean Moon's Sandwich Shop on Western?

    I can see someone not quite liking Ed's, or maybe an off night, but hating Moon's, that is really hard for me to understand.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Moon's Sandwich Shop
    16 S Western Ave
    Chicago, IL 60612
    312-226-5094
    Open 7 days a week
    5:30 am - 3:00 pm M-Sat
    7:00 am - 2:00 pm Sun


    Right. My bad; Moon's Sandwich Shop. While I think their grits are fine, Moon's preparation turned her off completely. She loves the grits at Sweet Maple Cafe, where she can doctor them up with cream and butter until they reach the desired consistency and flavor. For whatever reason that couldn't be achieved at Moon's. She didn't care for their Corned Beef at all either as it was wet rather than moist, and lacking in flavor.

    Truth be told, she can be kind of "particular" when it comes to atmosphere. No matter how good it is, if a place has a strong odor of food (her initial comment at Ed's was that it smelled greasy and dingy and that her sister would have turned around and walked right out) she's instantly turned-off.

    Pompei's original location on Taylor Street was a perfect example of this. When you went in it was like purposely choosing to get smoke inhalation; the ovens and people were crowded into a tight, confined space; definitely not the spot for the claustrophobic. She loved the Pizza Streudels, but hated the space. I think Moon's had the same sort of issues attached to it. Overcrowded and "close", with poor air circulation. As for Ed's, she ended up walking outside to keep what she ate of her lunch down. Maybe if they had turned their ceiling fan on.......
  • Post #103 - August 11th, 2010, 9:45 am
    Post #103 - August 11th, 2010, 9:45 am Post #103 - August 11th, 2010, 9:45 am
    Light Dim Sum snack @ Ed's on Sunday. I really like that they ar BYOB.

    the great:
    - Shanghai style pork dumpling - nice pork filling, and some rich broth inside. Tender dumpling skin, our favorite dish of the meal

    the good:
    - fried rice with lettuce and krab. The bok choy and lightly fried rice were great. The krab was what it was. Overall a really nice version of fried rice, light, more like thai fried rice imho.

    the ok:

    - tianjin steamed pork bao. it was ok, doughy, nice pork filling.

    the meh:

    - pan fried smoked pork cake. pork was actually nice, smokey, fatty, and tender. The rest of the dish wasnt impressive.

    Service was crap, but I had my cold beer to sip as we waited to be acknowledged. Water, even though it was asked for was never brought.

    Overall a place I might go back to, but also might not if I ca find those shanghai dumpligs elsewhere.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #104 - August 11th, 2010, 10:56 am
    Post #104 - August 11th, 2010, 10:56 am Post #104 - August 11th, 2010, 10:56 am
    Maybe we've just been lucky at Ed's, or ordered well...
    but every time we've gone there 9about 3 or 4 times,
    We have had a delicious meal.
    (service? another story...)
    We almost always get the cumin lamb, the garlic eggplant, the smoked pork pancakes
    I don't find their soup dumplings to be anything special
    the cigar potstickers I can take or leave
    They do a fried dough item they serve with evaporate (or is it condensed?) milk
    that is like little doughnut holes that my kids are over the moon for
    I think their salt and pepper items (calamari or shrimp) are also usually good.

    Like I say, maybe we've just been lucky,
    but we feel like we eat like kings, spend like peasants, and come home with leftovers to boot!
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #105 - December 27th, 2010, 5:04 pm
    Post #105 - December 27th, 2010, 5:04 pm Post #105 - December 27th, 2010, 5:04 pm
    CrazyC wrote:Mike loves the casserole. It's actually more of a soup, but listed as a casserole on the menu. Light peppery broth, ginger-y pork meat balls, soft tofu and sweet napa cabbage really work well together.

    I picked a sunny but frigid day to go traipsing through Bridgeport and Pilsen, so after eating chicken soup at Bridgeport Coffee House today, I walked down the street and ate a steaming clay pot of that casserole at Ed's, my first visit. The casserole doesn't look like much, but I agree with CrazyC--it all works together incredibly well. Lots of pork meat balls and tofu, just enough glass noodles. I especially loved the star anise in the broth.

    Image
  • Post #106 - April 10th, 2011, 9:58 am
    Post #106 - April 10th, 2011, 9:58 am Post #106 - April 10th, 2011, 9:58 am
    For various reasons, we hadn't been back to Ed's for a rather long time until we popped in there for a late lunch on a recent Saturday afternoon, on the way between a library visit in Hyde Park and home...

    Why such a long time? In part, because for quite some time, when we were in that neck of the woods, we would end up going to Healthy Food instead... (the memory of Gina's koldunai and kugelis haunts me and fills me the deepest melancholy)... In part, well, a couple of disappointing meals some years back, presumably in the wake of the old chef leaving for elsewhere...

    Anyway, we finally got back and we had a delightful meal...

    The house dumplings...
    Image
    Really good... we've had them better there but this particular batch were very tasty...

    The Shanghai dumplings...
    Image
    Now, I won't for a moment pretend to be an expert on this style of dumpling and, thanks to the magnificent post by Pigmon some time back, I know there is a whole world of xiao long bao that I am yet to experience but, even so, I take courage from Pigmon's comment: "Even the most average examples make me a very happy diner." Well, some years back, Amata and I had some of these at Ed's and were rather disappointed -- the dumplings tasted quite good but the dough wrapper was simply too thick, throwing the balance of soup and filling and wrapper completely off. In any event, we gave them another try and this time we were really quite happy -- this batch was much superior to the one we had had there before and Amata, Lucantonius and I all really enjoyed them.

    We also got an order of fried rice with Chinese sausage...
    Image
    ... which was okay but nothing special...

    And also an old standard for us, the noodles with pork and green beans...
    Image
    This dish was great...

    Finally, we also got an order of eggplant in garlic sauce...
    Image
    ... which we enjoyed very much and used to liven up the not-so-exciting fried rice...

    All in all, we really enjoyed our lunch at Ed's...

    Bon pro',
    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #107 - April 10th, 2011, 11:11 am
    Post #107 - April 10th, 2011, 11:11 am Post #107 - April 10th, 2011, 11:11 am
    Hi,

    I'm so glad you were happy again. I, too, had some disappointing meals during this period of apparent chef changeover. Your report encourages me to give it another try.

    I'm glad you took one for the team, though that may not have been your original intent. :)

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #108 - April 11th, 2011, 11:05 am
    Post #108 - April 11th, 2011, 11:05 am Post #108 - April 11th, 2011, 11:05 am
    Hey Cathy...

    One of the dishes we (and many others) really loved at Ed's in the 'old days' was the lamb with cumin and it was a couple of very poor renditions of that that contributed mightily to our disappointment with Ed's and our tendency to pass it over in favour of other places.

    Now, at our recent lunch there we did not try the lamb with cumin but I hope to back in the near future with doing precisely that in mind. I'm very curious to see if they've got that dish back anywhere near the level they had it in the old days; it was really one of our favourite restaurant dishes in the city back then...

    A
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #109 - April 11th, 2011, 11:37 am
    Post #109 - April 11th, 2011, 11:37 am Post #109 - April 11th, 2011, 11:37 am
    Antonius et al.,

    Do you know, with the changing of the chef-guards, if Ed's has retained a smattering of Dongbei dishes on the menu ? The online menu does seem to have "Manchurian" dishes scattered throughout, but as I recall from several years ago (circa 2004), they had a dedicated menu or section of the menu to Dongbei cuisine. Ed's was my first introduction to the cuisine, in fact. A regional cuisine that has since proliferated in the US.

    Thanks.

    -Nab
  • Post #110 - April 12th, 2011, 3:48 pm
    Post #110 - April 12th, 2011, 3:48 pm Post #110 - April 12th, 2011, 3:48 pm
    Hey Nab -- I didn't see any such section on the menu and, to be honest, we didn't spend a lot of time studying the menu either... It was a late lunch and we ordered quickly, choosing from things we had had before, with a sort of quality check in mind in terms of what we remembered from the old days...

    If we go back soon, I'll try to remember to ask them about Dongbei offerings...

    A

    P.S. There was no board up, as there always used to be, with a list of daily specials in Chinese... I'm curious what they're doing in that regard...
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #111 - April 16th, 2011, 11:05 pm
    Post #111 - April 16th, 2011, 11:05 pm Post #111 - April 16th, 2011, 11:05 pm
    i visited ed's for the first time this past week. for some reason i expected a dive--the chinese restaurant in "A Christmas Story" came to mind--but it was much nicer than that. the splattered mosquito on the wall in my booth, however, was far from appetizing.

    i only ordered three items:
    - the pan fried smoked pork pancakes
    - a salad consisting of cucumbers, cilantro, scallions and jalapenos
    - stir fried intestines

    going in reverse:
    the waiter recommended that i get the stir fried intestines over the manchurian intestines--he said the latter was deep fried and that he preferred the stir fried variety because it was soft. the dish was served in a brownish sauce with red and green peppers and carrots. the dish is fine. not exceptional by any means. i think the addition of mushrooms would've made the dish a lot more interesting--but i'm not sure if mushrooms are common in the northeast. if someone told me this was a cantonese or southern dish, i would've believed it.

    the salad was good. simple but good. i ordered it because i wanted some greens and because i knew that this was probably close to authentic. in most of china, foods are all cooked; to have a "raw" salad is uncommon. i think it worked well with my other dishes.

    the pan fried smoked pork pancakes... hmm... i love smoke. i love pork. but i did not love this dish. i really wanted to love this dish. the pancakes are too doughy and too thick. i think if they had used their scallion pancakes as the base, it might have been better. indeed there were raw scallions in the "sandwich" and some hoisin sauce. the combination of scallions and hoisin sauce in a breaded sandwich will always remind me of peking duck. i wish they didn't use hoisin sauce but instead used something like a black fermented veggie sauce that is a part of a zha jian mein. furthermore the "sandwich" could've been stuffed with more stuff--more scallions and more pork.

    speaking of pork... ok, the pork is smoked. and you get the smoke immediately. YAY! I LOVE SMOKE.
    but wait... what kind of smoke is this? from where did this smoke come? did they smoke this over a diesel engine's exhaust system? or did someone throw some plastic into the fire? does it matter? I LOVE SMOKE. ok, it matters. some smoke just tastes better than others. i guess i like smoke that has a nice round sinus cavity filling feeling, is of low plasticity, and smells of herbal over floral notes and definitely not industrial.

    omg, i forgot to mention how the pork itself tasted. oh, that's because there was no apparent swine flavoring; what little flavor was there was masked by all aforementioned tastes and scents.

    finally, the meal ended with no fortune cookie (let alone a plate of orange wedges or a sweet soup--do any places in chicago serve such, complimentary?). to not end a chinese meal, "…in bed". sigh.

    -wurfel
  • Post #112 - August 15th, 2012, 3:16 pm
    Post #112 - August 15th, 2012, 3:16 pm Post #112 - August 15th, 2012, 3:16 pm
    Stopped in here for a quick takeout lunch today (a perk of working from home and living two blocks away), and had a terrific meal. Their lunch specials (which I've never tried before) come with a pint of the soup of the day, which appeared to be a hot and sour egg drop? Seriously, there was a LOT of egg in this stuff. In any case, quite good, a number of different spicy notes kept it interesting. Two crab rangoons of no particular distinction were included, but the combination stir fried noodles were fantastic. Pleasantly chewy and smokey with visible charring and a generous amount of meat/veg, including some fantastic pork. Really, everything you want a plate of noodles to be, just perfect.

    In any case, what could have been a routine lunch special was very well executed, and at about $6, a real bargain. Also of note - Ed's was more crowded than I'm used to seeing it, not sure what it's due to, but it was nice to see the place hopping.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand." Leo Durocher
  • Post #113 - October 9th, 2012, 8:29 am
    Post #113 - October 9th, 2012, 8:29 am Post #113 - October 9th, 2012, 8:29 am
    A friend who had lived in Beijing for two years was in town and we went to Ed's as he mentioned that he was up for some soup dumplings. As most have stated in this thread, they were just ok at best. (I had warned him that Chicago is weak in the xiao long bao department)

    We then had the soft shell crab w/chili which when they first came to the table were delicious but after first serving the crisp exterior was all mush, so one must eat this dish quick to get the great texture.

    The hit of the night as groovedirk stated was the garlic eggplant, my friend stated it was one of his 10 best Chinese dishes he had enjoyed. I can't get this dish out of my mind, will have to go back soon.
    groovedirk wrote:garlic eggplant- fantastic. Hit it out of the park, drive back just to get this, couldn't stop eating it good.
    Last edited by Sweet Willie on October 9th, 2012, 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #114 - October 9th, 2012, 8:30 am
    Post #114 - October 9th, 2012, 8:30 am Post #114 - October 9th, 2012, 8:30 am
    HI,

    This garlic-eggplant dish is also one you need to eat first and fast, because it does suffer from lingering.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #115 - October 9th, 2012, 8:40 am
    Post #115 - October 9th, 2012, 8:40 am Post #115 - October 9th, 2012, 8:40 am
    Cathy2 wrote:This garlic-eggplant dish is also one you need to eat first and fast, because it does suffer from lingering.
    with how quickly this dish was consumed, lingering wasn't an issue :)
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #116 - April 1st, 2013, 11:31 am
    Post #116 - April 1st, 2013, 11:31 am Post #116 - April 1st, 2013, 11:31 am
    I decided I was going to have more than the same two dishes this time. I split soup dumplings with Mr. Pie, who was delighted by the creativity and taste. Then, forgoing the eggplant (that was a tough decision) I went with Mongolian Lamb. Then I forgot all about the eggplant, except for the fact that a veggie side dish would have been nice. But I don't mind an all-meat meal now and then. The leftovers the next day made one hell of a breakfast.

    The staff never missed a beat, despite the party of 50 to attend to as well.

    I always seem to encounter this problem here: The tea is always cold. Anyone else experience this?
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    In the world of apples, Pink Lady runs the whorehouse. ~ James Napoli

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #117 - June 24th, 2013, 6:55 pm
    Post #117 - June 24th, 2013, 6:55 pm Post #117 - June 24th, 2013, 6:55 pm
    My 1st trip was with a group last night.

    I will be back before summer ends because they have al fresco dining and the food is good. Being able to sit outside with Chinese food is a bonus in my book.

    So there were these beans on the table. They looked like some sort of cow-pea. They were covered in some sort of sauce that had soy and definitely anise. Were these soybeans? I don't know. But they were absolutely delicious and addictive.

    I thought the eggplant with garlic was good, but I wasn't prepared for how sweet it would be, although there is clearly some vinegar in the sauce. On first try, I immediately said, it tasted like eggplant candy. This becomes a winner, when an additional dousing of the vinegar condiment that's on the table is added. I still think I would have it again.

    Then there was the dried tofu with celery. I don't know how to describe this aside from saying it was tasty and would make anyone a lover of celery. It just tasted very fresh and pleasant with comfortable bits of chew from the dried tofu.

    There was also a delicious plate of stir-fried noodles with vegetables added that I really enjoyed.

    Oh right and at the start the vegetable potstickers as well as the northern pancake and onion pancake.

    I can't wait to get back.

    And a big thanks to Onur for organizing. I doubt I would have made it there yet but for someone taking the steer by the horns and posting an outing.

    I'm sure the meat eaters will chime in but as a non-meat eater, there is plenty on that menu to keep a vegetarian happy. Just make sure you tell them no meat, even if it appears to be a meatless dish,it appears they are a lot like southerners and add pork to everything. :mrgreen:
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #118 - June 25th, 2013, 8:14 pm
    Post #118 - June 25th, 2013, 8:14 pm Post #118 - June 25th, 2013, 8:14 pm
    So I went with a group of LTHers to Ed's over the weekend. I've had great success there in the past and this trip was no different. They offer a wide variety of Northern Chinese dishes and I thought everything was very well executed overall. I'm still shocked that Bridgeport that support three Northern Chinese spots within a quarter mile of each other, but they were all full on this rainy Sunday night.

    Northern Chinese cuisine (which at Ed's spans Beijing as well as the Northeastern Provinces known collectively as Dongbei) is noted for its emphasis on wheat as a primary carbohydrate as opposed to rice like most of China. With that in mind, we started off with a number of wheat based appetizers (as if we needed a reason).

    Image

    The vegetable potstickers had a nice thick and chewy texture.

    Image

    Cigar shaped dumplings stuffed with pork. The dumpling wrapper is fried all around and crunchy.

    Image

    We ordered two types of stuffed pancake: onion and smoked pork. Both were delicious though the smoked pork was really a stand out.

    Image

    The northern style pancake uses a different batter than the rest and was probably my favorite of the wheat-based appetizers. The dough is stretchy and chewy with nice crispy edges. Next time I'll order this with the entrees rather than as part of a dumpling barrage.

    Image

    Listed as Shanghai style on the menu, this is a solid rendition of soup dumplings, though sadly with very little soup. Good flavor on the stuffing and great texture of the wrapping (and they are placed on a slice of carrot to make sure they don't stick to the steamer). Not sure why they had so little soup inside them though.

    From there we ordered some entrees. Of course we ordered two noodle based entrees as well.

    Image

    They called this one the Shanghai style noodle and it was a simple preparation with little more than soy sauce and onions. The noodles though had excellent texture.

    Image

    This was one of the winners of the night. It's a cold mung bean noodle preparation that contrasts the soft and chewy noodles with crunchy raw cucumbers. The dish tasted a lot like neongmyun noodles from a Korean restaurant and I imagine they share similar roots.

    There were two stand out vegetable dishes as well.

    Image

    The dried tofu with celery was a surprise hit since the preparation was so simple yet so effective. The celery flavor was prominent and bright and married beautifully with the earthiness of the firm tofu.

    Image

    I was expecting something different when we ordered the eggplant with garlic sauce. What came out was a remarkable sweet and sour eggplant preparation that I thought really popped, though I can understand those who felt it was too sweet. It's certainly a sweet dish, but I thought it was balanced out by the chillis and the wonderful meaty mushrooms. The outside of the eggplant was quite crispy while the inside was white and custard-like. I particularly enjoyed the dish with a splash of the black vinegar sauce they had on the table.

    We did order some meat as well.

    Image

    The lamb with cumin (bone in!) is a well known quantity at this point and I really enjoy the rendition at Ed's. The lamb is fatty and quite gamey, but I think the dish really benefits from the richness of the meat. It stands up to the roasted whole cumin seeds that pepper the dish and make each bite intensely flavorful. This is only for people who really enjoy the taste of lamb.

    Image

    I had read that sweet and sour pork is a famous Dongbei dish. Their version slices the pork into small cutlets rather than cubes so the bites are particularly crispy. I enjoyed it, though once again some thought it was too sweet. I think the preparation has plenty of sourness to stand up to the sweetness (once again with a splash of vinegar). I wouldn't enjoy an entire plate of this dish, but as a part of a larger menu, I enjoyed it quite a bit.

    The menu is huge and I've come no where near exploring the entire thing. This is the kind of restaurant where you shouldn't be discouraged from ordering a dish because the name sounds simple. You never know how it's going to turn out. I find myself growing to really love Northern Chinese cuisine and I think it's awesome that a small stretch of Bridgeport is home to three restaurants that represent this lesser-known cuisine. Ed's has the broadest menu and remains the lynch pin even as the options in the neighborhood increase. Northern Chinese food seems to be a cold-weather friendly cuisine and I look forward to more trips in the colder months to sample some of the heartier fare.
  • Post #119 - June 26th, 2013, 1:59 pm
    Post #119 - June 26th, 2013, 1:59 pm Post #119 - June 26th, 2013, 1:59 pm
    My soup dumpling had a lot of soup in it. Maybe some of them leaked?
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #120 - June 26th, 2013, 2:38 pm
    Post #120 - June 26th, 2013, 2:38 pm Post #120 - June 26th, 2013, 2:38 pm
    The lamb with cumin (bone in!) is a well known quantity at this point and I really enjoy the rendition at Ed's. The lamb is fatty and quite gamey, but I think the dish really benefits from the richness of the meat. It stands up to the roasted whole cumin seeds that pepper the dish and make each bite intensely flavorful. This is only for people who really enjoy the taste of lamb.


    I love, love, love lamb but have found this dish here @ Ed's to be over the top w/cumin for my taste. Prefer the other two nearby Northern Chinese restaurants rendition of this dish, where it is more lamby and a bit less cuminy.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata

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