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Little Three Happiness: Salt and Pepper Shrimp

Little Three Happiness: Salt and Pepper Shrimp
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  • Little Three Happiness: Salt and Pepper Shrimp

    Post #1 - November 14th, 2004, 11:11 pm
    Post #1 - November 14th, 2004, 11:11 pm Post #1 - November 14th, 2004, 11:11 pm
    Little Three Happiness: Salt and Pepper Shrimp

    Twice in the past three weeks, I've been in the driver's seat when going out for dinner with friends; both times, I chose to take them to Little Three Happiness.

    Each time, the groups have come away feeling as though they had enjoyed a special dinner, fully satisfying, reasonably priced, interesting, perhaps even exotic in a non-threatening way, and memorable.

    Each time, we had the Salt and Pepper Shrimp.

    The first time, The Wife commandeered the waiter's attention and got the shrimp battered. This was not my preference, but the dish was good. The shrimp were very lightly dusted (perhaps in a rice flour?) and the meat was luscious.

    Tonight, I ordered the shrimp shell-on, and they were fabulous. Cooking the shrimp in the shell, of course, enhances the flavor of the meat (in part because the shell imparts additional flavor, but also, I think, because the shell contains the flavor of the meat while it's being cooked). The shell on these shrimps is so thin that you can pretty much eat them whole without pulling them out of the shell. In fact, for the first three of them, I ate them head and all. These were far and away the hit of the evening; one of my friends remarked that it was the best shrimp she had ever had.

    Cantonese, the predominant cooking style at Little Three Happiness, has been criticized by some as being too greasy. This is not the case with these marvelous little shrimps. They absorb very little of the oil they're cooked in, and they pack just a lot of flavor.
  • Post #2 - November 15th, 2004, 6:47 am
    Post #2 - November 15th, 2004, 6:47 am Post #2 - November 15th, 2004, 6:47 am
    David Hammond wrote:Tonight, I ordered the shrimp shell-on, and they were fabulous.

    David,

    I'd say fabulous pretty much sums up shell-on salt and pepper shrimp at 'Little' Three Happiness. :)

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    "Little' Three Happiness
    209 W Cermak Rd
    Chicago, IL 60616
    312-842-1964
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #3 - November 15th, 2004, 11:07 am
    Post #3 - November 15th, 2004, 11:07 am Post #3 - November 15th, 2004, 11:07 am
    Ultimo,

    Do I recall correctly that you can order these shrimps without the head?

    Hammond
  • Post #4 - November 15th, 2004, 11:11 am
    Post #4 - November 15th, 2004, 11:11 am Post #4 - November 15th, 2004, 11:11 am
    David Hammond wrote:Ultimo,

    Do I recall correctly that you can order these shrimps without the head?

    Hammond


    The head, however, with its cache of shrimp fat, is one of the best aspects of whole salt and pepper shrimp...
  • Post #5 - November 15th, 2004, 11:15 am
    Post #5 - November 15th, 2004, 11:15 am Post #5 - November 15th, 2004, 11:15 am
    Vital Information wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:Ultimo,

    Do I recall correctly that you can order these shrimps without the head?

    Hammond


    The head, however, with its cache of shrimp fat, is one of the best aspects of whole salt and pepper shrimp...


    Yes, I ate the heads off the first three I had, and it was blast of rich and shrimpy goo, but several in our contingent just tore them off and dumped them, and I was wondering if we could have our shrimp decapitated before serving. Or, perhaps, I should just volunteer to be Designated Head-Eater.

    Hammond
  • Post #6 - November 16th, 2004, 9:06 am
    Post #6 - November 16th, 2004, 9:06 am Post #6 - November 16th, 2004, 9:06 am
    David Hammond wrote:[Yes, I ate the heads off the first three I had, and it was blast of rich and shrimpy goo, but several in our contingent just tore them off and dumped them, and I was wondering if we could have our shrimp decapitated before serving. Or, perhaps, I should just volunteer to be Designated Head-Eater.

    Hammond

    Hammond,

    LTH offers Salt and Pepper Shrimp three ways, no shell, lightly dusted with corn starch and wok fried. Shell-on/head-off and Shell-on/head-on. The only way, in my opinion, to order Salt and Pepper Shrimp is shell-on/head-on, as Rob said, there is a lot of flavor in the head, in addition to delicious crunch.

    When I am with people who do not eat S & P shrimp heads, resulting in small pile of crisp, head-crunching goodness piling up on their plate, I, just before the next delicious course arrives, gesture wildly toward the door saying....."Oh My, isn't that Michael Jordan!!" Their heads quickly swivel toward the door, and I nab the heads right off their plates.

    As an aside, LTH offers Salt and Pepper squid that is made with light corn starch dusting and wok fried with the S & P spices, which is quite good.

    Enjoy,
    Gary 'Shrimp Head' Wiv
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #7 - November 17th, 2004, 11:41 am
    Post #7 - November 17th, 2004, 11:41 am Post #7 - November 17th, 2004, 11:41 am
    As a big fan of head-on, shell-on shrimp, I enjoy LTH but have found a much closer place -- and an unlikely on at that -- to get my fix. It's Phoenix Inn on Davis Street in Evanston, which we've found is a neighborhood Chinese joint with some remarkably good food if you know what to order (and as a corollary, the chef knows that you want authentic flavors.) I'd match their salt and pepper shell-on shrimp to anyone in town, and it's perhaps my favorite take-out dish (next to the mussels in black bean sauce at Joy Yee's across the street.)
    >>Brent

    Phoenix Inn
    608 Davis Street
    Evanston, IL 60202
    847-475-7782
  • Post #8 - November 17th, 2004, 2:11 pm
    Post #8 - November 17th, 2004, 2:11 pm Post #8 - November 17th, 2004, 2:11 pm
    brotine wrote:It's Phoenix Inn on Davis Street in Evanston, which we've found is a neighborhood Chinese joint with some remarkably good food


    And I'm really surprised to see it's been in business since 1924. My guess is it's not the original chef these days, though.
  • Post #9 - January 1st, 2005, 5:48 pm
    Post #9 - January 1st, 2005, 5:48 pm Post #9 - January 1st, 2005, 5:48 pm
    I met a good friend who I don't see often for lunch today in Chinatown at Little Three Happiness. I did a search at LTHForum on LTH and came up with only 2 hits. So, relying on my less than perfect memory, I suggested we order the salt and pepper shrimp. My friend has a much more conservative palate than I do but I thought she'd like it after I described it to her. We had it without the shell. We also ordered the beef with Chinese broccoli, the sweet and sour ribs which were not ribs, more like neck bones and breaded and egg rolls (which were as good as Mom's). Everything was of top-notch quality and delicious. The service was excellent and friendly. My only complaint was the blast of cold air whenever someone entered or exited. I did another search today this time on Three Happiness instead of Little Three Happiness and got 46 hits! So, with menu suggestions in hand, thank you LTHForum for this discovery! My happiness just got bigger!
  • Post #10 - January 1st, 2005, 5:57 pm
    Post #10 - January 1st, 2005, 5:57 pm Post #10 - January 1st, 2005, 5:57 pm
    Apple,

    Some old high school friends and I ate at Little Three Happiness on Thursday night, and had the salt and pepper shrimp, too. I usually eat them heads-and-all, but last time eating all those heads made me feel a little strange, so last Thursday I decapitated them before eating, but here's the weird thing: every time I pulled a head off, a squirt of hot red sauce jumped out, almost like an artery had opened (which, of course, is not physiologically likely with a shrimp, which wouldn't have red blood anywhere). Several others in the party noticed the same thing -- it was odd. I found, though, that all the red sauce in the heads cut the richness of the shrimp brain, of which I still did not eat many.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #11 - January 1st, 2005, 6:11 pm
    Post #11 - January 1st, 2005, 6:11 pm Post #11 - January 1st, 2005, 6:11 pm
    Hi,

    When Steve Drucker was in town, I had most of my meal without depositing anything on my blouse at LTH. Until I bit into a salt and pepper shrimp head when "the red stuff" went shooting all over the place. I believe the red stuff is their roux or eggs. I find it a bonus when they are present, though not on my blouse!

    I do pretreat those food droppings with laundry pretreatment, which settles the problem 99% of the time. I just feel so concientious for the rest of the day with the tell tale trail of meals past on my blouse.

    The price of love!
    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 #12 - January 1st, 2005, 6:19 pm
    Post #12 - January 1st, 2005, 6:19 pm Post #12 - January 1st, 2005, 6:19 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,When Steve Drucker was in town, I had most of my meal without depositing anything on my blouse at LTH. Until I bit into a salt and pepper shrimp head when "the red stuff" went shooting all over the place. I believe the red stuff is their roux or eggs.


    C2, you may have had the "shrimp caviar" (and I think I've seen that in the shrimp once or twice) but I'm sure what came spurting out of our shrimp was Lousianna hot sauce.

    Incidentally, GWiv, if you're reading this, they're all out of chili oil! I told them I'd pass that information along to you.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #13 - January 1st, 2005, 6:22 pm
    Post #13 - January 1st, 2005, 6:22 pm Post #13 - January 1st, 2005, 6:22 pm
    I never noticed the shrimp squirting while eating the S & P shrimp in the past. However, I had lunch with Gwiv, last weekend and while biting into several of the shrimp the squirting happened. I wonder if this has something to do with shrimp being in a breeding season or something like this. I've never had it happen except at this one meal and I've eaten the S & P shrimp with the shell on 5-6 times before.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #14 - January 1st, 2005, 6:57 pm
    Post #14 - January 1st, 2005, 6:57 pm Post #14 - January 1st, 2005, 6:57 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Incidentally, GWiv, if you're reading this, they're all out of chili oil! I told them I'd pass that information along to you.

    Hammond

    Hammond,

    I'm out of town for a few days, but have a quart of chili oil earmarked for LTH as soon as I get back. Thanks for the heads up, shrimp, or otherwise. :)

    Happy New Year

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #15 - January 1st, 2005, 8:24 pm
    Post #15 - January 1st, 2005, 8:24 pm Post #15 - January 1st, 2005, 8:24 pm
    LTH's salt and pepper squid, cooked in much the same fashion, is also outstanding. It's the least greasy salt-and-pepper squid I've ever had, and I've had the version at Great NY Noodletown in Chinatown (NYC), and at Sun Sui Wah in Vancouver.
  • Post #16 - January 10th, 2005, 11:27 pm
    Post #16 - January 10th, 2005, 11:27 pm Post #16 - January 10th, 2005, 11:27 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Incidentally, GWiv, if you're reading this, they're all out of chili oil! I told them I'd pass that information along to you.

    Hammond

    Hammond,

    I dropped off a fresh quart of chili oil at LTH today.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    'Little' Three Happiness
    209 W Cermak Rd
    Chicago, IL 60616
    312-842-1964
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #17 - October 9th, 2005, 5:27 pm
    Post #17 - October 9th, 2005, 5:27 pm Post #17 - October 9th, 2005, 5:27 pm
    I worked yesterday in the office and the family was in a hurry to go to a shiva minyan. My husband and kids picked me up downtown and as we live in the southern suburbs, we decided to stop at "Little" Three Happiness for a quick, early dinner. We recently ate there for our wedding anniversary and the kids were begging to go back. In addition to the salt and pepper shrimp, which were terrific, we had the crispy fried rice noodles with chicken, schezwan beef and the sweet corn and chicken soup. I wanted to order the crispy skin chicken, but I was told by my family that it would be too much food (again). Everything was great, and we had a large bag of leftovers to take home for today's lunch. We also picked up a second order of the fried rice noodles and chicken for the grieving family, instead of showing up with the obligatory mandel bread.

    It appears LTH is cleaning up its act -- the ceiling tiles appear to be new and the walls looked freshly painted. When I mentioned it to the person at the counter, he said the next step was to replace the counter itself with something new.

    We'll be back soon -- very soon!!

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #18 - January 9th, 2006, 9:05 pm
    Post #18 - January 9th, 2006, 9:05 pm Post #18 - January 9th, 2006, 9:05 pm
    I took the kids back to LTH last week while I was on vacation after visiting the Oriental Institute. They both insisted on salt and pepper Smelt which I attribute to the Ultimo's encouragement of them trying said fishies at the Louisa Chu dinner.

    We had SP Smelt, shrimp in black bean sauce over extra crispy rice noodles, shrimp toast and peapod shoots. Everything was wonderful although the kids liked the smelt more than I did.

    One thing that surprised me was the price of the greens. All the greens on the menu are ~$6.50 yet the peapod shoots were 10 bucks. Are they that hard to come by/ hard to keep? I have been looking for them in stores to no avail as they are fast becoming my favorite green vegetable.
  • Post #19 - January 9th, 2006, 10:06 pm
    Post #19 - January 9th, 2006, 10:06 pm Post #19 - January 9th, 2006, 10:06 pm
    Octarine wrote:All the greens on the menu are ~$6.50 yet the peapod shoots were 10 bucks. Are they that hard to come by/ hard to keep?


    It is not that they are hard to come by, but they fetch a premium because they are more cost/labour-intensive to grow.

    Which variety were you served? Were they burly-assed woody shoots or were they the wispy, flavourless, hothouse variety? :wink:

    Seriously, though, at this time of year, those are generally the options. Pea shoots are not presently in season.

    At this time of year in the Arglye neighbourhood you will sometimes find them loose and for sale by the pound. [These are generally the burly-assed woody shoots.] At this time of year in Chinatown, where they are also priced by the pound, they are usu. found in small sealed sacks. [These are generally the flavourless hothouse variety. And, these, too, can be found in the Argyle markets at this time of year.]

    Pick your poison. ;)

    E.M.
  • Post #20 - January 13th, 2006, 7:08 am
    Post #20 - January 13th, 2006, 7:08 am Post #20 - January 13th, 2006, 7:08 am
    Octarine wrote:One thing that surprised me was the price of the greens. All the greens on the menu are ~$6.50 yet the peapod shoots were 10 bucks. Are they that hard to come by/ hard to keep?


    Snow pea leaves aka pea shoots reach their peak during the cool spring and fall weather. Labor intensive to prep. Around late April, May buy some, then get a few friends, some Jolt cola and sit around and dish and pull off the tender green stems with leaves, discarding the rest. Forget it in the hot weather--they get very leggy.

    Easy to cook: saute garlic in a HOT HOT HOT pan, toss in the shoots for a few seconds, remove JUST before they wilt--they will continue cooking in the bowl.

    Best I've ever had ever any where was this past September at several places in Vancouver--the Garden Of Eden for snow pea leaves.
    Chicago is my spiritual chow home
  • Post #21 - July 8th, 2006, 3:46 pm
    Post #21 - July 8th, 2006, 3:46 pm Post #21 - July 8th, 2006, 3:46 pm
    Hi,

    If you want salt and pepper Dungeness crab at LTH, is it a regular menu item or one to order a day in advance?

    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 #22 - July 8th, 2006, 7:15 pm
    Post #22 - July 8th, 2006, 7:15 pm Post #22 - July 8th, 2006, 7:15 pm
    If it's like the lobster, you don't have to order in advance.
  • Post #23 - July 8th, 2006, 11:34 pm
    Post #23 - July 8th, 2006, 11:34 pm Post #23 - July 8th, 2006, 11:34 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:If you want salt and pepper Dungeness crab at LTH, is it a regular menu item or one to order a day in advance?

    Cathy,

    Do you mean Blue Crab?

    Blue Crab dry stir fry with ginger and scallion.
    Image

    I don't preorder, though, on the very rare occasion, they have been out.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #24 - July 9th, 2006, 7:41 am
    Post #24 - July 9th, 2006, 7:41 am Post #24 - July 9th, 2006, 7:41 am
    Octarine wrote:One thing that surprised me was the price of the greens. All the greens on the menu are ~$6.50 yet the peapod shoots were 10 bucks. Are they that hard to come by/ hard to keep? I have been looking for them in stores to no avail as they are fast becoming my favorite green vegetable.


    Octarine, pea shoots are regularly available at Marketplace on Oakton. Nevertheless, call ahead to check availability. They are located in the first refrigerated produce section on the right immediately after you enter the inner front door (and pass the onions).
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #25 - July 9th, 2006, 8:30 am
    Post #25 - July 9th, 2006, 8:30 am Post #25 - July 9th, 2006, 8:30 am
    Thanks, I'll stop by today. I drive past there on a near daily basis.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #26 - July 11th, 2006, 10:01 am
    Post #26 - July 11th, 2006, 10:01 am Post #26 - July 11th, 2006, 10:01 am
    Octarine wrote:I took the kids back to LTH last week while I was on vacation after visiting the Oriental Institute. They both insisted on salt and pepper Smelt which I attribute to the Ultimo's encouragement of them trying said fishies at the Louisa Chu dinner.

    We had SP Smelt, shrimp in black bean sauce over extra crispy rice noodles, shrimp toast and peapod shoots. Everything was wonderful although the kids liked the smelt more than I did.



    Now THAT is some sound parenting. I hope someday my yet-unborn kids eagerly devour a plate of smelt! I live between two families with small children, and the differences in their diets is truly a testament to the fact that if you feed kids diverse foods early on, they'll love them.

    One family has a Japanese mother and Chicagoan father. Their daughter devours seafood, vegetables, spices and curry. On the other side of our house, one Iowan parent, one Alabaman. They've stuck to hot dogs, mac and cheese, applesauce and other "kid foods", and that's all the kids want-- and all I suspect they'll want for quite some time.


    Kudos to you for giving your kids diverse choices in their diet!
  • Post #27 - December 28th, 2006, 10:20 pm
    Post #27 - December 28th, 2006, 10:20 pm Post #27 - December 28th, 2006, 10:20 pm
    Jimthebeerguy and I tried out dinner at this forum's namesake last night.

    I ordered the crispy skin chicken, and Jim ordered the beef with ginger & scallions. We also ordered the hot & sour soup, which was excellent (the last few times I've been in a Chinese restaurant, sad to say, the hot & sour soup has been neither hot nor sour. We both consider it our yardstick for how good of a restaurant it is).

    My crispy skin chicken was awesome. I very nearly inhaled the whole thing, but stopped myself in time to get some bagged up and inhaled the rest at work today for lunch.

    Jim's beef was not so great (I thought) but he liked it.

    After we were done, I got a hold of the menu and tried to remember the things that G Wiv had suggested. I knew the S&P shrimp was a fave but I was leery about the idea of eating the shell of a shrimp and didn't want to spend a lot of time de-shelling.

    OK, long story short, I have a couple of questions:

    1) Why isn't Clams w/Black Bean sauce & jalapenos Evil Ronnie style on the menu?

    2) Why isn't shrimp toast on the menu?

    Is there a "special menu" that we didn't get?
    "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you want and let the food fight it out inside."
    -Mark Twain
  • Post #28 - December 29th, 2006, 6:40 am
    Post #28 - December 29th, 2006, 6:40 am Post #28 - December 29th, 2006, 6:40 am
    Saint Pizza wrote:
    Is there a "special menu" that we didn't get?


    Gwiv wrote a post of his favorite items that is somewhere here, I searched but couldn't find it. I copied it and downloaded it to my PDA.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #29 - December 29th, 2006, 6:45 am
    Post #29 - December 29th, 2006, 6:45 am Post #29 - December 29th, 2006, 6:45 am
    Bruce wrote:
    Saint Pizza wrote:
    Is there a "special menu" that we didn't get?


    Gwiv wrote a post of his favorite items that is somewhere here, I searched but couldn't find it. I copied it and downloaded it to my PDA.


    Bruce, I think Saint Pizza was wondering if there was the equivalent of a "secret menu" at Little Three Happiness, and to the best of my knowledge there is not.

    I've had shrimp toast just about everytime I've been there, and I believe it's a popular item, so I'm surprised to hear SP report that it's not on the menu.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #30 - December 29th, 2006, 7:47 am
    Post #30 - December 29th, 2006, 7:47 am Post #30 - December 29th, 2006, 7:47 am
    Saint Pizza wrote:Is there a "special menu" that we didn't get?
    Saint Pizza,

    'Little' Three Happiness does not, to the best of my knowledge have a "secret menu", as far as shrimp toast not being on the menu, I order them pretty much every time I go and simply as for them by name, though I'm surprised to hear they are not on the menu, they were last time I actually looked at the menu which, admittedly, was sometime ago.

    Far as Clams Evil Ronnie Style (clams w/black bean sauce and extra jalapenos served on a bed of crispy thin noodle), that is not on the menu, though they are happy to make it, I'd ask by ingredients as opposed to Evil Ronnie Style.*

    Clams Evil Ronnie style is not a "secret menu" item, it's more on the order of a long time favored customer at a restaurant ordering dishes fine tuned to their specifications. For example, an apple jelly, white bread and Paulina Market ham sandwich being called The Hammond.

    Next time definitely try the S & P shrimp, it's really terrific and if Jim The Beer Guy really wants to order something beef try beef short ribs with XO sauce or pan fried rice noodle, crisp, with beef.

    Glad you liked LTH overall.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *Most of the waitress would know Clams Evil Ronnie, but to keep it simple I'd order by ingredients then mention Evil Ronnie Style.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow

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