Evil Ronnie wrote:
Whatever you do, don't try the rumaki at Lin's Garden, on Milwaukee Ave. in Niles. They wrap the liver and water chestnut in ham, then bacon. It is then battered before deep frying, so what you get is a crisp shell filled with steamed liver and fatty bacon. The pressed duck is equally disgusting.
I haven't had Linn's rumaki, but I most certainly agree with you on the pressed duck. Have you found a reasonable rendition anywhere?
Wade, off-hand I don't seem to know a place for rumaki, though Trader Vic's in the Palmer House (17 E Monroe) seems a likely choice.
Linn's info from '02 follows.
I hope you have menu writing input at the restaurant where you are a chef, because after reading your description of Pressed Duck I was so darn moved that I went right out to the closest likely American/Chinese joint for pressed duck or, in this case, Press Almond Duck.
First let me say that maybe there is a reason that you don't see pressed duck on restaurant menus any longer, though the version I was served at Lin's was similar to my memory of pressed duck in the same way that a burger king hamburger is similar to a Smith and Wollensky's burger.
Lin's pressed duck was shredded duck with about a half of an inch of breading fried on top, with the occasional slice of slightly bitter and tough shiitake mushroom, the shiitake needed longer soaking and a few water changes. The only thing that the pressed duck had going, aside from a nice crisp crust, were the crunchy almonds strewn over the dish, that and the ubiquitous shredded lettuce underneath the pressed duck.
This was neither the pressed duck of Ron's youth or mine as it was served with a sticky brown 'egg fu yung' type gravy, not a sweet sauce as Ron remembers. Though in my pressed duck memory it is served with a brown sauce, not a sweet and sour.
While the pressed duck may have not been quite to my liking, Lin's seems like a pleasant American/Chinese restaurant with all the usual menu suspects and a wide selection of Tiki type drinks.
I have not been put off of my Ron R inspired quest for the perfect pressed duck, next up on my Chicago pressed duck tour, Orange Garden. Yes, I called, they have pressed duck, $9.15 + tax, carry out until 10pm. (At least tonight)
Lin's Garden Restaurant
6556 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60631
1942 W. Irving Park Rd.