Put on Your Lao Cap: Lao Hunan

For those of you who didn’t know, Mao was from Hunan and Lao Hunan connects to that history in some not-at-all subtle ways.  First, (and I’m not sure if this is a bad translation, similar to the Simpson’s episode with the alien cookbook) the restaurants mantra is “Serving People.”  Second, and even more overt, are the Red Army military uniforms donned by the servers.  I can’t honestly say it’s the most comforting environment.

The food, however, is unique and very tasty.  There are some things to keep in mind, though.  Sze Chaun tends to have the “super-spicy” reputation among the provincial dining options, but Hunan dishes can have just as much or more spice than the Sze Chuan options.  In the case of the dishes preferred by Mao himself, they also tend to be pretty greasy.  The biography of Mao that his doctor wrote said that he tended to have much richer tastes than the vast majority of his countrymen.  The “Chairman Mao’s Favorite Pork Belly” definitely falls in this category.  So, when venturing towards dining here MAKE SURE to order a vegetable dish or two.  The amount of meat in most the dishes can be staggering even for the dedicated carnivore.

All that being said, I’ve had some really nice stuff there including the aforementioned Pork Belly and Ground Pork with Preserved Sour Bean (sounds weird, but it’s awesome).  The Famous Prawn in Hot Wok also had an amazing flavor that is unlike anything else I have had in Chicago.  The thing is, this just scratches the surface.  There are dozens of other weird and unique dishes on the menu that I haven’t even tried yet.  Looks like I’m going to have to clear up my schedule for the next couple of months…


About markdollardrealty

Mark has built a reputation as a responsive and dedicated broker who uses his market expertise and extensive background in finance to identify and close on prime opportunities for his clients. As a multi-year top-producing agent at a boutique real estate firm, he brings an unparalleled level of experience, skills, and customer service to real estate transactions. Whether working with a first-time condo buyer or selling a multi-million dollar investment property, Mark strives to understand each client's unique needs and leads them confidently through all aspects of what is often a complex process. Constantly looking at the long-term benefits, Mark educates his clients with their future in mind, and remains a trusted advisor long after any single transaction has closed.
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