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WaPo on Andrew Zimmern Cap-Tipping / Poorly Pirating Peter Chang's Dry-Fried Eggplant in Minneapolis

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It couldn't possibly be as bad as the last time I had this dish at Peter Chang Arlington. I would rather have had a bag of Fritos.

I know the pictures I added don't look that bad, but the dishes - all of them - were horrible. Unbeknownst to the camera, there was an obscene amount of grease, and you can't photograph bland flavor. It should say something that I can get to this restaurant, any time I want, in ten minutes, for dine-in or carry-out, and I haven't been back in over six months, and I have no plans to return. Remember me? I'm the guy who sort-of "discovered" (*) Peter Chang (courtesy of my friend Sufei Li, with whom I had lunch in 2004, and who told me that the Chinese community was abuzz about China Star).

(*) When I say "discovered," I'm saying there's a difference between positive reviews on the internet, and a review by a known individual trying to establish or maintain credibility, and sticking his neck on the cutting block while going out on a limb - if it turns out you're wrong, the internet will make you remember for a long time. It takes (or, should take) a serious gut-check before making an unabridged GO-NOW! recommendation.

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FWIW, the version at Masterpiece in Duluth, GA (“eggplant with chili powder and pepper ash powder”) is superb.  Then again, chef LIU Rui (two-time JBF semifinalist for Best Chef Southeast) was a master chef in his own right, before immigrating to the US and working for Chang at Tasty China.

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