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Installation (Wordpress Part): Steakhead's Atlanta Eats Blog: Tasty China More Than Lives Up To Its Name

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tasty China More Than Lives Up To Its Name

There has been a lot of buzz lately on several online forums, including and Chowhound, about Tasty China. People are raving about very traditional Sichuan cuisine in Marietta that tops anything on Buford Highway. In fact, Lady Steakhead and I believe this place can rival the best anywhere. Chef Peter Chang comes to 585 Franklin Rd. in Marietta after winning numerous accolades for his distinctive cuisine in Washington DC, and previously as the head chef at the Dynasty Hotel in Beijing. And by judging from the mostly Asian crowd last Saturday night, his reputation is quickly spreading in Atlanta as well.

The menu is expansive- 6 pages and well over 100 items to choose from. Don't let this intimidate you, as you can skip the middle section of American Chinese Dishes. This is where you will find all the moo goo gai pans and kung paos. Nothing to see here. Move along. Spend your time navigating the appetizer and Classic Sichuan sections. We went in with the attitude that we wanted to try as many things as possible- and with appetizers costing only $5, this was easy to do from a financial perspective. Tom Maicon of AtlantaCuisine gave us a couple of suggestions, including the Hot & Numbing Beef Rolls, which were not as spicy as the name would indicate. Its actually one fairly large roll, cut into four pieces. Another recommendation was the #1 listed on the table placard. Since everything after the "#1" was written in Chinese, I can't tell you exactly what it's called, but in essence, it's 3 sticky buns filled with ground pork. A third appetizer was a sweet and spicy broth with wontons . All three were very good, with our favorite being the beef rolls.

For a main course, we went with the Hot Pepper Fish (#98). This was a sort of fish stew with tofu and diced habernero and other peppers. Our server gave us a great recommendation to have a chicken dish accompany this, but we left it up to him as to a specific dish and have no idea what it was (I think he said it wasn't on the menu). Nonetheless, it was diced chicken served with a kind of chips. There was a slight glaze to the chicken, but not your typical "glop" that accompanies many chicken dishes in typical sub par Chinese places. Both of these dishes were fantastic. The fish was not quite as hot as I would have thought leading me to immediately believe it was toned down for the American.

Tasty China is BYOB so you may want to bring your own Tsingtao. The cost is very reasonable- we had 3 appetizers and 2 main courses (enough for dinner the following night) and the tab came in under $40. I can't wait to go back and continue exploring the menu and learning about authentic Sichuan dishes. The sichuan noodles, pork belly in garlic mud, duck, and roasted fish with green onions are all on my list to try. And we'll definitely have those beef rolls again. And maybe some more wontons. Okay, maybe I need several more visits.

Steakhead Recommends: YES
Price: $$


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