Whenever we are dining at one of our favorite neighborhood Chinese restaurants, I am always intrigued by the ordering styles of many of the patrons. Diana and I have coined this process the Wide World of Animals school of menu selection.
Over the years, we have culled the best vegan items on the menu, which generally total around five or six dishes. We generally choose two or three items from this group, which makes ordering for us fairly straight forward.
For those other folks, especially if there are more than two people in the group, there seems to be manifest desire to include a different species of animal for each dish selected. In real world terms, the ordering, with some variation, goes something like this: Sweet and sour pig, chicken with black bean sauce, Mongolian cow and some type of scrimp or fish dish. If vegetables are selected, they will invariably be partnered with an additional animal source. Rice becomes optional, usually white.
The scenario I have described, is occurring in Berkeley, the so called gourmet ghetto of Northern California.