mwolson.org Blog - /Personal

Fri, 26 Oct 2007

Best General Tso's Chicken

After doing some scouting of the place yesterday, I tried the Lemongrass restaurant tonight. It is located in the basement of the Union Building on Purdue's West Lafayette campus, and just recently opened a few days ago. I wanted to try their Pad Thai, since that's the usual dish that I order at Thai places, but alas, they did not have the ingredients at hand to make this dish.

I then ordered the General Tso's Chicken, which they apparently added to the menu today, since I don't recall seeing it yesterday. Before I express my enjoyment of their preparation of this particular dish, I must lay out the metrics for what (in my opinion) makes a good General Tso's Chicken meal.

  1. The chicken must be crispy, and yet paradoxically soft inside.
  2. The meal must come with slices of pepper and onion.
  3. The seasoning must be spot on: a little sweet, and yet salty enough to remind you that this is not a dessert.

In each category, Lemongrass' offering excelled. It was quite simply the best General Tso's Chicken that I have ever had. It was reminiscent of the cafeteria version of the dish that I would eat when I first came to Purdue, but with better seasoning.

The meal included my choice of white rice or fried rice. I opted for the white rice. They gave me my choice of between two sauces. The soy-like sauce was not really "soy sauce" per se; it was more salty and had a slightly different and nonuniform (though delicious) flavor. The peanut sauce I can't really judge comparatively due to lack of experience, but it tasted quite good. The guy at the counter was generous and gave me one of each.

I can recommend the Thai sweet tea that they offer. It's self-serve after paying for it. There was a pitcher of what looked like frothed honey beside it, to add flavor. Ice cubes were also available. I enjoyed the drink; it reminded me of Horchata, but with tea rather than rice milk as the base.

Given that General Tso's Chicken isn't even a Thai dish, I eagerly await the exercise of their culinary masterwork on some real Thai meals.