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Thursday, February 16, 2012

In Defense of General Tso's and the Whole U.S. Friggin A.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 1:30 PM

click to enlarge Our new national dish? - ALEX HOCHMAN
  • Alex Hochman
  • Our new national dish?
Last week, SF Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman penned a column lamenting the introduction of the Chinese-American staple General Tso's Chicken to Beijing. Well color us red, white, and blue, but any country lucky enough to have this foodstuff shoved down its throat should feel honored and privileged.

In good ol' Frisco, true jingoists patriots can find a stellar Genral Tso's ($9.95) at Tai Chi, where they've been dishing it out since the '70s. A platter of Cleveland Browns orange, lacquered chicken chunks arrives at the table oozing steam. After sinking your teeth into the crispy nuggets, you'll understand what makes Tai Chi's Genral Tso's a source of national pride. First, a bang of sugar and ginger followed by a surprising whack of red pepper, enough that you'll want to knock back a few Tsingtaos Budweisers to cool down. Of course, we're just guessing at the ingredients because, like our beloved Colonel, the recipe is secret. Healthy? Hardly. Authentic? Who cares? American? As apple pie.

Tip: If ordering for delivery, ask for the chicken extra crispy and the sauce on the side and toss them together over high heat for a minute or two.

Tai Chi, 2031 Polk Street (at Broadway), 441-6758

Follow Alex Hochman at @urbanstomach. Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.

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