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You've got to sink your teeth into Katy's Dumplings! [long]

You've got to sink your teeth into Katy's Dumplings! [long]
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  • Post #91 - July 21st, 2006, 3:05 pm
    Post #91 - July 21st, 2006, 3:05 pm Post #91 - July 21st, 2006, 3:05 pm
    As Tony C has reminded us time and time again, there are about 3,000,000 ways of doing any given dish in chinese cooking, and the one you like is the one true way, and anyone who doesn't prepare it that way is wrong and yadda yadda yadda.

    Right, Tony? :) :)
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #92 - July 21st, 2006, 3:25 pm
    Post #92 - July 21st, 2006, 3:25 pm Post #92 - July 21st, 2006, 3:25 pm
    etune,

    Welcome to LTHForum and thanks for sharing your opinion about Katy's. I've been to Katy's once and I enjoy it as much as many of the fans earlier in this thread.

    Your review of this restaurant is way off base...


    I'm not sure what element of Janet's review is "off base". She didn't present any factual errors or question the authenticity of Katy's. She simply did not like some of the food. Her opinion is as valid as any other and she is entitled to it. Perhaps others who know and agree with Janet's tastes would find her review of Katy's valuable to them?

    LTHForum is a community of diverse tastes and opinions, and we get a lot of value from that diversity.

    Best,
    Michael

    (Moderator note. etune is quoting a review from the Katy's GNR thread, which was locked at the end of the commenting period.)
  • Post #93 - July 21st, 2006, 4:21 pm
    Post #93 - July 21st, 2006, 4:21 pm Post #93 - July 21st, 2006, 4:21 pm
    eatchicago wrote:etune,


    LTHForum is a community of diverse tastes and opinions, and we get a lot of value from that diversity.

    Best,
    Michael

    (Moderator note. etune is quoting a review from the Katy's GNR thread, which was locked at the end of the commenting period.)


    Sorry, you're right, perhaps my post was a bit harsh. But there were some places in her post
    The filling wasn't nearly as flavorful as the ones I make at home for Chinese New Years

    The beef noodle soup was, for me, the greatest disappointment. This has been one of my favorite dishes ever since I was little, and I've sadly had to reconcile with the fact that it's a rare thing to find a well-made beef noodle soup. Most places just do not make very flavorful broths. The best I've had is from a family friend's Chinese restaurant where my mom works part time

    just to quote a couple places, where she implies that she and her family know better and where it was clearly implied that Katy's 'did not do it right' and their dishes' authenticity is implied to be sub par.
    That is what I was responding to.
    Katy's is very authentic. As I said, I do have experience to back that up (6 years in Asia) and have a large circle of Chinese friends who, although they may not agree with the preparation of every dish, do not question the authenticity of all the restaurant's food, especially the noodles and the dumplings and also especially the beef noodle soup.
    So, again, if you want to try some authentic Chinese noodles, not American Chinese noodles, try Katy's. If you like it, great! If you don't, then you don't like authentic Chinese food such as they serve.
    Sorry, that's my opinion.
  • Post #94 - July 21st, 2006, 4:41 pm
    Post #94 - July 21st, 2006, 4:41 pm Post #94 - July 21st, 2006, 4:41 pm
    Neither of those quotes say that what Katy's turns out is inauthentic. Rather, they say that Janet didn't find the food particularly tasty.

    I don't think Janet ever implies that the food is inauthentic. And believe me, people here love to imply that restaurant food is inauthentic!
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #95 - July 21st, 2006, 4:46 pm
    Post #95 - July 21st, 2006, 4:46 pm Post #95 - July 21st, 2006, 4:46 pm
    eteune wrote:where she implies that she and her family know better and where it was clearly implied that Katy's 'did not do it right' and their dishes' authenticity is implied to be sub par.


    etune,

    As gleam said above, all Janet is saying is that she likes the taste of her dumplings better and that she didn't like the flavor of the broth. She casts no aspersions about authenticity. I think you're reading too much into it.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #96 - July 21st, 2006, 4:50 pm
    Post #96 - July 21st, 2006, 4:50 pm Post #96 - July 21st, 2006, 4:50 pm
    gleam wrote:Neither of those quotes say that what Katy's turns out is inauthentic. Rather, they say that Janet didn't find the food particularly tasty.

    I don't think Janet ever implies that the food is inauthentic. And believe me, people here love to imply that restaurant food is inauthentic!


    Well, sorry, have to disagree with you. Did you read the quotes I supplied? Very clear implication about authentic, IMO.

    But if you don't think so fine.
  • Post #97 - July 21st, 2006, 4:51 pm
    Post #97 - July 21st, 2006, 4:51 pm Post #97 - July 21st, 2006, 4:51 pm
    eatchicago wrote:
    eteune wrote:where she implies that she and her family know better and where it was clearly implied that Katy's 'did not do it right' and their dishes' authenticity is implied to be sub par.


    etune,

    As gleam said above, all Janet is saying is that she likes the taste of her dumplings better and that she didn't like the flavor of the broth. She casts no aspersions about authenticity. I think you're reading too much into it.

    Best,
    Michael


    Sorry, she said much more than that, just read the quotes, pretty simple I thought, but I guess not.
  • Post #98 - July 21st, 2006, 5:32 pm
    Post #98 - July 21st, 2006, 5:32 pm Post #98 - July 21st, 2006, 5:32 pm
    Don't you just hate those people who just barge into a conversation and tell people that they are wrong?
    Yeah, that was me this time, sorry.

    I guess I should introduce myself despite having already presented myself as a forum oaf.

    I lived in Asia for 6 years after college picking up Mandarin and Thai along the way. I also travel there regularly on business and to visit family (my wife is Thai). I fell in love with Asia especially the FOOD! So now, whenever I visit an Asian restaurant in America, I compare it to the food I know in Asia. Asian restaurants are a somewhat emotional experience for me as they take me back to the streets of Taipei, or Bangkok or Beijing or Penang, etc.

    I have had a few experiences with American friends after having highly recommended my favorite hole-in-the-wall Asian spot only have them say, yeah, I really didn't like it. WHAT? Are you crazy? It's the best food this side of Ramkhamhaeng Road! Or when someone tells me that they know a great Thai restaurant they really like, and I go and have a conversation with the owners in MANDARIN about how they are from Taipei and the few Thai waitresses apologize to me in Thai and bring me some sauces they made in the kitchen to make up for the poor cuisine. Let's just say when I find a restaurant that is authentic, I get kind of feisty if someone implies it's not or says, well, it was ok, but it's not the way we make it at home or not the best I've had. Usually when American'
    s say that they are full of da bian and don't know their chou dofu from mashed potatoes and gravy.

    I now realize this is probably a very erudite and well-stomached group and probably knows their way around a bowl of yendafoe pretty well, jellyfish and all.

    So my apologies to Janet and everyone else.
    But I do LOVE the Niurou Mian at Jao Laoer.

    I also have to say that although there is variation in preparation of Asian dishes, many of the ones that 'vary' from what I would consider authentic in the States are either ill-prepared, watered down Western versions or some sort of lame French/Asian 'fusion' which ends up being neither French, Asian or very good, hehe.

    So, yeah, I'm too opinionated when it comes to Asian food. So I will try to stick with pointing out good things and stear clear of criticizing others opinions.

    Ed
  • Post #99 - July 21st, 2006, 9:46 pm
    Post #99 - July 21st, 2006, 9:46 pm Post #99 - July 21st, 2006, 9:46 pm
    eteune wrote:So, yeah, I'm too opinionated when it comes to Asian food. So I will try to stick with pointing out good things and stear clear of criticizing others opinions.


    Given your background with Asian cuisine and desire to focus on positives, maybe you can tell us about some of your favorite Asian places around town.
  • Post #100 - July 21st, 2006, 10:56 pm
    Post #100 - July 21st, 2006, 10:56 pm Post #100 - July 21st, 2006, 10:56 pm
    eteune wrote: Usually when American's say that they are full of da bian and don't know their chou dofu from mashed potatoes and gravy.
    I believe da bian refers to the act of defecation, not the resulting product. If I remember correctly from my days at the Defense Language Institute, it means 'big comfort'. The actual word for feces is 'fen' (pronounced fun). However, I am not a native speaker, so I could be completely full of fen.
    To the Mods: If you wish to delete this post for being tasteless and OT, I won't hold it against you.
    Last edited by d4v3 on July 21st, 2006, 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #101 - July 21st, 2006, 11:11 pm
    Post #101 - July 21st, 2006, 11:11 pm Post #101 - July 21st, 2006, 11:11 pm
    eteune wrote:I have had a few experiences with American friends after having highly recommended my favorite hole-in-the-wall Asian spot only have them say, yeah, I really didn't like it. WHAT?

    Eteune,

    Considering LTHForum is named after a "hole-in-the-wall Asian Spot" you may have jumped to a conclusion or two. :)

    Welcome to LTHForum.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #102 - July 24th, 2006, 10:24 am
    Post #102 - July 24th, 2006, 10:24 am Post #102 - July 24th, 2006, 10:24 am
    Dmnkly, I hope you don't mind if I link to your excellent documentary post regarding Katy's. You and Sazerac both make a powerful case for Katy's incredibly photogenic pasta.

    www.skilletdoux.com
  • Post #103 - July 24th, 2006, 11:05 am
    Post #103 - July 24th, 2006, 11:05 am Post #103 - July 24th, 2006, 11:05 am
    JeffB wrote:Dmnkly, I hope you don't mind if I link to your excellent documentary post regarding Katy's.


    Knock yourself out :-)
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #104 - August 3rd, 2006, 5:33 am
    Post #104 - August 3rd, 2006, 5:33 am Post #104 - August 3rd, 2006, 5:33 am
    JeffB wrote:Wow. I'll bet some enterprising journalist discovers Katy's soon. :wink: If so, good for Katy's!



    And so, it has come to pass. TOC now features a Katy's entry. Cool that they stumbled upon it also.
  • Post #105 - August 3rd, 2006, 7:17 am
    Post #105 - August 3rd, 2006, 7:17 am Post #105 - August 3rd, 2006, 7:17 am
    Just for the record, back in the dawn of time, when Jeff first mentioned Katy's, I went, sampled some dumplings both fried and in soup, and was not impressed by the dumplings and disliked the soup, so I wrote it off. My bad, since I missed the noodles which are the thing.

    I certainly can see where some might find some of their broth insipid and their dumplings just okay - I did. So while I lunch at Katy's almost weekly now, I rarely order the dumplings and never the dumplings in broth.

    Amazing how those hard-working TOC writers are able to find these places!
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #106 - August 3rd, 2006, 7:21 am
    Post #106 - August 3rd, 2006, 7:21 am Post #106 - August 3rd, 2006, 7:21 am
    dicksond wrote:I certainly can see where some might find some of their broth insipid and their dumplings just okay - I did. So while I lunch at Katy's almost weekly now, I rarely order the dumplings and never the dumplings in broth.


    I'd just like to add a bit of praise for the dumplings I tried on my only visit to Katy's. They had a tender, flavorful meat filling and just the right thickness and chew to the wrapper. Terrific dumplings.

    The noodles are by far the star of the show, but the dumplings added a lot of value for me. The dumplings played Garfunkel next to the noodle's Simon.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #107 - August 3rd, 2006, 9:49 am
    Post #107 - August 3rd, 2006, 9:49 am Post #107 - August 3rd, 2006, 9:49 am
    gleam wrote:As Tony C has reminded us time and time again, there are about 3,000,000 ways of doing any given dish in chinese cooking, and the one you like is the one true way, and anyone who doesn't prepare it that way is wrong
    zactly
    and i'm still waiting for the Singaporean cookbook. :wink:

    btw, for the TRULY lazy:
    direct link to dom's katy post
  • Post #108 - August 4th, 2006, 12:51 pm
    Post #108 - August 4th, 2006, 12:51 pm Post #108 - August 4th, 2006, 12:51 pm
    On August 3, dicksond wrote:

    >So while I lunch at Katy's almost weekly now

    Wow, I don’t know how you can do that. I was in there a few days ago for lunch (warm day) and had the stir-fried noodles with dried chilies and a cup of hot tea. I was not more than a third through, when my body temperature felt like it was 115 degrees.

    I don’t think the place has A/C. Call me a wimp, but I could not finish the meal, although I thought it was great. I just was sweating so much, felt like I was in a steam.

    Probably won’t be back for lunch till the temp is below 80.

    Dodger
  • Post #109 - August 5th, 2006, 6:58 pm
    Post #109 - August 5th, 2006, 6:58 pm Post #109 - August 5th, 2006, 6:58 pm
    I was in there a few days ago for lunch (warm day) and had the stir-fried noodles with dried chilies and a cup of hot tea. I was not more than a third through, when my body temperature felt like it was 115 degrees.

    I don’t think the place has A/C. Call me a wimp, but I could not finish the meal, although I thought it was great. I just was sweating so much, felt like I was in a steam.

    Probably won’t be back for lunch till the temp is below 80.

    I was there today. The air conditioning was actually on for a change :). I had pot stickers and stir-fried noodles with chili. Although I have read reports that the pot stickers here are not that great, the ones I had today were fine. No complaints.
  • Post #110 - August 5th, 2006, 8:10 pm
    Post #110 - August 5th, 2006, 8:10 pm Post #110 - August 5th, 2006, 8:10 pm
    Regarding the heat, when I had the cold Szechwan noodles it was a scorcher but the cool noodles, shredded cucumber and chile heat was just about perfect. I agree that I probably would not have had the noodles in soup (sic) but the cold noodles, oh yeah.
  • Post #111 - August 6th, 2006, 9:29 pm
    Post #111 - August 6th, 2006, 9:29 pm Post #111 - August 6th, 2006, 9:29 pm
    On Texas Pete hot sauce:

    You can actually find it at Village Foods at 51st St (Hyde Park Blvd) and Lake Park in Hyde Park. That's a Centrella supermarket, so it's probably available in a lot more places than that.
  • Post #112 - August 7th, 2006, 10:58 am
    Post #112 - August 7th, 2006, 10:58 am Post #112 - August 7th, 2006, 10:58 am
    Evan B. Druce wrote:On Texas Pete hot sauce:

    You can actually find it at Village Foods at 51st St (Hyde Park Blvd) and Lake Park in Hyde Park. That's a Centrella supermarket, so it's probably available in a lot more places than that.


    Texas Pete is available at Meijer.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #113 - August 7th, 2006, 11:09 am
    Post #113 - August 7th, 2006, 11:09 am Post #113 - August 7th, 2006, 11:09 am
    Wow, I don’t know how you can do that. I was in there a few days ago for lunch (warm day) and had the stir-fried noodles with dried chilies and a cup of hot tea. I was not more than a third through, when my body temperature felt like it was 115 degrees.


    No argument here. The 2 times I went when the temp was 95+ the AC was on and the door closed. I have been meaning to try Johnnies beef sammy (Westmont Johnnies is not related to the Elmwood Park place and its outposts) for a long time and if I had arrived on a 100 degree day with no AC at Katy's, that would be the day I go to Johnnies next door.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #114 - August 7th, 2006, 8:59 pm
    Post #114 - August 7th, 2006, 8:59 pm Post #114 - August 7th, 2006, 8:59 pm
    I tried Katy's late on Saturday night after reading about them here and jonesing for Chinese food. I had the stirfried crispy noodles, and they were very enjoyable, and incredibly filling. Total bill with a generous tip was $8. The dumplings and the soups looked good, but being by myself there was no real chance to try them.

    One of the owners (Mr. Katy??) had fallen asleep while I was eating, and I felt very badly about waking him up to pay him - but hey, he had to go home anyway! There were a group of four sitting at another table talking away and enjoying their dinner, and as I was getting in my car (at 8:45p, they close at 9), the other co-owner (Katy?) came out from the kitchen and started staring at them in hopes that they'd get the idea that it was time to go.

    I'll definitely go back.
  • Post #115 - August 20th, 2006, 8:36 am
    Post #115 - August 20th, 2006, 8:36 am Post #115 - August 20th, 2006, 8:36 am
    There is a note on the door saying they will be closed 8/24-9/6. The owner said they are going on vacation to China. So don't bother going there during that period.
  • Post #116 - August 20th, 2006, 2:26 pm
    Post #116 - August 20th, 2006, 2:26 pm Post #116 - August 20th, 2006, 2:26 pm
    Made my maiden voyage to Katy's today. Mr. Red-Shirt was in attendance and wearing his customary red shirt. He was friendly and accommodating, helping to translate my question "Where's the nearest ATM" for the cashier and pointing me to the Jewel around the corner. Later, I saw him stir fry a batch of noodles - serious wok-skills were in evidence - he added ingredients one by one, flipping garlic, soy etc into the wok with the tip of his spatula, let is all sit for abotu ten seconds and then entered into a 5 minute orchestra of wok-tossing and spatula clanging, all the while sparks flew up around the outside edge of the pan, and the food danced in the air above the rim, seemingly of its own accord. Heck of a show!

    Noodles were phenomenal - K and I had a bowl of beef noodles in that immense broth, one of dandan (that came with a lot more broth than I expected) and a plate of superb potstickers.

    As we finished up, the zim family walked in, so I think you can expect another take on a maiden katy's voyage today!

    Edit:
    Wait a minute! What did I eat? The dan dan mien pictured in Sazerac's post above does not look like what I ate today. The noodle soup I had today had a light pink broth, slivered pork and preserved vegetable - not the leafy greens, ground pork etc that it looks like sazera had....hmm.
  • Post #117 - August 21st, 2006, 9:45 am
    Post #117 - August 21st, 2006, 9:45 am Post #117 - August 21st, 2006, 9:45 am
    It was nice running into Seth at K's dumpling house - I'm not sure I have a lot to add to what has already been written here but did enjoy those chewy noodles quite a bit, though I think we overordered three dishes of them and as the seasoning is fairly similar (And because of some language difficulty I'm not exactly sure which three plates we got) it led to a litle sameness, except for the beef tendon noodle soup and the potstickers - both of which were great, especially the potstickers, I don't believe I have had better, the juice quotient being stratospheric. Luckily a chinese couple seated near us took pity on our language difficulties and made sure we were able to get appropriate condiments to accompany.

    Afterwards, we went almost next door to shree for dessert. While the ras malai were only average the pista kulfi was served with with the traditional ice cold rice vermicelli noodles - Something I really like and you don't see so often here. I did notice the chaat shop Big Suchir in the corner of the same little strip mall advertsining that they also served kulfi as such - "calling it bombay falooda"
    Last edited by zim on August 21st, 2006, 10:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #118 - August 21st, 2006, 10:15 am
    Post #118 - August 21st, 2006, 10:15 am Post #118 - August 21st, 2006, 10:15 am
    Seth, the pedestrian-sounding "noodles with meat sauce" is somewhat more like what many other places call dan dan mein. Katy's gives you a big scoop of the ragu, along with a lovely julienne of cucumber. The "dan dan mein" at Katy's adds that delicious pink broth and greens. I like both.

    You've highlighted again what is so great about Katy's -- the skill and uncompromised product. In a simple bowl of noodles with meat sauce you enjoy the results of several disparate talents -- the noodle making, the perfectly balanced, long-cooked ragu, the knife skills of the person who cuts thousands of perfect cucumber matchsticks a day to serve with 5 buck bowls of noodles.

    I wish I could find a Bolognese half this good at three times the price.

    PS, on Saturday afternoon, a steady stream of Chinese customers came and went, largely following the same pattern: sit for a quick bowl of noodles, leave with massive quantities of frozen dumplings and a container or two of the refrigerated specials. I enjoy the dumplings very much. I know they get a mixed reception here, and they are certainly not of the delicate, Hong Kong variety. But given the traffic, it seems clear that Katy's is giving people the taste of home, if home is the Westmont of Beijing.

    Finally, something to avoid at Katy's -- the stuff served over rice. I grabbed some beef stew on rice for a change of pace. You don't even have to taste the dish to know that this part of the menu is offered as some sort of concession. It looks like a big bowl of disdain, with huge, awkward chunks of green pepper and Americanized Chinese squiggle-cut carrots. I don't subscribe to the "if it's offered it should be good" school of thought on this; you have to gamble to win, and this was a long-shot. If it involves pasta or it's in the fridge, you're safe. Otherwise, you've been warned.

    PPS, while the pork is very good, the takeout duck is outstanding. We buy a lot of ducks on Argyle and in Chinatown for my duck-crazy 6 year old, and I find most ducks to be like most rib tips -- a lot of flavor, bone, and fat, but little meat. Katy's ducks must look like turkeys, given the amount of meat you get.

    The owner was clueless regarding his status on LTH and the recent writeup in TOC. Ironic that TOC staff is talking the 'discovery' up on public radio as the folks at Katy's cook on, unaware. Katy's cooking is a great publicist.

    Anyway, I said I would bring in some clippings next time I'm out that way, and the owner was very enthusiastic. Not sure when next I will be in the 'burbs, so I'd encourage others to beat me to it.
  • Post #119 - August 25th, 2006, 2:00 pm
    Post #119 - August 25th, 2006, 2:00 pm Post #119 - August 25th, 2006, 2:00 pm
    jow wrote:There is a note on the door saying they will be closed 8/24-9/6. The owner said they are going on vacation to China. So don't bother going there during that period.
    :cry: I worked from home today and was going to drive over there for a late lunch. Last time I worked from home was a Wednesday, and they are closed Wednesdays.

    I am so sad. :cry: But I'm happy I saw this before I got in the car!
  • Post #120 - August 28th, 2006, 4:24 pm
    Post #120 - August 28th, 2006, 4:24 pm Post #120 - August 28th, 2006, 4:24 pm
    jow wrote:There is a note on the door saying they will be closed 8/24-9/6. The owner said they are going on vacation to China. So don't bother going there during that period.

    ahhh darnit. i just invited ppl to dinner there for today.. :x

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