One of the great aspects of Asian cuisine is its simplicity, as opposed to American cuisine, which is cinematic.
American entrée descriptions on menus end up looking like short stories after all of the ingredients have been listed – look at the Griffon Gastropub menu if you want to see what I mean.
Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy a burger the size of my face with a description that seems like Shakespeare’s direct descendant wrote it. But I believe food can be a lot like writing: an idea should be expressed in its simplest form.
I’m much more excited about a dish that can have the same flavor with a few ingredients than another that requires a list of ten.
Eddie’s Chophouse, a Cantonese barbecue joint located on Main Street in the University Heights just west of UB’s South Campus, embodies this succinct quality of Asian cuisine.
The shop itself resembles a fully realized Singaporean hawker stand with a sheet-metal counter and wooden stools that sit opposite a wall lined with tables. This wall leads your eye to the roast-rack, which showcases the stars of Eddie’s Chophouse: its meats.
You’ll find five different varieties of meat in Eddie’s roast-rack – roasted pork, roasted duck, chicken, crispy pork and BBQ spare ribs.
The Two Meat Combo offered me the chance to sample the chicken and roast pork served over a bed of rice and a side of steamed cabbage.
For those of you who haven’t already had the pleasure of chomping into chicken or duck served Cantonese style, be warned: they leave the bone in.
Who’s ordering a dish at a restaurant saying, I hope they leave those pesky bones in? Don’t let it ruin the experience though.
The chicken was ridiculously juicy and perfectly cooked with a very light soy-sauce taste. But the roast pork stole the show for me. Its sweet marinade caramelizes when exposed to flame, leaving the pork charred, tender, crunchy and sweet.
A few weeks later I went back to Eddie’s Chophouse.
This time I tried the Two Meat Combo Noodle Bowl with rice noodles, roast pork (again) and crispy pork. The roast pork was as good as before, but the crispy pork became my favorite.
The crispy pork is a fatter cut of meat. The fat is fried to a crisp while leaving the rest of the cut juicy and salty. The noodle bowl itself sits in a tasty chicken broth with sliced scallions.
Two for two at Eddie’s and I’ll definitely be back for more.
My only gripes are that I ordered my dinner to go and the meat was only wrapped in tin foil. By the time I got home, it was already cold.
Also, I wish Eddie’s had a bigger selection of condiments to go with its dishes. Chili pepper sauce, pickled jalapenos and soy sauce would be preferred to the Sriracha placed at each table.
Eddie’s Chophouse is another welcome addition to the food scene on UB’s South Campus.
Its quick meals, awesome meats and cheap prices – $6 for the most expensive Rice Box and $7.50 for the most expensive Noodle Bowl – offer a unique and healthier option for those looking for “fast food.”
Tyler Walters is a food critic. Features desk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.