Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Triple Crown Seafood

Location:  211 W. 22nd Pl., Chicago, IL 60616
Triple Crown Restaurant on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:
One of the most authentic Chinese restaurants... if not the most authentic.  Everything here is "Grandmother" approved so do be afraid to try everything, especially their seafood!  And if I posted it, and it's not on the menu, just ask.  They have some specials that you have to ask for.  In terms of atmosphere, the restaurant is located off the main strip, and the entrance isn't glamorous.  In fact, the entrance is more sketchy and grimy than anything else.  But that really doesn't matter, because the food is that good incredible.  Stick to my suggestions below and you will not be disappointed.  I rarely give 5 mile ratings... but Triple Crown Seafood definitely deserves it.

What I ate:
Razor Clams 

Without question... The BEST dish of the night. Definitely a rare treat... These razor clams are lightly steamed and then topped simply with roasted chopped garlic and a few scallions. They are served on a bed of glass rice noodles. The garlic flavor is strong but this dish is unforgettable... The clams are as fresh as can be and have much more substance behind each bite.  I promise, you will CRAVE these for a long time! 

Beef and Chinese Broccoli Chow Mein

My older brother loves this noodle dish.  The chow mein noodles are crispy at first and then the sauce from the stir fried beef and fresh Chinese broccoli make them soft and full of flavor.  You can change the toppings, but I highly suggest the chinese broccoli and beef.   The meat is tender and well seasoned.  I like to describe Chinese broccoli as a mixed between broccoli and spinach.  You get the crisp fromt he steam but still get the leafiness that everything enjoys.  This is one of the staple dishes that everyone should order.  It is extremely filling so make sure to leave room for the rest of the meal.  I have had a vegetarian option that utilizes tofu rather than beef... it is also very good.

Steamed Whole Flounder

One of my favorite dishes at Triple Crown.  The dish consists of an entire flounder cooked at its simplest preparation... a little soy sauce, ginger, chives, green onions and a little steam.  The fish is fall off the bone tender but still keeps that firm consistency that makes the fish somewhat substantial.  Flounder has a lot of natural fats (omega-3s), so you will find a little bit of an oily texture to the fish, especially the skin.  The ginger adds a very prominent flavor to both the fish and the sauce.  Definitely scoop a few spoonfuls of sauce over your white rice.  And make sure you eat white rice with this dish because it cuts the salt quite well.

Steamed Fish Fillets with Yellow Chives

Another excellent seafood dish are these fish fillets that have been cooked with yellow chives.  Rather than working with a huge bone like in the flounder (above), the sole fillets are cooked in bite sized morsels and are more mild tasting than fishy.  So if you are scared of fishy flavors, this may be a dish that will change your mind.  The yellow chives are an interesting pairing and give the entire dish a garlic flavor. They compliment each other very well! Just add some white rice and a cup of hot tea.

Salt and Pepper Shrimp

My mom and I crave these head-on and shell-on shrimps.  They are lightly fried with a handful of jalapeños giving the dish just enough spice to be noticed.  After pealing away the shells (you can eat the legs), you are left with a nice sized shrimp with plenty of flavor.  Definitely ask for white vinegar with garlic mixed into it.  The hot shrimp dipped in the garlic vinegar is a combination that cannot be explained... it must be tasted.  After enjoying the body, don't forgot to suck the juices out of the shrimp head.  That is where all the sweet, yet fishy flavor is located and my favorite part.

Salt and Pepper Squid

Similar to the head on shrimp described above, these salt and pepper squid is the exact dish, but instead it utilizes huge squid chunks.  I was afraid the squid was going to be tough, but it was surprisingly tender.  A few fried jalapeños garnish the dish and once again definitely ask for the white vinegar with garlic pieces.  Eat it while its hot, because after it cools, the squid toughens up just enough to be less enjoyable.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- SHARE PLATES... this is family style restaurant so SHARE! (a table next to us had 8 people and they each ordered 1 sometimes 2 dishes per person... they didn't realize that it was family style and they had enough food to feed a small army.)
- Other "must try" dishes include: clams in black bean sauce, sizzling tenderloin, mandarin style pork chop, roasted quail, mongolian beef, salt and pepper smelt fish, watercress in garlic sauce, and any of their fried rices. (hopefully I will add more pictures)
- If some of my suggestions are not on the menu, just ask anyway... the waitresses usually know what the dish is.

- Don't forget to get your parking ticket validated.  It ends up being only $2.00 for 3 hours of parking if the restaurant validates.
- Honestly, just don't forget to ask for the white vinegar!  It is super important for the salt and pepper dishes!

How far would I walk for this food?

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