January 19, 2006

A Happy Return

by psu

I have always had a personal rule about Chinese Food places. If they have pictures of the food, they should be avoided. This goes along with some other rules, like Chinese Restaurants in shopping plazas tend to be marginal.

These two rules kept me from trying Tasty in Shadyside for the first several years of its existence. This was my loss, because for the next several years, Tasty was the staple Chinese place near CMU in Pittsburgh. The dish that hooked me was the Scrambled Eggs and Roast Pork. This is the sort of thing my mom used to make at home, but which I had never seen in a restaurant. The rest of the menu was a great mix of Catonese dishes, good vegetables, noodles, seafood, lunch boxes and so on. They also had a standard American Chinese gloppy food menu, but I never ordered from it.

Then a year and a half ago Carol, the owner sold out and the place came under new management. Rose Tea opened at about the same time, so I had not been back to Tasty for a long time.

I am now happy to report that Carol and her food pictures are back. The new place is in Squirrel Hill and is called Ka Mei. It's where the freakish kosher Chinese Food and Shawarma place used to be. All in all, this is a good change.

The place serves the same home style Cantonese food as Tasty did. They've added a few new things, like Congee (rice porridge) and a wider assortment of vegetables. I was happy to become requainted with my eggs and pork. I had not realized that I had missed the dish so much. Squirrel Hill is now in the great position of having two distinct regional Chinese places. This is good news indeed.

Oh, the new place has the American menu too... avoid it.

Posted by psu at January 19, 2006 07:24 PM | Bookmark This

Can you help us poor non-foodies out and tell us what's "American menu"? You mean things like General Tso's Chicken that are deep-fried and with a gloppy sugar sauce?


Posted by Chris Ryland at January 19, 2006 10:45 PM

Oops, and can you tell us where it's located? Google local doesn't know about it yet...

Posted by Chris Ryland at January 19, 2006 10:47 PM

It's on Murray across the street from Jerry's Records about halfway down the hill.

The "American" menu is the gloppy brown sauce stuff, yes. Although I have had good General Tso's chicken in various places.

Posted by psu at January 19, 2006 11:01 PM

Some good things to order at Tasty II: Electric Boogaloo

-salty tofu
-the scrambled eggs and pork
-any of the chinese greens dishes, but if you try to order Dow Mei anytime other than Spring you'll get a (polite) lecture.
-any of the hot pots, but especially the beef brisket.
-the whole fish dishes

Posted by peterb at January 19, 2006 11:33 PM

I've heard of scrambled eggs and (shrimp / onions / bittermelon / tomato / beef / oyster) but never roast pork. Is it just roast pork stir-fried into eggs? This is roast pork and not barbecued pork, right?

Posted by Weiguo at January 20, 2006 04:22 PM


I *love* greens. I must try something from Tasty II with greens.

Posted by Laura at January 20, 2006 10:46 PM

mmmmmmm gai lan mmmmm

Now I would chew off my left arm if only someplace in Pittsburgh served dim sum. I dont' care if it's carts or off a menu, as long as it's more and better than the half-assed dim sum at dumpling house. (unless that's gotten better since the last time i was there, 5+ yrs ago. which i doubt.)

Posted by Moose at January 20, 2006 11:20 PM

If driving is preferable to maining your self, the closest decent dim sum is up in CLE. Then again most native Pitts-burgers would rather gnaw off an arm since it is a familiar dish.

Posted by Amos the Poker Cat at January 24, 2006 05:52 PM

I too was elated to see them return - in an even better location with greater accessibility. I had been eating there regularly for 6 years and was slightly distraught when they sold the store.

The usual for me:
* beef brisket hot pot
* egg plant bean curd hot pot
* salted anthing (pork, shrimp, squid, tofu)
* greens, esp. dow mei, watercress, Chinese brocoli
* beef chow fun
* shrimp and eggs
* and more:)

They are open late too on weeknights (11:30!), augmenting the pool of places to get some late-night eats by twofold (Mineo's).

Posted by ben at February 18, 2006 01:41 PM

Please help support Tea Leaves by visiting our sponsors.

November October September August July June May April March February January

December November October September August July June May April March February January

December November October September August July June May April March February January