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Vegetarian? Bored? Sick and tired of mock duck? Bolting awake in the middle of the night craving something, anything new--mock pork, maybe? Mock shrimp? Mock Chateaubriand? Well, we can't help you with that last one, but Evergreen Taiwanese is fascinating, novel, and serving things you won't find anywhere else in Minnesota, from mock mandarin beef to imitation satay squid. If you've felt that other Asian restaurants don't understand your vegetarian ethics and are constantly trying to slip fish sauce into your broth, please know that at Evergreen they really get vegetarianism. Just try to find a molecule of meat in your food--we dare you! Surgical theater-bright lighting will help you in your search, but will also illuminate the happy faces of nearby meat eaters, smacking their lips over the vital and lively bowls of lamb soup.
You really have to love the kind of restaurant where the person who seats you is the same person who takes your order, cooks your food, and processes your credit card payment. Evergreen is one of many excellent Chinese restaurants along Eat Street, and even though the ambiance is a bit like a middle school cafeteria, the food has a certain magic. So many of the outstanding Chinese restaurants in the Twin Cities focus on Szechuan dishes -- great news if you can handle the fiery spice... More »
Too often vegetarians find themselves restricted to just a few items on a restaurant's menu, forced to satiate their hunger with salads, French fries, or the entire contents of the bread basket. But at Eat Street's hidden, basement gem, Evergreen Chinese Restaurant, the world is a vegetarian's mock oyster. Nearly every single meat-based dish can be made with its ersatz equivalent: There are faux versions of beef with pea pods, moo shu pork, and sesame chicken--and several mock duck and... More »
At first, Evergreen might be mistaken for a Lutheran church basement, albeit one with Chinese zodiac placemats, plastic chopsticks, and handle-less teacups on the tables. But the humble, windowless digs don't detract from the experience--they just keep diners focused on the food. Taiwanese native Connie Fan serves up Chinese dishes you might expect alongside those you might not--under soups, you'll find the ubiquitous hot-and-sour along with one made from pork blood. Her husband,... More »
You've driven past it a thousand times; you'd be forgiven if you thought it was a flower shop. This unadorned restaurant, in a basement on Nicollet below the flower shop, is simply the best Chinese in the Twin Cities. The owners are a Taiwanese Buddhist couple (she cooks, he serves) who dish up Taiwanese specialties alongside Chinese standards. The 3-cup tofu is a heap of silken, garlicky bites in tangy, toasty jackets, and the Vietnamese lemongrass mock beef is a platter of chewy strips... More »
As a countdown to the Best of the Twin Cities 2010, coming this spring, The Hot Dish is serving up a hundred of our favorite local dishes. Send your own nominations to email@example.com. No. 23: E... More »
At first, Evergreen might be mistaken for a Lutheran church basement, albeit one with Chinese zodiac placemats, plastic chopsticks, and handle-less teacups on the tables. But the humble, windowless digs don't detract from the experience—they just keep diners focused on the food. Taiwanese native Connie Fan serves up Chinese dishes you might expect alongside those you might not—under soups, you'll find the ubiquitous hot-and-sour along with one made from pork blood. Her husband, Frank, runs the front of the house, and if it's not too busy (which it hardly ever is), he'll generously offer a sample of stewed pig's ear to a curious, uninitiated diner. While Connie Fan's tender steamed pork buns are sure tasty, her faux-meat dishes—a long list of imitation squid, shrimp, pork, and chicken—are what set her food apart. The wheat-gluten chunks cooked with sharp pickled cabbage are positively addictive. And as much as we like the Mandarin beef, a lemongrass mock version is perhaps even better.
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