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View From Your Table

Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas

That, my dears, is one of the best meals I have eaten in ages. My hosts at Houston Baptist University took me to dinner at Mala Sichuan Bistro, a Chinese restaurant in a strip mall in the Sharpstown neighborhood. It was fantastic, just fantastic. I love spicy food, and this did not disappoint. I confess that I was not brave enough to try the soupy dish in the foreground. From the Mala menu:

COUNTRY STYLE BLOOD CURD DISH $12.95
Beef tripe, pork intestines, congealed pork blood curd, baby bokchoy, and sweet potato vermicelli, all carefully cooked with a special Sichuan cooking technique called “mao”

Yeah, well. That was something. I asked one of the guys at the table what the congealed pork blood curd tasted like. “A little like blood,” he said. I took his word for it.

Anyway, how lucky you Houstonians are to live in a city where you can eat at a place like this. I had a great night at Houston Baptist, and discovered that some Communion and Liberation folks in town from New York City — their Crossroads Cultural Center, founded by the late, great Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete, co-sponsored the talks that the great Prof. Louis Markos and I gave on Dante — are friends with my old CL pal Tom Sullivan, who is mentioned in How Dante Can Save Your Life, because he gave me a collection of the letters of J.R.R. Tolkien once, and that book helped me greatly. Small, small world. We are all connected. It’s in Dante. Everything is.

And God is good. I wish I could write more tonight. I got four hours of sleep last night, and have been awake for the past 20. It’s time to face-plant, and think of Sichuan peppers.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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