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.