After dining with our granddaughter and her boyfriend at a Taiwanese restaurant at the South Center Mall, I searched for local Chinese restaurants that offered Taiwanese food. We had already visited The Fortune Cookie in DuPont and had plans to visit Tacoma Szechuan in Lakewood. Life sometimes moves faster than our plans, however. An ultra-quick fundraiser was put together by “former Washington state legislator and pioneering Tacoma community leader” Denny Flannigan for our friend Richard Dorsett. Dick is about to fly to Southeast Asia for his second trip distributing Foldscopes, an inexpensive origami based, fully functional, primarily paper microscope. The fundraiser and rally included a fantastic lunch at Tacoma Szechuan.
Our meeting only had twenty people at it, but . . . they included a former Tacoma mayor, an aspiring Pierce County prosecutor, the Mother of Relay for Life, the new board chair of Relay for Life, the headmaster of Bright Water Waldorf School in Seattle, and a winner of the Oslo Peace Prize . . . those were just the people we knew.
We call Dick Dorsett the Johnny Appleseed of microbiology. American legend Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) was a pioneer who planted apple trees and gave apple seeds away in Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and what would become West Virginia. Dick is giving away microscopes and hoping that the young students he reaches will grow into scientists or inventors and make the world a safer and better place to live. The Suburban Times serialized his trip to Nova Scotia last summer and his Foldscope adventure to Asia in January, so expect to see articles about his travels, the students he meets, and the food he eats.
The food at Tacoma Szechuan was incredible. Just when you thought you couldn’t eat any more, a new dish was brought to the table for family style dining. Two early favorites were the honey walnut shrimp and what looked like a crispy vegetarian pizza or pancake-like thin crusted green onion fritter, but might have been egg foo young. We had two soups, an egg drop soup and a beef and tofu soup. Both were excellent, but I could have snacked all day on the pizza-looking plate. Like good pizza, it was good cold and hot.
The final Chinese dish served was a spicy deep fried fish. It was served with big chunks of peppers, so Peg just had a nibble. It looked like our friend Theresa was in heaven with the Chinese peppers. I just don’t think of Chinese food having good fish, but it shouldn’t surprise me. Last year for the Chinese Reconciliation Park Foundation dinner at the Ming Palace we had an excellent sweet and sour fish. Give me some sweet and sour fish, a veggie pizza, honey roasted shrimp, and deep fried Chinese fish and I would donate money all day long.