Hot Pots!

Once upon a time, I went a birthday dinner of a friend at Grand Sichuan in New York City. There were about ten people in attendance and the meal consisted of a giant pot of simmering broth over a table side propane burner into which we dipped all manner of delicacies both familiar (raw vegetables, beef, pork) and unfamiliar (fish balls, tripe, dried bean curd, unidentifiable sea food). We devoured our meal, sweating and coughing at the intense heat generated by hundreds of hot peppers floating in the broth. The service was terrible and there wasn’t enough water to cool our burning mouths, but it was one of the most memorable meals I’ve had.

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