a Taste of Chang

February 25th, 2010 · 11 Comments · By

The most recent issue of the New Yorker features an article in the food section entitled Where’s Chang?, which covers the exploits and legend of a Szechuan chef named Peter Chang, who’s somewhat notorious among food enthusiasts, both for his ability to cook amazing food and also for the fact that he has a habit of completely disappearing every few months before popping up again as the head chef at another location — he’s been hopping around the American Southeast for the past few years, it sounds like. Well, his most recent spot is actually right here in Charlottesville (or rather, just outside the city limits on 29N.)  Has anyone eaten at A Taste of China?

I’d actually heard about this place already; several people, both Chinese-born and Caucasian, had assured me it was the best Chinese food in town. Oddly enough, several people have told me they’ve eaten there in the past few days, and that the food was terrible — I wonder if Chang has already moved on, due to the attention from the New Yorker article — or perhaps, as Coogan mentions, it’s due to the fact that the restaurant has both a Szechuan menu and a regular American-Chinese-food menu?

I haven’t eaten there myself, but I was planning on doing so even before I got this article in the mail yesterday afternoon. Now I’m just worried about getting over there before the guy disappears again, if he hasn’t already…  (actually, since at least one person in the article theorizes that Chang’s restlessness has to do with his follower’s ability to track him on the internet, I considered not writing this up until I got to chance to eat there myself; but considering the New Yorker has a much larger readership than Nailgun, I guess the cat’s already out of the bag.)

Tags: charlottesville · news

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Davis // Feb 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    It was very good. Do not order from the Chinese-American part of the menu, just the other part. Everything I tried was good. Everything.

  • 2 Christ T. // Feb 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I went with a Chinese friend and a couple of his friends for Chinese New Year. Best Chinese food I’ve tried in this city thus far. In all, we ordered fish, honey-glazed chicken, fried and seasoned eggplant, some assortment of spicy meat and vegetables, and wild mushroom and ox soup. Even if some of the dishes were a tad bit too spicy, all the food went down really well (my guess is that msg was limited or discarded all together). Too much talkin/writing . . . . . back to the music!

  • 3 Dave // Feb 25, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Taste of China is the taste of tasty food.

  • 4 coogan // Feb 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    for those who don’t care for Taste of Chang, may i recommend the Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing (only 2,900 calories!) with the Savory Pepper Mill NY Strip (cooked to order!). Outback is certainly holding the rest of Albemarle Square to a higher standard..AMERICAN standards.

    also, bit of central va gastronomical trivia: what’s the “astonishing tai restaurant in the unlikely environs of Nelson County” mentioned as small talk in the new yorker article? first one with the correct answer gets a Chocolate Thunder From Down Under. In their mouth.

  • 5 coogan // Feb 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    and, yes, Taste of Chang was clever wordplay..promise..

  • 6 Kevin // Feb 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Yuan Ho is all you need to need to know when it comes to chinese cuisine. I eat it at least 2x per week.

  • 7 colin // Feb 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    the Thai restaurant in Nelson County is none other than the truly wonderful Thai Siam, located in a former packing shed on Route 56! definitely worth the long-ish drive.

  • 8 Sarah // Feb 26, 2010 at 12:52 am

    yuan ho ! oh god

  • 9 gary // Feb 26, 2010 at 3:39 am

    ArpLine at the Tea Bazaar last night:


  • 10 wendy // Feb 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Taste of China is where Dzian! had our band dinner, spending the money we made from our gig at the Box : )

  • 11 James // Feb 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I’ve actually been really into that place “Asia Specialty” recently… (that’s the one in the Michie Building, near what used to be LiveArts and is now 216.) Maybe it’s not the best Chinese food ever, BUT it’s pretty damn good, plus they’re directly between work and my house, and they’re open until like 2am almost every night. Check ’em out, and hopefully they’ll be able to avoid whatever curse has plagued every other restaurant in that space.