I’ve been back in Chicago this week to visit The Takeout global headquarters, a trip I’ve been looking forward to and fretting over because there are never enough hours in the day when I visit Chicago. I need to eat all the things, see all the people, and did I mention eat all the things?
I had a number of stellar meals and beers and cocktails while I’ve been in town, but one culinary mission I had was to take the water taxi down to Chinatown for some mapo tofu. I first fell in love with mapo tofu when I first had it at Lao Sze Chuan; this time, my friends and I tried out Dongpo Impression, a Szechuan place I hadn’t yet been to.
Oh mapo tofu. I didn’t even care what else my friends ordered—we shared a giant feast—I just need my tofu fix. I like tofu in other applications, but something about the combination of numbing Szechuan peppercorn broth and silky, yielding tofu squares makes my heart happy. It also makes me sweat a little, but I think that’s just the endorphins.