Hot Pot

Bid goodbye to some tastebuds last night at Grand Sichuan on Canal St., with Jordan, Amar, and Ken. I have to say that there’s a reason it’s been about five years since my last go-round with the hot pot -- a few times I swear my esophagus threatened to close down. We heeded our server’s warning on the thin line between bravery and stupidity, and got the hot pot half-and-half, with one section of fiery hot broth and one plain broth. There was also plenty of Tsingtao to attempt to wash away the spice. We ended up dousing the remaining flames at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.

Also: who knew Franny’s had a garden? We were there on Wednesday for Joyce’s birthday. Sustainable pork! The wood-roasted ramps were great, too, and my first encounter with the wild leek.