Respond to Review of Pu Ti Gan Lu Fang
by Bob Sultan
Review: I had some trouble finding number 109 on Guangxiao Road. Then I saw that 109 is the number of the Guangxiao temple complex at the North end of Guangxiao Road. You will need to buy a ticket for 5RMB. Walk towards the back of the complex and walk to the right (East). You will see signs for the Restaurant and Library buildings. The restaurant is large and busy. Many local people visit the Guangxiao temple regularly and this busy, large, casual, clean, noisy place is where they socialize when they visit. If you don't speak or read Chinese, this may be a challenge. The menu does not have pictures and the large staff does not speak English. With any luck you may find a patron who speaks English and can help you; or go with a Chinese friend; or maybe just point to what someone else is eating. The menu listed a number of set meals, but you can, and probably want to, just order the dishes individually. The portions are more than ample. The dish I ordered would have fed several people. It cost about 40RMB. It contained Tofu Pi (flat tofu sheet), Muer (wood ear), mushrooms, and vegetables. Not 'gourmet', just a bunch of my favorite vegie foods cooked in a light sauce. I liked the food and the busy ambiance. And, of course, you can combine your dinner with a nice walk through the temple grounds. So, this restaurant inside the temple grounds is an alternative to Vegie Zen which lies just outside (the temple grounds). One word of caution. There are a lot of people outside the temple, some with wrenching deformities, asking for money. No problem there, of course. However, there is a person dressed as a monk asking for rather large amounts of money to pray for a person you specify. When he sees you, he will shake your hand and not return your hand to you until you have contributed. I do not think this person is a monk and I would suggest that you avoid giving him your hand or your money. I think there are others more deserving. Just a thought.