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TGI Fry-Day: Salt and Pepper Shrimp at "Little" Three Happiness

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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

My last visit to Little Three Happiness was—how shall I say—underwhelming. This classic Chinatown restaurant may have originally inspired LTHForum's name, but most of the dishes I tried were greasy and bland. One, the crispy skin chicken, was still raw in the middle. But there was one notable exception, a dish so good it made my list of the best dishes in Chinatown (non-Tony Hu edition): the salt and pepper shrimp ($6.95).

I've tried my fair share of fried shell-on shrimp, but all I ever ended up with were impenetrable pieces of shell lodged in the back of my throat. But if done right, like the version served here, the shells transform into an extra crunchy casing, which shatter dramatically when you bite in. The shells also help keep the shrimp extra juicy and sweet. I might not like much else here, but I'll be back for this one stunner.

Three Happiness Restaurant

209 West Cermak Road, Chicago, IL 60616 (map)
312-842-1964

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