After their Lower East Side location closed, the folks behind Mission Chinese decided to start running a pop-up restaurant out of Carroll Gardens’ Italian juggernaut Frankies 457. The pop-ups became so popular they became a semi-regular occurrence, and it was recently announced that they would continue on for the foreseeable future. I had a good meal at the LES location, and was curious about the pop-up. Luckily my friend Siobhan has a friend on the inside, and a few weeks ago she made reservations for six of us to dine there. She let them know ahead of time that there would be a vegetarian in the party, and they made sure to take care of me. I got a few plates all to myself, and for $40 I ate a ton of food. Some things made the journey from their old location intact: the large dragon hanging from the ceiling; the rice cakes (pictured above), wonderfully chewy and incredibly spicy. Other dishes were new to me; of particular note was the Kung Pao Beets (a vegetarian version of their popular Kung Pao Pastrami). Small nuggets of beets were hidden among chunks of potato, all tossed with an incendiary sweet chili sauce and topped with crushed peanuts. It was so spicy that I could only eat about half of it at dinner, and I ended up with heartburn later that night. It was delicious though, I have to give them that. And it was just as good two days later, straight out of the fridge — though that lead to heartburn as well.
Mission Chinese Pop-Up — 457 Court St