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Tom's Red Pepper

Update: Tom's Red Pepper is closed.

In a word: Doing what it does, well enough.

The specs: #0663  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Isthmus, PopWillEatMe, Yelp, Eat Drink Madison; official web site, Tom's Red Pepper on Urbanspoon

Latest Tom's Red Pepper news and reviews

JM ate the BBQ pork.
Nichole ate the flower pepper chicken and a hot and sour soup.
We split some crab rangoon.
The bill was $28, or $14/person, plus tip.
Nichole gave Tom's Red Pepper a B+; JM gave Tom's Red Pepper a B (see our grading rubric).

Tom's Red Pepper

Tom's Red Pepper pays attention to details. It was sweet that (our customary) crab rangoon were served on a bed of shredded cabbage, even for carryout. The purses of cream cheese were on the savory side and precisely folded. The hot and sour soup was lighter than most, with less tofu but plenty of carrots and shoots, and a pleasant orange overtone.

The BBQ pork was not great. JM was hoping the dish would be more interesting or nuanced, but it just begged and pleaded for salt. There were more vegetables than usual, too, including broccoli, water chestnuts, peapods, onions and carrots. Next time he'd try something else.

Nichole went with the flower pepper chicken, the most expensive entree on offer (is $13 high-maintenance?). The dish had white-meat chicken, peapods, mushrooms, red bell peppers, and scallions in a black-pepper-heavy sauce.

You're lucky if Tom's Red Pepper is your local, and local should be liberally defined.


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hmmm - I'm pretty sure I've never heard anyone complain about a Chinese dish not having enough salt!

I got carry out here late one snowy night in January. I'd forgotten about it, but I think I'd like to try it again, now.

I used to live within delivery range and would always get the Kung Bao Four Delight. Steak, chicken, shrimp, and scallops in a spicy brown sauce with peanuts. This is by far my favorite take-out Chinese dish around. I still work somewhat close to Red Pepper, so I go there from time to time for that and the hot and sour soup.

I thought this was pretty much a "B" place. It's average, standard Chinese-American fare. The crab rangoons were good but nothing to write home about - the Kung Bao Chicken was mostly one-note (and that note was - salty!!), the Sesame Chicken was better but again, nothing exceptional. As you said about another place, don't avoid it - but on the other hand, don't go out of your way to get there.

Red Pepper has the best hot and sour soup anywhere, and the kung pao pork and beef are excellent. They used to be on the east side by MATC, which was on my way home from work. Now I have to make a special trip to the west side, but it's worth it!

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