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October 23, 2003

Get a life with Erica Cerulo

One of my friends claims to have "Joy Yee's pants" that he has to wear every time we go to this Chinatown hot spot because he just gets so excited that he makes a mess of himself. Take this as you will, but he meant it in the dirtiest possible sense. Now that I've worked up your appetite and really gotten your taste buds going

My apologies. My friend is unquestionably a strange kid, but he's not that excitable. It takes either pretty good porn or really good bubble tea. The bubble tea at Joy Yee's is nothing like the imitations that you get at the C-Shop. First of all, it is not made from powder. It is made from real fruit (and even topped with it!), and mixed with this secret syrup stuff that makes you realize what is missing from those really bland, boring smoothies you make yourself. Also, you can pick what kind of tapioca you get, including mini pearls, which are reminiscent of kiwi seeds.

If you are a really big baby and are scared of trying new things, you can get your drink without tapioca at all. Personally, I love the Taro Coconut Green Tapioca Freeze and the Strawberry Mini Pearl Freeze. I know some of these drinks sound weird, but I've tried ones with green beans and red beans and have still never been disappointed. Don't be scurred.

If you can save room for food, this restaurant serves a wide array of Pan-Asian cuisine. The menu comes fully equipped with pictures so that you know exactly what to expect. The Chicken Teriyaki Fried Eggs over Rice and Rice Baked with Eel are both fabulous. If you have the build of an average U of C boy (5 foot 10, 145 pounds of rock-solid bone), fatten up a bit with the Butter Fried Squid.

Sweetie, you know you need to get out more. A Joy Yee's trip on a Sunday afternoon is the perfect study break. Hop on the train, grab a drink from the to-go window, and drag yourself back to the familiar solitude of your cubicle at Crerar. An hour off campus won't kill you, and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger! I think that was a sufficient pep talk.

Yet another one of my weird friends says that Joy Yee's is not for addictive personalities. Like Buffalo wings and sex, you can go without it for a while, but once you have it you just can't get enough.

Can you think of a place that I should check out? E-mail me at elcerulo@uchicago.edu.

Address: 2159 South China Place (the "mall" in Chinatown) Phone: (312) 328-0001.

Via CTA: Take the 55 bus to the Red Line. Take the Red Line (towards Howard) to Cermak/Chinatown. Walk south on Clark Street from the station. Turn right on Cermak Road and then right on Princeton Avenue. The restaurant is on the main level of the mall towards the Walgreens side.

Via Car: Take I-90/I-94 West to exit #53C (I-55 North/22nd Street/Lake Shore Drive exit). Continue towards 22nd Street. Turn left on 22nd Street/Cermak Road. Turn right on Princeton Avenue. The restaurant is on the main level of the mall towards the Walgreens side.

For hours, menus, and more information, check out www.joyyee.com.