Me and Chairman Mao
  Ants marching.
Last week we went to a Taiwanese restaurant called Bellagio for the first time in quite a while. The food is pretty good, but what always cracks me up are the desserts. They have one in particular that's pretty funny-looking: a huge pile of shaved ice that is covered with red beans (they're sweet) and tapioca (I think) and that looks pretty much exactly like an anthill. (Or possibly the Devil's Tower, if you prefer Close Encounters of the Third Kind references instead of random bug references. It's up to you, but for the purpose of this post, I'll be sticking with the bugs, thanks.)

Anyway, since they seem to be very popular--almost everyone seems to end their meal with it--we decided that we should probably get one, just to see what it tasted like. Here it is, although now that I look at it again, maybe it's more like a termite mound? Then again, they're both bugs (you can't tell I wasn't a biology major, can you?) so maybe it doesn't matter. Whatever:

Looks great, doesn't it? That was, of course, sarcasm. But actually, it was okay. Not great, and probably not even good, but okay. The tapioca (yellow) side was actually not as good as the red bean side, which sounds a little odd if you haven't had some sort of red bean-paste based dish for dessert (they're everywhere here), but you'll just to trust me on this one. You could also buy a can of red beans, add a bunch of sugar to it, and then chow down, if you want. I mean, it would probably be pretty gross and likely wouldn't taste anything like the red beans pictured above, but you're welcome to try.

I was impressed, however, by its structural integrity, which is not something you hear very often when talking about desserts. I expected the ice to melt pretty quickly and the whole thing to come tumbling down like a bunch of Jenga blocks (except, you know, ice), but it didn't. Here is the anthill after five minutes or so. You have to admit, it still looks pretty good. I mean, from a structural perspective--you can make your own judgment on how it looks from a taste perspective:

It wasn't until we were pretty much done--after about 10 minutes--that it finally gave up the ghost, as they say (as usual, I have no idea who "they" are, although I don't think I know them because no one I know talks like that. Possibly they are European or something?), and came tumbling down:

So how was it? Well, as I said, it wasn't great. If you ever come across it, I'd recommend getting it, but only once. After that, I'd say just stick with the chocolate because really, you can't go wrong with chocolate. You just can't.
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