One of the things about moving to a new area, whether it’s a cross-country move or a cross town move, is you have to go find new regular spots again. New doctor, new gym, new church, new library, etc. After all the important things, then you start looking around at what food places are near you to eat. And if you’re anything like me, you will want to find the nearest Chinese take out place for when those cravings hit.
Do you know though how hard it is to find a favorite Chinese food place? It honestly is like trying to find a new doctor. Everyone has their own personal favorites and even if you recommend yours to someone else, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily going to like it as well.
I judge Chinese food places by how they do their lo mein. It’s a simple enough dish: noodles, minimal vegetables, and meat. I prefer roast pork though I will accept shrimp. First off, if the place does not offer pork as an option, well I’m not even going to consider you. The dish should not be overtly greasy yet there should be flavor. Minimal liquid is allowed but not so much that it becomes noodle soup. Noodles should be chewy. If you can pass that test, I’ll look into your other dishes.
Taste and customer service is key to finding a good place. Your food has to taste good but you also have to be somewhat nice when I call to order and when I go to pick up. If you treat me rudely then I’m definitely not coming back either. Even if your pork lo mein tastes like heaven.
I’ve lived in my current location for a little over 4 years and I STILL have not found a go to Chinese food place. There is about a mile down the road that can do in a pinch but they aren’t spectacular. The Chinese food at the Wegmans buffet is actually quite good but for 8.99 for a pound it’s freakishly expensive. I’ve tried different locations but I still have not been able to settle down on one to call all the time. It’s actually quite frustrating. It’s like trying to find the Golden Ticket of Chinese food.
Yes, I also know that American Chinese food isn’t technically real Chinese food. But I have no idea how to cook this stuff so hence why I need the take out. Also Pei Wei and Panda Express just don’t cut it.
This isn’t an easy task and there can be a lot of hit and misses. Plus you could always find the one you really like and they suddenly disappear. Also let’s not get me started on Chinese buffets. Down where my parents live there are a TON of good cheap ones. Up here in the DC metro area? Hah. Expect to pay top dollar for semi decent ones. The good ones are really pricey and the cheaper ones aren’t that good.
I had some rather decent lo mein the other night at my friends’ house the other night. Unfortunately they live 25 minutes away so that’s out of the question for repeat visits for me.
My quest continues.