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« Legislating from the bench | Main | Eat in or take out »


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Sounds like a moral and gustatory quandary. Moo-shoo madness, anyone? (I get a kick out of that phrase in the commercial for whatever product it is.)

Beef broccoli probably isn't a good test, since it'll get soggy during your drive back home. How's the texture and crunch of the gau gee? The won ton? Is the mustard suitably hot?


I love Moo Shu, but have found it's usually fairly consistent from place to place. What I have not found to be consistent is Kung Pau(sp?)chicken. Go for the place that uses lots of water chestnuts and plenty of peanuts, or even better... cashews! One of my take-out places uses few peanuts and substitutes bamboo shoots for the water chestnuts. It's just not the same.

cali dem

It's simple: it's just wrong to charge extra for fortune cookies.


I would say that you need a variety kung Pao chicken is good. Also, a beef dish that is not broccoli beef and one noodle dish.

According to my friend the chef, chinese food does not have to be greezey to be good. It should also not have a ton of MSG either.

Good luck and keep us posted. :)

Shakespeare's Sister

It's all about the eggrolls. As go the eggrolls, so goes your patronage.

Red Tory

Charged extra for fortune cookies? Unheard of! It's a no brainer, man.

Exiled in NJ

On cold rainy nights like tonight, you need curry, not moo-shoo.

My late mother-in-law always had that patronize the locals attitude. She felt almost noblesse oblige or whatever that expression was before Ashcan and Gonzalez declared it illegal. And boy did they know her. "Jack up the price; her comes Betty." In reality she and you are being the anti-walmart. We'd have no gray boxes if all felt like you.



To be fair: Our place in town doesn't charge for fortune cookies. They give you four with the meal. We order extra though, the boys each like to have two, just to be sure they get a fortune they like. So the place charges extra for extra but only 50 cents extra for the 4 extra cookies.

just droppin' by

When you don't want to drive, order what the local does best. But frankly, what you put in your body is important and I say go where the food is better prepared and the ingredients are better quality. Your loyalty is to your health. In my town we have 4 chinese restaurants and I figured out that the same family owned all of them. Funny.

always a plesure to come in outta the rain for a spell.


"The boys each like to have two [fortune cookies], just to be sure they get a fortune they like." What kind of anti-Calvinist upbringing are you conducting back there?

As for advice, I'm torn between "Exiled in NJ's" noblesse-oblige example with you as the anti-WalMart, and "just droppin' by's" advice to "go where the food is better prepared and the ingredients are better quality." With the imminent energy crisis, you probably better go with the anti-WalMart.

In San Francisco, the only Chinese restaurant I eat at is situated quite a distance downtown. Called the Hunan Restaurant, it's where Chinese grandmothers cook healthy meals for their (mostly) gringo patrons. It's the best.

Exiled in NJ

Ah, sfmike brings out the second corollary of eating out, take-out or sit down. "Let's stop here. Must be good, look at all the trucks."

Then I remember when I was 8 and lived in a refining town/port in eastern Venezuela and my father would take sister and I into town to some place called "Casa something or other." Cars were parked all over the dusty streets out front. Dad would enter, be in there five minutes, and come out with his case of Polar Beer. Later in life I met a man who had worked on an oil tanker and had been to that little town. I mentioned "Casa" to him. "Oh, that was the cathouse of Puerta la Cruz." Hmmmm.


Old Chinese proverb: Food is less cold that travels the least.

I am so jealous that you even have a choice. Chinese food here is not the same as back in the gool ole USA.

Go with the closest, and mark it up to saving the environment.


The wife (and hence I) have two rules when it comes to Chinese:

1) There must be an eating area, and it must be clean. I've weaned her off of looking at the bathrooms before eating. This rule holds even if we are just doing takeout.

2) There must be a good tofu dish, either "home-style" or ma-po tofu.

res publica

I'd kill my mom for good dumplings. Fortunately, there's a decent place close enough that they actually deliver to my apartments. Lucky mom.


Why choose? You say that the new place is better, then offer contradictory examples. It's not like you're signing an exclusive contract with one place or the other (are you)? Alternate as the mood and your taste strikes you.

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