Chinese Food

Okay so I was feeling weird about not writing anything for a while (even though I shouldn’t feel bad…YOU DON’T CONTROL ME) so in an act of desperation, I carefully chose the topic of Chinese food to entertain the troops.

If I meet someone and they say that they don’t like Chinese food, I immediately make a mental note that I can’t ever really be friends with that person. We just won’t be able to bond on a spiritual level. My best friend told me once that she didn’t like ice cream and it took me a while to process it. But I forgave and forgot. Mostly because I can’t afford to lose my only friend. And she still loves me even though I don’t like cheese. So I guess we’re even.

Speaking of cheese being gross, I think that’s one of the reasons that I like Chinese food so much. NO CHEESE. These are my kind of people.

I think we can all agree that Chinese food is best in buffet form and second best in P.F. Chang’s form. There are always good hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurants, and even some uber classy ones, but let’s be real. No comparison to buffets or Chang’s. Sometimes Chinese food is just better when terra cotta horses greet

The best Chinese buffet that I’ve encountered in my life was a place called Kowloon (Ft. Wayne, Indiana). Maybe it’s just because I was a child when I ate there, but I remember the buffet being so long. A short buffet is the sign of death. A long buffet means lots of choices and delicious food. One of the things that made Kowloon stand out in my memory was that their ice cream was really good. Usually Chinese restaurants lack in the dessert department, but Kowloon had all the bases covered.

The best fancy Chinese food place I’ve been to was in D.C. called Tony Cheng Restaurant. This place was expensive! My order (1 dish) was $40. BUT I literally had a plate full of shrimp the size of my head sooo I guess it was worth it?

The best chain Chinese Restaurants are tied–P.F.Chang’s for a sit-down, nice meal and Panda Express for when you have no shame whatsoever. P.F. Chang’s fried rice is like butta. And for Panda Express I have two words, Orange Chicken.

Did this person order a plate of Beef w/ broccoli and Orange Chicken AND a to-go Beef w/Broccoli and another side of Orange Chicken? My hero.

Did this person order a plate of Beef w/ broccoli and Orange Chicken AND a to-go Beef w/Broccoli and another side of Orange Chicken? My hero.

And my favorite regular non-buffet, non chain, non expensive Chinese Restaurant would have to be a place near and dear to my heart called China Cafe (Suburbia Illinois). Their food was always solid and delicious. Their sauces were good. And it was family run so the owner’s daughter would always come over and talk to us. She was probably 6 at the time. It was just an awesome experience overall. Plus, at the end of the meal they would give us these amazing almond cookies that changed my life.

You might think I’m crazy, which I definitely am, but Chinese food is a big part of my life.

What are some of your favorite Chinese Restaurants, chains, or buffets? Any favorite dishes?


The Oasis

This is not a mirage.

I’m not referring to a lush spot in the desert where you can rest your dehydrated head. And no, I’m not talking about the annoying British bros that seem to lack any self-awareness. Here in Illinois, if you’re driving on the highway and feel like you’re about to kill someone because you desperately need Panda Express, you’re in luck. Every so often you’ll pass a raised bridge of goodness situated above the clouds road. It’s basically a glorified rest area that cars are able to drive under. Keepin it classy in Illinois. This, my friends, is an Oasis.

The Oasis that I’m familiar with offers a lot of delicacies such as: Sbarro, Taco Bell, KFC, Subway, Panda Express, Auntie Anne’s, Starbucks, and a Travelmart. Today my mom and I stopped by Sbarro and both got a slice of cheese. I felt complete after that.

The great thing about the Oasis is that when you sit and eat your weight in grease, you can watch the cars drive underneath you. It’s so romantic.

The people that work there always look like they’re on the verge of suicide. They have massage chairs located by the restrooms so I don’t know what they’re so upset about. There’s also one of those kiosks with people selling phone covers. What more do you really need in life?

The Oases (betcha didn’t know the plural of Oasis!) are great because they allow tired drivers to relax in a food court-type setting and re-evaluate their lives. Have you ever stopped at one of those side-of-the-road rest stops? Everything is usually made of wood–the drinking fountains, the toilets, the vending machines, etc. They seem like they should be the setting for Texas Chainsaw Massacre or something of the like. Whereas the Oasis could be the setting for Supersize Me 2. Did that movie really turn people off from eating McDonald’s? It just made me want french fries.

Food, Stores, Vacation

Vancouver Adventure

This weekend, Paul and I spontaneously went to Vancouver with his mom and sister.  We had a great time, mostly because there was a lot of food involved.

When we first arrived we drove around for a while and then checked into our hotels. Paul and I stayed at a gross hotel that we got on called The Coast Plaza Inn or something like that. I kept saying “I don’t want to boast, but I’m staying at The Coast.” It was only funny the first time I said it. Paul’s family stayed at the Fairmont, which I would suggest staying at if you are ever in Vancouver. They had a dog to welcome their guests. BEST. IDEA. EVER.

We all went to Granville Island for a little while to see the market. It was pretty cool–it reminded me of Pike’s Market in Seattle. I got a really good hot apple cider which was basically worth the whole trip in my opinion.

Then Paul and I strolled around by the water and made people take pictures of us. And I somehow ended up doing a photo shoot. It happens to me all the time.
Later that night we ended up having dinner at a really great Greek restaurant called Athene’s. Or something like that. I got a pizza and it was delicious! After that, Paul and I walked back to our hotel in the frozen tundra. I probably have smallpox from The Coast.

The next morning we had breakfast at this little cafe and two girls came in after their walks of shame and started yelling at the guy working at the counter. It was pretty entertaining. And scary. Also, I had a blueberry muffin–sooo good. After that, we shopped for a bit (and Vancouver has surprisingly good shopping) and had food court food. I had something called Flaming Wok. It reminded me of my beloved Panda Express.

After that we did a little more shopping and then headed back to the ferry to take us home. We had more food on the ferry, but I won’t bore you with the details. Over all, it was a fun trip and I was glad that I got a little taste of Vancouver. I don’t think I could live in Vancouver though. Like most big cities, I love to visit them, but I couldn’t see myself living there. Too much energy, too dirty, too many cars and too many annoying people. I like what the city has to offer–the shopping, museums, galleries, the restaurants, the nightlife–but I don’t think I could do it every day. I never thought I would say this, but I missed Victoria. Awww.