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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

21 Ways to choose a Chinese Restaurant!

Picking the right Chinese restaurant is challenging, especially when different people like different styles of Chinese food.

The following list, tongue and cheek, is meant for real Chinese restaurants, I understand that some people love their Orange Chicken at Panda Express (I have relatives like this), and if that's you, this list is not for you.

1. Does the menu have Chinese on it?
2. Is the menu only in Chinese? Good sign!
3. Health grade is other than an A (C shows real Chinese style, B is OK, A is pretty suspicious. A friend of mine told me this one :-) The exception to this is Vegetarian restaurants that should always have an A.
4. Does the restaurant have lunch specials? Do the lunch specials include a salad? If includes salad, that cancels out the positive of having lunch specials.
5. Does the restaurant only accept cash?
6. Is the restaurant a buffet all you can eat? Usual buffet is beef and brocalli, fried rice, orange chicken, almond chicken, egg flower soup, vegetarian egg rolls (not fresh).
7. Does the restaurant charge for rice (real Chinese Restaurant don't).
8 Do they charge for hot tea? Dim Sum restaurants are an exception.
9. Do they automaticaly serve you tea?
10. Are all the waiters Chinese? There was one Chinese restaurant in Yreka (Northern California near Oregon) I went to, where the only Chinese was the owner hidden in the back.
11. Do they have strange things on the menu like pigs legs, chicken feet, blood soup, etc. The more strange things the more authentic.
12. Does it have the word American in their name? Chinese American is always suspicious.
13. Do they server Boba? Good sign if they do.
14. Are you treated a bit rudely and the staff treats you like you are lucky to be served? Good sign.
15. Are there at least 3 typos on the menu?
16. Are the bathrooms not up to the standard of McDonalds? I see this issue even at nice Chinese restaurants unfortunately.
17. Are there employee lockers in the restrooms?
18. Are there a lot of Asian people eating there? Or is it mostly non-Asian.
19. How busy is it? Per a Chinese friend of mine, only go to restaurants that are busy.
20. At your table is there a bottle of soy sauce, vinegar, and hot sauce?
21. Are the specials only in Chinese on the wall?

Great read/book about Chinese Food - Fortune Cookie Chronicles - Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer Lee For the younger Dim Sum For Everyone! by Grace Lin is a great book as is The Ugly Vegetables by Graced Lin

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