This is neither travel or kitchen per se, but it does involve a very short trip and food.
Alicia and I were going to pick up some Chinese food on Friday night. My cousin Tyler and his girlfriend Karen were on their way up, and it was late so we decided to take the easy out. We had decided NOT to go with May Mee House because their food last time was decidedly sub-par. We had ordered there previously because they were VERY close to our apartment and they delivered. However, their pork fried rice (PFR) was really just white rice made brown somehow with an afterthought of pork chunk, their noodles were …different… reminiscent of cardboard maybe? And the overall quality of everything was just kind of blah. We’re no Chinese food snobs, but this was too much. So we check out our options and pick The Happy Dragon. I give them a call to make our order for take out (they don’t deliver, but are only slightly less SUPER close) and I don’t have a menu:
Veggie lo mein (or chow fun if they have it)
Broccoli with garlic sauce (mild), w/ PFR
General Tso’s w/ PFR
2 egg rolls
1 order crab rangoons
There was very much language barrier in the way, but the guy on the other end manages to inform me they don’t do broccoli garlic, but he could just pick some broccoli out of the veggie garlic they have and make a plate for us. Since that was pretty much all Alicia was going to eat, we decided to call elsewhere. There is no lack of Chinese restaurants in Biddeford, so we call a place that we’ve never heard of, but that sounds great – King’s Garden! It’s the farthest of the three from us (which really only means about 2 miles) and it’s brand new, so we figure they probably are going to try their hardest to make good food in their opening month. We place the order (everything goes pretty smooth) and then head out.
When we got there, the place was not what we expected. First of all, it looked like a banquet hall, and was therefore HUGE. There were like 4 sets of doors to go through to get to a back room where there was a Chinese take-out counter. Along the way we were weaving through a maze of rooms that look not at all like a Chinese restaurant. Also on the outside door it had said “Only take out and delivery”. We thought this a bit odd. When we finally do get to the counter, no one is there. We wait, and eventually a woman shows up. She is EXCEEDINGLY bubbly – so much so it’s hard to not laugh. We ask about the setup and she says “Up front is sports bar, only Chinese in back”. Apparently their concept is to run a normal sports bar, but one that delivers Chinese food from the back room. Strange… She bags up all the food and then continues in her abundantly exhuberent way, “You know May Mee House? We own, five year. This our new location.”
And yes, their food is still as craptastic as ever. Despite what you might think, cooking it in the back room of a sport’s bar didn’t suddenly transform it into five star cuisine.