I haven’t had Chinese in let’s see….over two years. Wasn’t intentional, just happened. Prior to that, I could have it a couple times a year, but was most always disappointed. Since I lived in China, I just haven’t been satisfied with “Americanized Chinese.” Even going to major city Chinatowns and asking for the dishes I preferred would bring a woeful look and an apology “we just can’t get those ingredients in the U.S.”
I usually fare a little better with dim sum – most places haven’t Americanized it as yet. I suppose that will happen in time. We’ll see scrambled egg and sausage steamed dumplings, or some such.
One major difference is surely the cost of ingredients in China vs the US. The Chinese aren’t tempted to saturate dishes with inexpensive “fill” like in the US, and the US restaurants idea of fill is vegetables you’ll never see in China – zucchini, carrots, and such.
And of course, there is always the “American invented” dishes on Chinese menus in the US, like “Crab Rangoon,” supposedly crab flakes, cream cheese and scallions in a deep fried won ton wrapper. Seems these first appeared at the Polynesian themed chain “Trader Vics” in the mid 50s. They have devolved to be much heavier on the cream cheese (a product that was never available in Asia until the past few years), and if there is any crab at all, it’s that artificial junk. Sigh.
I was back in suburban Chicago to see a client and wanted something different, looked for places that would deliver to the hotel, and found China Dragon via GrubHub. Ordered shrimp with cashews, a couple egg rolls, and the crab rangoon.
The entree was OK, but I didn’t care for the egg rolls at all, there was some ‘under taste’ that I couldn’t identified, and the “rangoons” were completely devoid of crab.
The restaurant does furnish you with ample quantities in the servings, it’s hot, delivered quickly, and inexpensive. And they furnish you with a couple years worth of soy sauce, sweet and sour, and mustard packets.
If you’re looking for delivered Chinese in the NW surburbs of Chicago, order through GrubHub, or directly on the restaurant’s website. Menu is pasted below.