It’s Thursday! It’s time to share some doors! What did I capture this week? Let’s find out.
It may have been a search as long as the walk those hobbits took looking for some ring, but I finally found what I was looking for (and I didn’t have to endlessly walk to do so).
Good things come to those who wait. Why, that could have been written on the message inside a fortune cookie the last time I had decent Chinese food. That’s a fine sentiment and I get it. I believed my time would come. I just didn’t think it would take this long.
See, when I lived in Delaware, a lifetime and several incarnations of me ago, I discovered not one, but two places that had the BEST Chinese food I’ve ever eaten. One was conveniently located across from my job at the time; the other, conveniently located in my favorite beach town, which I frequented, well, more frequently when I lived in the First State.
Upon leaving Delaware, was I sad about leaving the people who’d been such a big part of my life? Sure, if you mean the owners of both restaurants who knew my name and my usual dish. I mean, I missed them so much that for some time after moving back to Pennsylvania, I made trips back to both restaurants. As I lived in several places in Pennsylvania since, that could be a drive as short as 35 minutes or as long as two hours, depending on which restaurant I went to and where I lived at the time.
What can I say, when I’m devoted (and hungry for good food), I’m devoted.
In the meantime, I was on a quest to find equally delicious Chinese food in my new Pennsylvania hometown(s). I know what you’re thinking: But Tara, you live near Philadelphia, a large city. There MUST be decent Chinese food within short driving distance. One would think so. But if there is such a thing within the Philadelphia city limits, I’ll not taste it. My driving time in the city is limited only to Broadway shows I simply must see (as I won’t struggle anymore with the hassles of travel to NYC to do so).
I can assure you, though, since I returned to Pennsylvania 10 years ago, I tried most of the Chinese restaurants in the several counties I’ve lived in. I always start with the General Tso’s. If they can’t get that right, why bother with anything else? Sadly, none of the places I tried could get that right: they gave me dark meat though I asked for white meat; they made it too spicy or not spicy enough; they gave me two pieces of chicken and a thousand pieces of broccoli… NEVER GOOD ENOUGH. And two of them were Zagat rated!
Last year, I heard good things about a newish place about 20 minutes north of me. I put it on my list to try, but it’s not the easiest place to get to, though it’s close. Then, a miracle happened: a new Chinese restaurant opened within feet of me! (OK, several miles, and easy to drive ones at that.). So last Friday night, I decided to give it a try.
I placed my order for the General Tso combo with low expectations, so many times having had my high hopes dashed quicker than you can say pork fried rice. Forever the optimist, though, I keep trying, and I’m glad I did. Finally, happily, I can say that THIS is the door to the Pennsylvania place where I discovered decent Chinese food again!
I asked for white meat. I got it. I asked for medium spice. It was just right. I had a zillion pieces of chicken and two pieces of broccoli. Ahhhh. The pork fried rice was delicious, as was the spring roll I got instead of an egg roll.
Is it as good as my two favorite Delaware restaurants? No. But it’s the closest I’ve come to finding it. I still eat at restaurant at the beach, but the other one is so out of the way… Luckily, I have this place now to satisfy my Chinese food cravings every now and then. And to get my fortunes! This week’s:
It’s like… they know…
It may have taken a decade, but I’ve found a close-by restaurant to replace the faraway ones I left behind. I’m nothing if not persistent and full of perseverance (and yummy chicken…).