Chinese Food

Do you know that I love Chinese food.? At home I make Chinese quite often (well stir-fry at least) (or rather the trusty husband makes a lot of stir fry).? We have found a good Chinese restaurant in Tacoma and I thought my love of Chinese food would be satisfied.

When I signed up for this trip one thing I was most excited for was the food.? It doesn’t disappoint.

However, let me give you a little taste of what it is like to be in China for a week (I still have another week to go).

The first meal we ate here was the best meal.? The meal after that was the best meal.? The meal after that was equally as good.? Breakfast, good.? Lunch, good.? Dinner, GOOD!? Meal after meal was awesome.

Then we started eating at one restaurant near our hotel in Beijing.? In all we had 4 meals there.? It was convenient and reasonably priced.? It was great the first time.? Good the second time and by the 4th time we all moaned as we went in the door.? I’m pretty sure the staff knew us all by name and they don’t even speak English.

Needless to say we were ready for change.

We left Beijing and when we arrived in Xi’an we had breakfast at the hotel.? We were late for breakfast so we got the leftovers.? It wasn’t great.? Then we went out the Terra Cotta Warriors and while in the area our guide took us to a restaurant that was absolutely amazing.? They served a noodle dish that each of us could have eaten a whole plate of.? I am talking amazing.? I can’t remember exactly what we had but the few things that stood out, besides the noodle dish, were a fish with a sweet and sour sauce and potatoes with caramelized sugar.? I know that sounds strange and I wouldn’t know how to make it at home, but let me assure you it was all kinds of awesome.

Now we have been here 6 days.? We have eaten Chinese food at every meal.? At ever meal we play, “what do you suppost that is?”? 10 people?trying to guess what is in each dish.? Our food is ordered for us.? We eat family style.? We never know how much we are going to get and usually there is way too much.? I’m not getting tired of the food, but let me just say I could really go for a giant salad right about now.

For the most part (with the exception of the current hotel’s breakfast) all of our meals have been good.? Then there was this afternoon…

We visited the Nestorian Tablets and the Jade factory this morning and after that we went for lunch before walking on the city wall.? The first clue that this wasn’t going to go well was that there were multiple tour busses in front of the joint.? The second was that there was another large group of white people filing in the door the same time we were.? Clue #3… forks on the table.? We confiscated all the forks from the kids.?

This place made Panda Express look like Chef Morimoto cooked there.? This was the single worst Chinese food I’ve ever eaten.? I would rather eat Chinese from the Safeway deli counter.? They even?went so far as to serve a?soup that taste?exactly like Campbell’s vegetable soup. ?There wasn’t a single Chinese person eating there.? The last straw was that when we used the bathroom there wasn’t a single squat pot.? However, I was thankful for that because that lunch definately did not stay in.

Tonight should be better.? We are going to a dance troupe dinner and apparently they serve enough dim sum to feed the population of China.

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