Two meals, one person. That's what happens when you come back from a ski weekend in Vail, loll about on your couch feeling too wiped out to even think about preparing food, attempt to get Chinese food delivered to your apartment, and realize there is a minimum order requirement. And the two orders of dumplings are what you add on when you also see a coupon for three dollars off orders of twenty bucks or more.
Leftovers. You can always eat the rest the next day, and the next day after that.
Plus the next day after that one, until you want to die.
The above spread was from China House, a place I knew only because a menu had once been slipped under my door. Of all the other menus that had appeared at my apartment, China House's semi-utilitarian design most closely matched what I associate with "junky Chinese takeout": red and black text, a clip-art pagoda on the front, lunch and dinner specials on the back. Exactly what I wanted.
I went for the classics: beef and broccoli and General Tso's chicken. Both were dinner specials, which means they each came with pork fried rice, an egg roll, and soup. I chose hot and sour for both.
It shouldn't have been a surprise that junky Chinese food is approximately the same across the nation, but it was. Maybe there's one giant kitchen in the middle of America; the food was no better and no worse than what I was used to getting in NYC. Jennifer 8. Lee can say a few things about that.
I had originally ordered "Chinese Donut" (whatever that is) and steamed dumplings, but after they ran my credit card they realized there were no more donuts to be had. They called me back offering cream cheese wontons, but I opted for "Dumpling Szechuan Style." As you can see, "Szechuan style" means dousing the same steamed pork dumplings in a sweet, viscous sauce—about the same sauce as the one coating the nuggets of chicken in my order of General Tso's. My two orders of dumplings also came with two large tubs of dipping sauce. Just how much sauce do dumplings need?
Altogether, this order stretched into about eight different meals: Szechuan-style dumplings for one meal, soup and steamed dumplings for another, General Tso's for three meals, and beef and broccoli for three meals. Plus those two egg rolls. Not bad, but I really don't recommend eating takeout Chinese food for that many days in a row—unless you want to feel perfectly disgusting for a long, long time.