Number One China

It’s located next to the “Oriental Food Mart” so it ought to be more than just a cookie cutter generic “Chinese Food” place, right? Wrong. No. 1 China is sort of an insult to the idea of this food being the best in China. It’s possible that the Chinese government will send over agents to shut the place down or at least force them to change their name so that Americans don’t think that this is the best that China has to offer.

The menu was printed by the same people who print the menus of every single low-end Chinese restaurant in the English-speaking world. The food may come out of cans. Flavorless. Mediocre in nearly every way.

At 2549 Madison Avenue in the hilariously named Madison Square Shopping Center, the No. 1 China restaurant ought to be good. But it isn’t. It isn’t even remarkable. We ordered Number 102, the sauteed vegetables with garlic sauce, and Number 103, the bean curd Szechuan style. The vegetables were disgusting and limp and covered, inexplicably, with a rubbery red sauce. Why are they so red? Millions of beetles probably died to make our frozen broccoli this color.  The tofu was edible, but any taste it might have mustered was obscured by the unmistakable flavor of cornstarch.

We should have gone next door to the market and gotten some stuff and just made our own at home. Next time we will.

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4 responses to “Number One China

  1. By now, you should know that there is no good Chinese food in Montgomery. The takeout places are tied with the buffet joints.

    They’re all disasters.

    Did you know that in Rockville MD there’s a vegetarian Chinese restaurant? They do amazing stuff.

  2. A favorite Chinese place when I was living in NYC was VP3. The V.P. stands for “Vegetarian Paradise.” You haven’t truly lived until you’ve had fake duck meat in a spicy sauce.

  3. Pingback: Grow Your Own Lemongrass « Midtown Montgomery Living

  4. We live down the street from this place. We eat there occasionally when we’re tired/hungry/making poor choices. Thank you for reminding me that there was a time, long ago, when we would eat at Chinese restaurants in southern California where we were the only white people in the joint, and it was glorious. God I miss boba tea.

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