So to start off this week, let’s take a little behind the scenes look at an actual conversation in our house when choosing this week’s takeout location:
Steph: Hey, how about Chinese food?
Shane: Sounds good.
Steph: Well, where do you want to order from?
Shane: Probably our usual, Sushi Asia Gourmet.
Steph: Hmm … remember it’s Wednesday, right?
Shane: Yeah? They’re open on Wednesdays, we’ve ordered from there before.
Steph: Exactly my point. Remember the reason we started this whole Wednesday thing? So we don’t keep going to the same places over and over? So we try new things?
Shane: Oh … right … OK then.
And that’s the short story of how we ended up actually traveling to China to get our meal this week, still aren’t sure whether or not we each ate the wrong sushi order, and almost had to visit the ER for lack of an epi pen.
How’s that for a lead in? Let’s dive in!
So our first clue that this would be a wild ride should’ve been when I called Golden Dragon to place our order and was told it would be 20-25 minutes before it was ready. Wait, what? Since when does any takeout Chinese food anywhere take more than 10 minutes?
Well wait, let’s back up – the first clue to be wary of this place should’ve actually been that they didn’t have a website. We all know that one has bitten us in the ass a few times in the past. Most notably, the place that ended up only having two things on the menu.
Beating a dead horse with mentions of that place again? Oops. Sorry. But not really.
But seriously, in this time of abundant technology – and especially in the year of a global pandemic and people eating at home probably more than in the past few decades combined – wouldn’t you want to make it easier for people to find your establishment, and most of all your menu, online? I mean, unpopular opinion maybe, but personally I don’t enjoy pulling up something on a generic “allmenus” site and getting my hopes up to order a specific dish, just to be told that I was actually looking at the menu of a place in California with the same name. I also think it’s unwise to expect that the person who answers the phone at any restaurant would want to read the menu to you like a bedtime story over the phone so you can make your selections.
Especially Golden Dragon, where it seems they are severely understaffed. Because after taking a chance and ordering from one of the generic found menus online and waiting 25 minutes to go pick up said order … I still spent about another 25 minutes admiring the small front entryway and chatting with local Uber Eats and Grub Hub drivers while we all continued to wait for our order to be ready.
So that was fun.
After all that, the food should at least have been worth it, no?
Let’s start with the sushi. Shane had wanted a spicy salmon roll, and I ordered a spicy tuna roll for myself.
I mean, maybe, just maybe, on the off chance that the same person is not consuming both types of sushi rolls, you put them in separate boxes? Or find some way to label them. Because, let’s face it, smelling two different types of fish is neither productive nor nice to your nose, and it’s not like the color is really all that definitive in either case as well.
So whichever one I ended up eating was just OK. Not good enough that I have to have it again, which is probably good because I wouldn’t really know which one I was ordering anyway.
I feel like this is exactly the moment for which the “shrugging” emoji was created.
Shane also got his go-to Chinese order, General Tsos Chicken.
Yeah, it wasn’t anything exceptional. Also I feel obligated to point out that the person doling out the broccoli in this takeout container must in some way be related to the person in charge of tater tot rationing at Butcher & Sprout. Like why would you leave an empty section? It’s broccoli, for heaven’s sake. Couldn’t spare another half a stalk there?
I opted for the beef with vegetables.
It was honestly kinda bland. The vegetables were crunchy and not overdone – which, I mean, is a true concern when food that usually takes about 10 minutes was almost an hour from order to table – but that was really the only redeeming quality. The beef was super thin and the sauce didn’t have much flavor to it. Adding a crapload of salt and pepper just really made it taste like, well, honestly like pepper steak, which if I’d wanted that I could’ve ordered it instead.
But as with most Chinese food, at least I have plenty of leftovers for lunch tomorrow, so I guess I get to try playing chef in my own kitchen to see how I can doctor the flavor to something more enjoyable. Fun!
Shane also got two egg rolls.
Fun fact: the egg rolls at Golden Dragon contain shrimp.
Another fun fact: Shane is allergic to shrimp.
Put those two fun facts together and you get … well, fortunately in our case not a trip to the hospital, although that’s really only because he caught it before he consumed enough to be severely affected. His only main issue ended up being an annoyance at me for asking him approximately 4,786 times throughout the course of the evening if he was sure he was OK.
But still, because Shane is clearly not the only person to have this particular affliction, and because nowhere on the online menu we found did it mention the ingredients, perhaps this might be something they may want to look at changing in the future. I mean, I’ve seen Shane consume his fair share of egg rolls over the course of our relationship, and this is the first time I’ve ever had to feel like I should be keeping a night watch on his breathing habits afterwards. So maybe just something to think about.
Yeah, it’s probably not a surprise that Golden Dragon won’t be at the top of our list the next time one of us suggests a craving for Asian food of any kind. I mean, unless we’re glutton for punishment with the anticipation of an hour long wait for preparation and the thrill of a potential call to 9-1-1.
But even without those factors, the food itself just wasn’t anything we felt overly thrilled about as we were consuming. I mean, I’m not saying we’d be willing to bypass the possible sacrifice of Shane’s ability to swallow if the food had been amazing, but let’s just say perhaps we’d just plan accordingly next time and place our order around midday, nix the egg rolls, and be sure to inquire about any other possible shrimp-laced meals that might unwittingly appear in our to-go order while we have someone on the phone. But for what we experienced this time around … well, it’s not really worth the effort.
See what we get for trying new things?