Where have all the dragons gone?

Inspired by The Retropolitan’s post earlier today, I began thinking about my favorite ethnic food: Chinese food.

Or, at least it used to be my favorite. I remember once upon a time, Chinese restaurants were cool, mysterious places to go, full of lanterns, dragons, and softly bubbling aquariums. In my home town, my favorite place to eat when I was a kid was The Fortune Cookie restaurant. There were dragon sculptures and plants everywhere. Each table had this cool lantern with a revolving scene printed on the silk screen, and this would revolve, painting the table with wonderful blue and pink pictures of Chinese folklore. The food was made to order. The sweet-and-sour sauce wasn’t that radioactive shade of orangey-red that it always seems to be these days, and the fortune cookies simply had real, wisdom-filled fortunes… not a single lotto number in sight.

What happened to those kinds of places?

Now, granted, I live in a small town now. But all I see, no matter where I go, is little take-out or delivery-only places in strip-malls. Places with names like “China 1”, “China First”, “China Wall”, “China Lee”, and my favorite, “Wok & Roll”. These places serve this… I dunno… McChinese food. It’s assembly-line Chinese, not tasteless, but kinda funny-tasting, and definitely not made to order. And if it’s not take-out or delivery, it’s buffet-style places, with vats of the same McChinese that’s offered at the take-out places. I guess it’s just another symptom of accelerated progress and manufactured society and all that stuff.

I just miss that old Chinese restaurant-feeling.


Published in: on December 15, 2006 at 3:10 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The best food: Mexican food.

    As much as I like Chinese dishes, they don’t hold a candle to Mexican cuisine.

  2. Mexican food is the equivelent of smelly armpits, beans and rice, very tres chic. I agree, Chineese food is not the same now as it once was, most of the cooks are Korean and all the food is processed crap. Good call on this one.

  3. You’re just sore that I made you go to that new Mexican place by the mall.

    Pfft. Barbarian.

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