I have several relatives who live in the US and every time they travel up to Toronto all they do is eat. They make me take them out at all hours of the day, night and early morning for food. It’s such excessive eating that I can’t wrap my head around how their stomachs can expand to such sizes. I ask them why it is that all they want to do is eat in Toronto and they tell me, quite frankly, “It’s because the food up here is waaaaaaaaaaay better than it is in the US. The US sucks when it comes to food.” Although I would love to hate on Americans, I didn’t really believe them.
I made my way to Manhattan for my friends wedding. Somehow I ended up planning most of the trip and importantly, places to eat. I chose a variety of venues around the city, from local American to International fare. One of the restaurants on the list was a well-known, much talked about and famous Chinese restaurant off of Canal street. My boyfriend and I went there for dim sum. It was the WORSE DIM SUM I have ever had in my life. I’ve been to really shady and crappy places in Toronto before, but none of that was as bad as this place in Manhattan.
Then I went to Denver for Chinese food. My boyfriend lives in Denver and I wanted to try some Chinese food. He had previously researched “good” Chinese restaurants / eats from a work colleague who is Chinese and also from Toronto. His work colleague told him the Chinese food in Denver isn’t as good as Toronto, but he gave my boyfriend some “good” suggestions anyway. So I went and researched the suggested restaurants and picked one that appeared pretty authentic. We went there for dinner with another friend and it was the most disappointing meal ever! I won’t go into the details but it was bad.
There are many other times I’ve travelled to the US and all I’ve seen are places that sell “American Chinese food”. For all who don’t know what I’m talking about, American Chinese food is defined as bastardizations of real Chinese food i.e. spring rolls (but they’re nasty and not real), chicken balls (wtf is that?), egg rolls, fried wontons etc..you get the idea.
It suddenly hit me: my cousins from the US were right. America has bad Chinese food.
It was a bit mind boggling for me – probably more so for places like New York than Denver. New York has always been a major hub for immigration. There is a large Chinese population there who are from the motherland and no doubt, know how to cook authentic Chinese food. But why is it that it tastes soo bad?!
Then one day when I was in Boston, I came across this article in the New York Times. It expressed and explained my very hatred and confusion about Chinese food in America. At that moment I hearted Adrian Ho. He is my hero for writing and getting an article published in the NY Times!!!! Does the rest of America NOT notice this problem?!
Isn’t there something that can be done? I just want to eat real Chinese food and evidently, that’s too much to ask for in America. I’m glad to be Canadian!!!!!
WOOT!! GO CANADA!!!