Authentic Chinese food in the USA?

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senor boogie woogie
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2005/11/29 04:41:33 (permalink)

Authentic Chinese food in the USA?


Hello,

I am an American teaching English in China. In my five years being here, I have noticed quickly that Chinese food is not the same in the United States as it is here. That's a given. Maybe one day, my Chinese wife from Zhejiang province, China will want to visit me. I don't want to tell you where I live, tell me where the good authentic Chinese food is for her.

My wife will hunger for some real Chinese food and a taste of home. Basically, a Chinese restaurant where there is no buffet, all food is set out at the middle of the table (with a Lazy Susan preferably). A restaurant that proudly sells chou dofu and any other wierd stuff that very few Americans have been exposed of, much less eat on a plate. A place where you order Kung Pow chicken, and the staff has no idea what in the hell you are talking about.

A place where one can get a dining room for themselves and their guests. A real Chinese, from China place. Chinese give very excellent service and going to some of these restaurants is a dream. When I get a digital camera, I will take real pictures of " Roadfood" in China. A whole new dimension.

Senor
#1

23 Replies Related Threads

    rjb
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/11/29 09:23:31 (permalink)
    To repeat a recent post in the "Can't miss restaurants in NYC" thread:

    Grand Sichuan has some of the most interesting Chinese food in the city and according to a Chinese friend, the closest to the "real thing." In addition to the typical NY Chinese offerings, this place dishes up various oddball bits (duck tongues, pig intestine, etc.) and assorted weird vegetables.

    There are now several outposts (not a chain, just an ambitious family) -- my favorite is on Ninth Ave. & 51st.

    www.thegrandsichuan.com
    #2
    berndog
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/11/29 10:29:15 (permalink)
    senor boogie woogie, I'm not sure how you expect people to recommend places if you won't tell us where you live, or at least provide a basic geographic location. Sounds like you are a CIA spy instead of an English teacher.

    That said, I would have to recommend the obvious; take your wife to Chinatown in any major city and you will likely find the food you are looking for. New York, Toronto, and San Francisco for starters have very large Chinese populations and many authentic restaurants.
    #3
    BT
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/11/29 12:52:14 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by senor boogie woogie


    Hello,

    I am an American teaching English in China. In my five years being here, I have noticed quickly that Chinese food is not the same in the United States as it is here. That's a given. Maybe one day, my Chinese wife from Zhejiang province, China will want to visit me. I don't want to tell you where I live, tell me where the good authentic Chinese food is for her.

    My wife will hunger for some real Chinese food and a taste of home. Basically, a Chinese restaurant where there is no buffet, all food is set out at the middle of the table (with a Lazy Susan preferably). A restaurant that proudly sells chou dofu and any other wierd stuff that very few Americans have been exposed of, much less eat on a plate.


    OK. There are many, many such places in the Bay Area including many in San Francisco itself. There have been other threads here naming some of them. Basically, if you walk through Chinatown (Stockton or Grant Sts) or the Richmond District (outer Balboa and inner Clement Sts.) you will encounter plenty of Chinese people as recently arrived as your wife and restaurants serving them. If you decide to visit SF, let us know and we'll work a bit at specififc suggestions.

    quote:
    A place where you order Kung Pow chicken, and the staff has no idea what in the hell you are talking about.


    This is going to be a lot harder because the Chinese people running restaurants are not stupid. They are good business people and while they may serve the things unknown to westerners that you crave, they will usually also serve things that many of their western customers expect. This IS the US after all. Typically what I have noted is that there's the printed menu for western customers and then there's the menu posted on the wall, in Chinese with no translation, for Chinese customers.

    quote:
    A place where one can get a dining room for themselves and their guests. A real Chinese, from China place.


    In SF, this is doable but usually the rooms are fairly large and they won't have a room for just you and your wife.

    quote:
    Chinese give very excellent service and going to some of these restaurants is a dream. When I get a digital camera, I will take real pictures of " Roadfood" in China. A whole new dimension.


    Please do. But, honestly, since I've lived in San Francisco for 23 years and also spent time in Vancouver's large and growing Chinatown (like I said, both of these communities have huge numbers of recent immigrants from China, Hong kong and Taiwan and have whatever restaurant options those people want), I really doubt I'll see anything in the pics that's "a whole new dimension" but rather I would expect to see a really great example to something with which I'm aquainted.

    #4
    Scorereader
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/11/29 14:37:33 (permalink)
    I'd imagine that the Chinese cuisine in Busksnort, TN is nothing like the food in China.

    But it really grates me when people leave the US and say that they can't get real "insert name of country" food in the States.

    To some degree, this is true, but far from an absolute. As BT pointed out, "authentic" Chinese cuisine is available in the Bay Area, in no small part due to the the fact it has a huge Asian imigrant population.
    Also, NYC has many "authentic" and unique foods. These were pretty unique to me when I first left Syracuse and went to NYC Chinatown.

    Perhaps because Chinese cuisine in Bucksnort is not prepared the same way as in China, it may surprise you to know that in high asain immigrant populated areas, chou dofu and the like is readily available.

    Rest assured, you can get all the international food you desire if you know where to go to get what you're looking for.
    As BT said, "this IS the US after all."

    a co-worker of mine is married to a woman from Japan. (Her parents still live there) When looking for Japanese and other asian foods, I always ask him first. From his experiences, there are very few foods he CAN'T get in the DC area, including the some of the many different types of vegetables
    which aren't even easily found in Japan!

    The only things he finds that is impossible to get is some of the strange prepackaged snacks in Japan. I once had some sort of gummy candy that was a combo of licorice, orange and salt. Not my favorite, but some of the cookie type snacks were good.

    Overall, I think you'll be ok when returning Stateside and needing a Chinese food fix.

    Have a good trip and enjoy your time in China.

    I look forward to your food pics.








    #5
    V960
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/11/29 14:37:56 (permalink)
    Either SFO or NYC
    #6
    CarolinaBill
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/11/29 15:16:05 (permalink)
    Recently was on business trip in Vancouver and was overwhelmed by the number of Chinese and other Asian restuarants in city - many of which were authentic to accomodate a rapidly growing immigrant Asian population. We were fortunate to have a native Vancouverite with us who recommended a restuarant that was considered authentic Hong Kong, with emphasis on dim sum and Szechuan dishes. The main thing that I noticed was that the "hot" dishes were more subtly spiced with other spices than chili pepper. The other thing I noticed that differed from the American experience was the quantity - portions, while meant to be shared, were not huge, but certainly adequate. And we did not get pounds and pounds of steamed rice with entrees; in fact, it had to be ordered if wanted. This may explain to some extent the reasons why we tend to be somewhat heavier than our Chinese counterparts - too much emphasis on American "Chinese" is on vast quantity. Hence, the horrors of the now ubiquitous Chinese buffet, aka, all the fried everything you can eat at one low price.
    #7
    plb
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/11/29 16:44:10 (permalink)
    Have your wife ask in Chinese for the Chinese menu.

    The food on it is usually cooked by the head chief, while that on the "foreign" (meaning English) menu is usually done by the assistants (often Mexican when outside of a big city Chinatown).
    #8
    BT
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/11/29 18:31:29 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Scorereader



    a co-worker of mine is married to a woman from Japan. (Her parents still live there) When looking for Japanese and other asian foods, I always ask him first. From his experiences, there are very few foods he CAN'T get in the DC area, including the some of the many different types of vegetables
    which aren't even easily found in Japan!

    The only things he finds that is impossible to get is some of the strange prepackaged snacks in Japan. I once had some sort of gummy candy that was a combo of licorice, orange and salt. Not my favorite, but some of the cookie type snacks were good.

    Overall, I think you'll be ok when returning Stateside and needing a Chinese food fix.


    In fact, I've been told by those who should know that the biggest difference between Chinese food in China and Chinese food in areas of the US and Canada with heavy Chinese immigrant populations is the greater availability of top quality ingredients in North America. I know that in California, there are many small farms producing Asian vegetables for the Bay Area and LA markets. All I have to do to see the result is visit an Asian market or even San Francisco's Civic Center Farmer's Market. And, of course, those same markets famously (because the animal rights folks often object) offer live food animals to their large base of Asian customers who demand their food that fresh.

    Apocryphal SF story: Lady comes out of market holding live chicken and is about to step on Muni bus. Driver tells her, "No live animals on bus." She rings chickens neck and gets on bus (as no-longer live chicken flops a bit).
    #9
    berndog
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/11/29 19:28:29 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by plb

    Have your wife ask in Chinese for the Chinese menu.

    The food on it is usually cooked by the head chief, while that on the "foreign" (meaning English) menu is usually done by the assistants (often Mexican when outside of a big city Chinatown).


    plb, don't know if your from the Southwest or California where Mexican help is readily available, but every Chinese restaurant I have ever eaten at in upstate New York has had Chinese staff and chefs. If those cooks were Mexican, they were the most Asian looking Mexicans I have ever seen.
    #10
    Gary Soup
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/11/30 00:29:55 (permalink)
    quote:

    Apocryphal SF story: Lady comes out of market holding live chicken and is about to step on Muni bus. Driver tells her, "No live animals on bus." She rings chickens neck and gets on bus (as no-longer live chicken flops a bit).

    My wife occasionally buys a live chicken in Chinatown and brings it home on the bus. At the market they put the bird in a large, heavy duty brown paper bag, folded over at the top and stapled. Chickens are petrified of the dark, and won't let out a peep until the bag is opened.

    #11
    BT
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/11/30 00:39:40 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Gary Soup

    quote:

    Apocryphal SF story: Lady comes out of market holding live chicken and is about to step on Muni bus. Driver tells her, "No live animals on bus." She rings chickens neck and gets on bus (as no-longer live chicken flops a bit).

    My wife occasionally buys a live chicken in Chinatown and brings it home on the bus. At the market they put the bird in a large, heavy duty brown paper bag, folded over at the top and stapled. Chickens are petrified of the dark, and won't let out a peep until the bag is opened.


    Well, in that case I guess the chicken ought to be more terrified of the sudden presence of light.

    In truth, I've taken my cat (in a carrier) to the vet on Muni a number of times, but each time I wonder if the driver will give me trouble. But as we both know, Muni drivers rarely object to anything their passengers do--it's safer for them just to ignore everything.
    #12
    snoopy123
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/11/30 02:20:54 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by senor boogie woogie


    Hello,

    I am an American teaching English in China. In my five years being here, I have noticed quickly that Chinese food is not the same in the United States as it is here. That's a given. Maybe one day, my Chinese wife from Zhejiang province, China will want to visit me. I don't want to tell you where I live, tell me where the good authentic Chinese food is for her.

    My wife will hunger for some real Chinese food and a taste of home. Basically, a Chinese restaurant where there is no buffet, all food is set out at the middle of the table (with a Lazy Susan preferably). A restaurant that proudly sells chou dofu and any other wierd stuff that very few Americans have been exposed of, much less eat on a plate. A place where you order Kung Pow chicken, and the staff has no idea what in the hell you are talking about.

    A place where one can get a dining room for themselves and their guests. A real Chinese, from China place. Chinese give very excellent service and going to some of these restaurants is a dream. When I get a digital camera, I will take real pictures of " Roadfood" in China. A whole new dimension.

    Senor


    Hi,

    Just go visit this website, [url]www.chinatownconnection.com/restaurant.htm[/url]and it will answer your question for sure.
    #13
    Scorereader
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/11/30 11:43:49 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by BT

    Apocryphal SF story: Lady comes out of market holding live chicken and is about to step on Muni bus. Driver tells her, 'No live animals on bus.' She rings chickens neck and gets on bus



    Hilarious!!!!
    My office buddies (especially those who are from CA) were cracking up.
    #14
    mr chips
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/12/02 03:01:32 (permalink)
    I had great success finding authetic Chinese restaurants in Vancouver"s Chin atown and in the suburbs as well.
    #15
    Scallion1
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/12/02 09:01:57 (permalink)
    For some seemingly definitive information, go here:
    http://eatingchinese.org/
    and if you speak some Mandarin, as I assume you must if you're teaching English in China, you'll be in great shape.
    #16
    Scorereader
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/12/02 11:10:29 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Scallion1

    For some seemingly definitive information, go here:
    http://eatingchinese.org/
    and if you speak some Mandarin, as I assume you must if you're teaching English in China, you'll be in great shape.


    Most programs for teaching English in China requires NO Chinese skills. The students learn English by immersion from an English speaker, speaking and teaching completely in English.



    #17
    V960
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/12/02 12:16:24 (permalink)
    Interesting reference to chickens. In NC selling dressed chickens carries a HUGE amount of regulations but selling a live chicken requires only a livestock license (free, only an application is required). I sell many (100-150 /year) to oriental markets as live birds to avoid the regulations. Most Chinese would rather have a mature live bird than a plastic wrapped pack of meat.
    #18
    BT
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2005/12/02 12:27:39 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by V960

    Interesting reference to chickens. In NC selling dressed chickens carries a HUGE amount of regulations but selling a live chicken requires only a livestock license (free, only an application is required). I sell many (100-150 /year) to oriental markets as live birds to avoid the regulations. Most Chinese would rather have a mature live bird than a plastic wrapped pack of meat.


    But my point was, the fact that you sell "many" such birds in a place like NC with not so many Chinese immigrants (and, I'm sure, would sell a whole lot more in Northern CA) suggests that "real" Chinese food IS available in the US.
    #19
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2007/08/16 16:51:04 (permalink)
    I have no idea if this is a gag or not but these menu descriptions had me howling:

    http://www.rahoi.com/2006/03/may-i-take-your-order/
    #20
    divefl
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2007/08/16 17:19:45 (permalink)
    Mark's Duck House. Seven Corners, Alexandria, VA, DC Metro Area.
    #21
    divefl
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2007/08/16 17:25:29 (permalink)
    Sorry, should have put this in. Written up internationally. I had the duck tongue, it was great. My friend had a trio of pig ear, stomach and hmmm... I'm blocking the last one. http://www.marksduckhouse.com/
    #22
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2007/08/16 18:24:18 (permalink)
    La Choy at my house! Crunchy rice noodles, chow mein noodles, lo mein noodles, a few kinds of Itailan noodles, and three kinds of La Choy "2 can" stuff, Chicken Chow Mein, Beef Chow nein, and Pepper Beef. I know, I know! I gotta get one of those "lazy susan" things though. :~)

    Hey all of the stuff yall mentioned above sounds great!
    Joe
    #23
    SassyGritsAL
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    RE: Authentic Chinese food in the USA? 2007/08/17 12:15:42 (permalink)
    No authentic Chinese here in Huntspatch (just down the road a bit from Busksnort, TN). Only buffet and a few order from the menu types.

    Y'all come back now ya here.
    #24
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