Junk food. Every person has a different picture come to mind when “junk food” is uttered. For some, it’s a bag of chips. For others, it’s fast food. For me, it’s Chinese food.
A little background: I won’t eat at McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, or Dominoes. With the emergence of pizza and burgers as artisan foods, there are too many good options available for me to subject myself to a Big Mac. “What’s wrong with the Big Mac?” Nothing, but I doubt anyone would say it is their absolute favorite burger. If McDonald’s is on one corner, Five Guys on the next, each has no crowd, which one are you going to choose? Why bother with something that is mediocre at best? Same goes for pizza and tacos.
Chinese food is my junk food. If I don’t have the time to cook and I just need a meal to get me through, it’s going to be Chinese. Outside of mall food courts, there aren’t many Chinese chains that come to mind. If I order the same dish at two different places, though the ingredients may be the same, they come out completely different.
The dish I ordered on this evening is the Chinese food staple, General Tso’s Chicken. Deep fried chicken chunks covered in a spicy glaze/sauce. What is not to love? Order the combination version, and it generally comes with Pork Fried Rice and an Egg Roll. I can feel my arteries clogging already. Mmmmmm… clogged ventricle.
Taste of China is a spot that will make me travel a little out of my way. Located next door to the Tarrytown Town Hall, it boasts a large sign proclaiming that it was selected as one of the 100 Best Chinese Restaurants in America in 2007. That may not seem like much, but consider that this establishment is almost purely a take-out joint. Granted, there are four or five tables inside, but for the most part, it is strictly dine out. Surprisingly, almost every time I go in, those tables are filled. Business is brisk. A taste of their General Tso’s tells the reason why.
This is an excellent example. The chicken is not too heavily breaded, the sauce has plenty of heat, but retains a wonderful savory quality, and the breading is still crisp after a 20 minute ride home.
The fried rice was nothing to rave about. It has that weird, iridescent, yellow color that is all too common with most take out fried rice.
The egg roll was equally uninspired.
I’ve eaten at Taste of China a number of times, and I wanted to rave about their food. However, casting a more critical eye on it for the purposes of this post, I am having a hard time. The chicken is great, and worth the price of admission, but the fried rice and egg roll were so flat.
Since it’s only fast food, I guess I can’t complain too much. The $9 price tag is not offensive and is worth it for me to have crispy chicken. If they can raise the bar of their starch, they might be in the running for 100 best again.
Taste of China
17 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY 10591