Sunday, April 08, 2007


In a city of 8 million people with immigrants from all over the world, why is it so hard to find decent Chinese food? Especially in Morningside Heights there are no legitimate, consistent options for Chinese. By Chinese I of course mean Chinese, Japanese, and Thai, but not Korean because fuck that shit.

The only semi-legitimate option is what I like to call "Wack Chinese" from the Wien food court. The problem is that the idiots in charge are getting rid of the food court to make room for a "lounge." I love how they say they're going to "make" a lounge, which is basically an exercise in negating the space. Nothing is going to be added except for couches that nobody will use and instead we will all be worse off for not having wack Chinese to eat. Also, what is going to happen to the old, black guy who works there. I like to call him "Shakes McGee" because he has trouble keeping still. Yes, I realize how bad that sounds, but I don't care because it's hilarious. What's going to happen to Shakes? They took away his medical license so he can't go back to neurosurgery. He's going to go hungry because some kids need a university-sponsored lounge in order to feel like they're enjoying themselves.

With Wack Chinese gone there will be no legitimate Chinese (et al) left in Morningside Heights. Let's take a look at the available options. I am going to number them not because some are deserving of higher numbers, but because I like lists.

1. Ollie's - The last time I ordered from Ollie's it tasted like vomit. That's not a hyperbolic simile - it tasted like regurgitate. I felt as if I was eating food marinated in the wok with Bruce Lee's bile and puked up dog bits. Bizarrely, and appropriately enough I suppose, the two Ollie's that are further down Broadway are great. Despite this and perhaps because of it, I award our Ollie's zero points.

2. China Place - Aside from having the most boring name possible, their food is also as boring as possible. Everyone knows that the main ingredient in Chinese food is love - you need to hug the flavor into General Tso's chicken. Without this you're left with rubbery meat in nondescript orange sauce. They even get the rice wrong - how can you fuck up rice? It tastes like pellets of overcooked unhappiness. Zero again.

3. Caffe Swish - The first non-Chinese Chinese place on the list, Swish is known for discriminatory hirying practices. Specifically, they won't hire you if you're a decent human being. You need to be rude even by New York standards to qualify for employment here. The food is decent most of the time but the sushi is wack (and not good wack like wack chinese or taco bell RIP dawg) and the fountain soda tastes like bad medicine and not the Bon Jovi kind but the robitussin kind.

4. Empire/Concord - I have to rate these together because I can't tell them apart. Both have amazingly bad food. I often see one of them (I can't remember which) when walking down Amsterdam and I'm even more appalled by the appearance of the place. I almost cried when I saw the origins of my one-time-meal of Pepper Steak with Onions (as opposed to onion steak with peppers?). Stay away. Avoid at all costs. If you see a friend about to order it, steal the cell phone and break it. He'll thank you.

5. Wai Lee - unadulterated suffering. Misery in its purest form. I would take my hat off to this accomplishment except I've suffered at the hands of Wai Lee so it's personal. Rumor has it that Jack Bauer uses Wai Lee as the ultimate torture mechanism.

There are so many more, but I'm depressing myself by recalling all of this tragedy. Also, I need to go to Carnegie Hall to see a fucking high school band play because instead of seeing a concert for the report due Monday on a regular weekend night, I put it off til sunday so that I could preserve drinking opportunities. This is my life.

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