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I'm Dyin' Up Here!!! (Need NYC quality chinese in Carmel/Brewster/Holmes area)

  • g

Oh, Please, please, someone tell me there's a decent Chinese restaurant up here in Putnam County.

There's a pretty "table cloth" Chinese restaurant in Carmel but the food has absolutely no discernible flavor at all. It's like the Cliff Notes of Chinese food. All the locat takouts seem like they arrfe prepared by Idaho Diner Chefs.

Please, after 18 months this ex-Manhattanite will drive for food. (I'm still having delivery withdrawal.)

Please, something with real taste and not dependent on the deep fryer. When things get really bleak, I drive into Manhattan and buy REAL cold sesame noodles ...without a trace of peanut butter. Yes, remember that?

Please, I'm melting into a pool of runny cornstarch-thickened water.



Link: http://www.passing-gas.com/

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  1. t

    Try Panda House on Mill Plain Road in Danbury, CT... Close to Brewster, off I-84.

    2 Replies
    1. re: TrishUntrapped
      Gary Gladstone

      I can't find a "Panda House" on Mill Plain Road in Danbury, anywhere on the web.

      Do you have a street address and know if it's Danbury or some other town?



      Link: http://www.gladstone.com

      1. re: Gary Gladstone

        Panda House
        93 Mill Plain Road
        Danbury, CT

        Tel. 203-743-6080

    2. s
      Skillet Licker


      Frankly, I don't know a damn thing about Putnam County except the Red Rooster Drive-In. I doubt their Chinese dishes would get a high reading on the authenticity meter. Besides, they'd dunk everything in the deep fryer anyway.

      I do commiserate with you, though, having lived for many years in rural Virginia. My advice is to get to know the chef at any Chinese restaurant and persuade him/her to fix you some home-style cooking, replete, if necessary, with MSG, exotic fungi, fish eyes, and whatever else he's inclined to throw. Tell them you'll pay extra. Whatever it takes, if you know waht I mean.

      1. I second the Panda House in Danbury. Just 5 minutes from the Putnam Line.

        1. If you're willing to drive south a bit, I think Sue & Hai in Yorktown Heights can be pretty good, although I can't vouch for their cold noodles/sesame paste.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Nick

            We've recently started eating at Sue & Hai after eating at Empire Hunan in Yorktown pretty regularly. You can find a 10% off coupon for S&H if you search on Google. I really like their chicken with ginger.

            I've not had the sesame noodles at S&H but actually like the ones at Empire Hunan (which I believe is actually a branch of the restaurant the OP disses in their original post). I find if I order it spicy they put some sort of garlic/ginger mixture on top of it. It also seems that the to-go order is twice the size of the bowl you get if you order it to eat in.

            Personally, I hate posts like the original one in this thread which basically is of the snobbish "all the food you eat up here is crap", if it's not from NYC, it's garbage.

            1. re: Bill

              frankly, "hate" it or not, your quote is dead-on accurate.

          2. Gary,

            Hello! I'm going to throw my belated 2 cents in here. I grew up in Carmel and my parents are still there, actually. Carmel itself is a restaurant wasteland. There really is little at all, especially in comparison to Cold Spring, Brewster, and Danbury. And I have to disagree with Bill in that, in general, the mid-Hudson Valley dining options (especially Asian) pale in comparison to the rest of the region, and I've lived in New Haven, White Plains, NYC, Minnesota, and Providence, RI, so I think I have some means of comparison.

            I think the restaurant in Carmel you were referring to is Empire Hunan, across from Lake Glenida. As far as Americanized Chinese food, it's acceptable, but there is nothing else remotely authentic about what they do. I absolutely second Panda House in Danbury as the best nearby Chinese. It's most assuredly not NYC quality (which, in itself, isn't SF or Vancouver quality), but it'll satisfy cravings. My parents tell me a Japanese/Sushi place has just opened up nearby Trader Joe's in Danbury off I-84 as well. If you're looking for Dim Sum, your nearest option will be in Yonkers/Central Westchester (and posts on this board extensively cover that).

            I've never been to the Yorktown Chinese mentioned, but I've heard they're acceptable. If you looking for good ethnic Cuisine in Yorktown, try Bloom's Kosher Deli. I was there the last time I was home visiting my family and I enjoyed it greatly. It was certainly as good as the average Jewish Deli in NYC or nearby here in Minneapolis (which, themselves, aren't as good as the Jewish delis of memory). Good luck!

            - Garris
            Rochester, MN (nope, nothing to eat down here)

            PS: My parents moved to Carmel in 1970 and were told then it would be the "next Greenwich or Scarsdale," filled with retail and restaurants. They bought it. They're still waiting...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Garris

              Sorry to report that Bloom's deli closed a few weeks ago.

            2. r
              richard burton

              If the chinese resturants made authentic chinese food in the boondocks, they would go out of business because there is no demand for real " chinese " food, just ex-city folk like yourself who have dined at wo hop @ 2 am. or had some banquet style meals at jing fong or triple 8 palace.can appreciate cantonese,szechaun or hong kong style food. Most folks want general chos chicken or pork fried rice or sesame this or that with an eggroll.
              In the burbs, the asians that settle there are the 2nd wave of survialist
              immigrants that remind me of the flight of white ethnics that letft NYC + brooklyn in the 1950's for long island and westchester during Mayor lindsey and before.
              ya should da never moved out......

              1 Reply
              1. re: richard burton

                This is the real problem--supply and demand. No one up here is demanding, and therefore, there is no supply of the good stuff. I usually stop in at my fave chinatown joints, every couple of weeks, and bring home roast duck, mock duck, sauces, vegetables, and with minimal effort, put together my own dishes that blow away anything available over the counter in this county.

              2. Two words: Wild Ginger. Ridgefield, CT. Next to CVS, set back from Main Street

                Best Asian (Chinese/Thai, etc..) I've ever had ANYWHERE!

                We regularly drive 45 for it. Don't miss the Shrimp Tempura, Szechuan Dumplings, Beef with Mango Sauce, etc.....


                1. Honestly... best I have had in the area without having to go to three-four restauants for a complete meal that tastes good... two places:

                  Toro in Carmel on Route 6 across from Lake Gleneida (and they are especially nice there);

                  Andif you want small shop, eta in-take out, there's China Star next to McDonald's on Route 22 in Brewster.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Balderayne

                    At Toro, they are certainly sweet, but the food is brutal. Anytime a store decides to combine Chinese and Japanese, it's never gonna be pretty, but at Toro, neither is really any good, at all. Owned by the folks who brought you Wasabi Lobby on the UES, in Manhattan, certainly one of the worst NYC sushi joints. Problem is, there are no real alternatives anywhere up here, so I just save my Sushi and Chinese jones' for my weekly trips to the big apple.

                  2. Well, here it is, almost four years later and I have tried most of the Chinese eateries in this area. Nothing comes close to my Manhattan favorites. (Does this mean I'm now a local "snob" instead of weekender "snob?" ;-)

                    I still think of Putnam as a culinary black hole but have decided that Panda, on Mill Plain Rd is a decent and pleasant alternative. It's genteel enough (table cloths and wonderful personable service) and well prepared and presented food at a reasonable price. The city "edge" is missing but all-in-all the overall experience is nice and restful and affordable.

                    The Chicken or Lobster Soong with lettuce wraps is out favorite along with the (spicy) Sesame Dumplings.

                    Thanks to all of you who pointed me there.


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Joypebble

                      Did you ever try that place in Yorktown? I have lived in Chappaqua for 14 years, and have also found the dearth of even mediocre for NYC quality Chinese Restaurants to be quite frustrating. Pacific Palace in Mt. Kisco, which had much better than average quality but snail's pace service closed late in '07 and since then it has only gotten worse. The only alternative i to drive to one of 2 places in White Plains that are highly reccommended on other Chowhound postings. The same goes for decent corned beef sandwiches as well from Northern Westchester and North. .....