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What's Your Favorite Chinese Take Out Order

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Judging from the boards, a lot of us do Chinese food over the holidays for either Christmas or New Year's Eve. I remember that my godfather's (a bachelor) contribution to our Christmas Eve party every year was four huge steaming cartons of Subgum Har Kew. We ate a lot of seafood that night, and I always looked forward to his arrival.

These days, even the tiniest takeout joints seem to be getting more adventurous with their takeout menu offerings. For example, my favorite local takeout place in my hometown gives a nod to our huge Hispanic community and also offers fried plaintains on their menu, as well as asapao on chef's special occasionally (I grab this when they have it). So there's a little diversity going on.

What's your favorite Chinese takeout item? I love dumplings of any sort.

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  1. I love cold crab rangoons. I'll order them to put in the fridge to snack on the next day.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Infomaniac

      I have inhaled cold fried rice and cold noodles by the cartonful but never rangoons...which I love. I'll have to try that. Info, I know you're familiar with New England--where's your favorite takeout spot? I tend to go to Fu Hing on the Methuen/Lawrence line. There's one in Bradford, Mass too I think?

      1. re: thegolferbitch

        Tea Garden in Groveland, MA is close to my house, so that my usual stop. In Bradford I like Han Garden. I'll have to check out Fu Hing soon.

    2. Hot and Sour Soup...I crave this stuff.

      http://stores.ebay.com/Shop-Lateda_W0...

      1. General Tso Chicken tho its so Americanized.

        14 Replies
        1. re: onlytwomuses

          That's because it's an American dish, not a Chinese one.

          1. re: RetiredChef

            The roots of Gen. Tso's chicken are actually in Taiwan, after the Chinese civil war...
            http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

            1. re: Gio

              As with most dishes things are no so black and white. There are competing claims from two different NY restaurants that claim to have invented it.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_...

              Whomever you choose to believe, the General Tso chicken served in America would not find favor in Hunan, where it is unheard of, because it contains quite a bit of sugar and that is highly unusual in Hunan style cooking. In fact when it was introduced in Hunan in the 1990's the locals didn't like the dish and you cannot find it there anymore.

              http://www.amazon.com/The-Fortune-Coo....

            2. re: RetiredChef

              More specifically an east coast American dish. Growing up in California I never heard of it.

              1. re: KaimukiMan

                Right. East Coast-specific, along with "moo goo gai pan" and "lo mein." Those dishes are now found on the West Coast, but not until fairly recently.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  How terribly interesting. I would love to have even decent Americanized Chinese food. I have terrible-mediocre and mostly buffet at my disposal.

                  1. re: melpy

                    I think my love of Americanized Chinese food is from probably what you're describing as terrible-mediocre buffet as the food there is quite similar to the food I crave from my local takeout place only a smidgen fresher at the local place. This isn't elevated food by any stretch of the imagination.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      It doesn't need to be elevated. I would take mediocre MD Chinese takeout over good Central PA. We almost never eat it here because it it so bad. If anyone has a good recommendation near Harrisburg, PA I'm all ears.

                      Would love to try Grace Garden with some friends of ours in MD sometime.

                      1. re: melpy

                        I've only eaten at Golden Chopsticks once, but it was excellent. They also serve Thai and Japanese, but the Chinese is so good I doubt if I'd even try them.

                        http://goldenchopsticksusa.com/

                        1. re: melpy

                          Golden Wok in Latrobe, PA (which is about 2 hours from Harrisburg) is pretty good. I mean, I live very close to Pittsburgh, so the one in Latrobe is the closest to Harrisburg I can do.. unless you want to drive 4 hours from Harrisburg to New Castle, PA in my city.. lol.

                    2. re: Ruth Lafler

                      Old reply but moo goo gai pan and lo mein have been on the Third Coast for at least forty years.

                      1. re: James Cristinian

                        I have never heard the expression "the Third Coast."
                        Could this mean the south, facing the Gulf of Mexico?

                        1. re: Tripeler

                          Gulf Coast for me.

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Coast

                          1. re: James Cristinian

                            In Florida, the west coast means Tampa. I guess California would be our "third" coast.

              2. Mei Fun Noodles with Pork & Shrimp.

                14 Replies
                1. re: Foodboy

                  Foodboy what are meifun noodles? I always wondered. Like lomein?

                  1. re: onlytwomuses

                    Mei fun noodles are those very thin rice noodles -- they're white and resemble "angel hair" pasta. Most good Chinese take out places stir-fry these noodles with your choice of meat, like pork, chicken, beef, etc., or shrimp - and various vegetables like, sprouts, ribbons of pepper, water chestnut...and egg too. The dish is terrific if all the ingredients balance out. A favorite place calls it Ha Moon Mei Fun. I'm not sure what "Ha Moon" means. I'm not a fan of curry, but the Singapore version of this includes a lot of it.

                    1. re: Foodboy

                      "Ha Moon" is Amoy pronounced with Cantonese. It's a coastal city in Fujian province.
                      "Mei Fun" is rice noodle.

                  2. re: Foodboy

                    I'd take that a step further (because of the addition of chicken and curry) and suggest Singapore Rice Noodle. A notch above pork and shrimp Mei Fun.
                    Same noodle [rice sticks]. Image: http://maymaycooking.tripod.com/siteb...

                    1. re: Cheese Boy

                      Is mei fun rice stick noodles that are not fried till they are crispy? I think Singapore noodles are rice stick noodles fried crispy? Is that right. I used to get a shrimp, greens, and soft rice stick noodles dish that was wonderful, but have not seen it since that restaurant closed. Was that dish mei fun? I'd like to know what to ask for if I could call an ask a Chinese restaurant to make it up for me special - which they are good about doing. I just never knew what to call this dish. I do not like noodles when they are fried crisp. I thought lo mein meant chow mein noodles cooked soft but when they arrived they were crispy. How would I ask for that particular dish - chow mein noodles sort of steamed or boiled soft and then mixed with meat and veg. so it is not as greasy as chow mein.
                      So, I guess I am asking what to call these 2 dishes.
                      Thanks!

                      1. re: niki rothman

                        Niki, what you're looking for is what we on the East coast have sometime seen considered ' vegetarian specials '. The noodles are usually steamed only, and not finished off in the oil (fried). Be aware that techniques vary from place to place. Also understand that lo mein is egg noodles, and mei fun are rice noodles. Different flours are utilized in making each noodle, thus achieving completely different results. I would ask them if they could make the dish you want w/o frying in their wok w/ oil and sauces. I think they would oblige. One caveat: it might be a bit bland.

                        Singapore rice noodle, if done right, can be very satisfying. It's made with rice noodle that is *briefly* rehydrated (in warm water, not boiling water usually) and then finished off in the wok later. Lo mein utilizes the same technique, except the noodles are boiled first, and finished off in the wok later. I tend to prefer rice noodles because they are less filling. BTW, if your noodles are arriving 'crisp', they must be way overcooked. Ask if they could leave the noodles softer for you. (Put them in the wok for less time than the usual). Hey, it's an option where you would not be sacrificing taste. For me, it just isn't Chinese food unless it's finished off in the wok. ; )

                        1. re: Cheese Boy

                          The dish that I would get that I really loved was shrimp chow mee fun - rice stick noodles that I think must have started off in boiling water then been drained and fried very briefly with shrimp and baby bok choy - so delicious.
                          This restaurant (Hong Kong on Church st. for SF hounds) closed down a couple of years ago and I haven't seen this dish offered elsewhere.

                          I find the vast majority of chow mein I see here in SF is horrible greasy, rubbery, tough noodles with dried out meats and skimpy veg. How they get away with it in a town with so many Chinese mystifies me.

                          Then there is what I am pretty sure is the Singapore noodles - wheat chow mein or even thinner stick noodles - but wheat - fried to a hotrrible card board greasy pancake with the meat and veg plopped on top. I've seen Asian diners seemingly enjoying this. It tastes terrible to me.

                          I am from NY and I can remember being served lo mein that was different than the chow mein we get here in SF, it was soft boiled wheat noodles almost like spaghetti but more tender - maybe an egg noodle - probably briefly finished in the wok - but not the tough fried greasy chow mein we get here by any means - it was softer, more delicate.

                          If anybody in SF knows a restaurant that serves these - please let me know.

                          1. re: niki rothman

                            My goodness. I thought for sure SF would have some *great* Chinese eats. Their dishes sound like they've been "Westernized" even further, to compensate for the distance between NY and CA, I guess. LOL. Anyhow, it sounds like you still have some searching to do to find your NY Chinese food equivalents. Have fun sampling.

                            1. re: niki rothman

                              Yes, lo mein are egg noodles, fresh ones. They are best if they are dry fried first so they have a slight smokiness, and are still a bit chewy. Good lo mein is wonderful but so hard to find...not the same as chow mein.

                              1. re: niki rothman

                                Singapore Noodles is made with rice noodles, not wheat noodles. It's a favorite of mine, but a Singapore Chinese friend of mine refuses to order it saying: "It's just stir fried mei fun with curry powder."

                                In cantonese "FUN" indicates white rice noodle
                                mei fun - the thin rice noodle, it comes dry, and needs to be rehydrated before being used in soup or stir fried
                                haw fun - flat rice noodle, it comes fresh, usually blanched or steam before used to get rid of some of the oil before used in soup or stir fried

                                Admittedly, I have a preference for rice noodles, for whatever reason, I never liked mein (wheat or egg noodles) and avoided them. So if I order wonton mein, I have never encountered issues with substituting for haw fun, even though it's not on the menu.

                                As for chow mein, I never actually encountered the noodles used until moving to North America. In Hong Kong, mein was always the thin egg/wheat noodle...not the thick stuff yellow stuff...I am not sure what is in that stuff. But the chow means "stir fried".

                                Any chinese restaurant with a large chinese clientele would serve the tender egg noodle, but it would unlikely be called "chow mein" on the menu...it might just be referred to as noodles on the menu.

                                1. re: niki rothman

                                  Where do you go for Chinese food in SF? There are many, many threads here about great places.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    Eat wherever there are other Chinese people eating. I don't even remember names or location. The turnover with the chef/owners happen so quickly at Chinese restaurants, there's no point anyways.
                                    Having said that, I don't eat out Cantonese/Chinese American food that often now a days (my family is Cantonese, and my mom is a great cook, so I am spoiled) except for dim sum.
                                    For noodles type fare, I like Ying Kee in Oakland chinatown. My parents likes it too, very old school...Hong Kong circa 1970, and the hygiene standards to match.

                                    1. re: gnomatic

                                      Actually I was replying to niki rothman.

                          2. re: Foodboy

                            Add another vote for mei fun noodles, sometimes pork, sometimes the house special. I developed a taste for mei fun about 30 or more years ago in Flushing, Queens, before it was China town. Tai Tung had it as a choice of their three course special for $5. Even then, it was a steal.

                          3. House Special Soup and Fried Chicken Wings with mambo sauce.

                            1. Pepper Salted Mixed Seafood, with Pepper Salted Crab a close second.

                              1. General Tso's or sesame chicken, ginger beef, pork chow mein, and dry-fried green beans with prawns.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Grubbjunkie

                                  House Special Chow Fun and, of course, steamed dumplings

                                2. Chicken with black bean sauce. Yum!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: upstate girl

                                    Never had the chicken with black bean sauce, but my favorite Chinese restaurant makes a killer beef with BBS. Must be the sauce <g>.

                                  2. I'm with you on the dumplings - I like mine veggie, steamed.

                                    I usually get some kind of tofu dish and a noodle dish (flat rice noodles, not vermicelli). The specifics change each time.

                                    1. Chow Har Kew, Fung Wong Gai, Good Lo Mein, and Double Cooked Pork bring back memories to my dishwashing days at the Golden Dragon in Schenenctady, NY !

                                      1. If I'm eating totally unhealthfully, Orange Chicken (without orange rind pieces), Chicken Lo Mein, and Chicken/Veggie Eggrolls... And I really like the Lo Mein cold the next day, or at least after a few hours in the fridge.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Emme

                                          Cold lo mein is my favorite breakfast.

                                          1. re: prunefeet

                                            Not Chinese, but you should try cold pad thai.

                                            1. re: piccola

                                              I have! Of course. Lol.

                                            2. re: prunefeet

                                              I used to eat cold Liein with duck sauce for breakfast in High school. My mother was mortified.

                                          2. Shrimp and Scallops in XO sauce with onions and green beans over brown rice. Yum!!! Had it last night in fact.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Linda VH

                                              ooh this sounds good. i like sea cucumber in brown sauce. don't knock it til ya tried it.

                                              1. re: choctastic

                                                See the places around me don't carry that kind of stuff. They're very pu pu plattery for the most part, with the exception of a couple of Carribean Hispanic-influenced items. In the little takeout spot I frequent, the edgiest things you'll get are maybe a marinated squid dish, something like that. Also, I'm coming down with A Cold From Hell so my breakfast today (though other l.o's mentioned here sound better) is a big leftover thing of chinese penicillin--chicken soup w/ rice, seaweed and ginger. And possibly a jelly doughnut (not Chinese takeout...)

                                            2. I like to start with hot and sour soup, and I tend to get either Mushu pork, or Schezuan pork or chicken, extra spicy.

                                              1. Crab Rangoons
                                                Pork Dumplings
                                                Fried Rice
                                                Stuffed Rice Noodles
                                                Cantonese Rice Noodles

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: Dio di Romanese

                                                  Whoa! Stuffed rice noodles?!? Would you describe that for us? TIA.

                                                  1. re: Cheese Boy

                                                    I'm guessing those white wobbly things that only people of an Eastern heritage can eat with chopsticks. My method is to pick it up and attempt to convey the quivering, unraveling, gelatinous mass to my mouth. On the way they slide out, dropping back in the soy sauce and spray my fellow diners.

                                                    I like them, but for some reason I think of them as mainly Vietnamese.

                                                    1. re: Paulustrious

                                                      These are a very popular dim sum item.

                                                      1. re: KTinNYC

                                                        What's their name (in English) please, KT?

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          I think they are just called rice noodle roll in English in Cantonese it's called chee cheong fun.

                                                          1. re: KTinNYC

                                                            Are these the rice flour rolls that have various things in them but I usually get the shrimp?

                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                              Yes, I'm pretty certain shrimp is the most common filling.

                                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_noo...

                                                              1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                That's it. Thanks, KT.

                                                      2. re: Paulustrious

                                                        Eastern European? 8<D

                                                        I love to amaze my family with my ability to not just eat, but cut, these things with chopsticks.

                                                  2. Velvety Chicken Corn Soup
                                                    Buddist Delight-soy & sauted tofu & veggies
                                                    Any satay as long as it includes thinly sliced cucumbers & rice squares

                                                    1. In no particular order

                                                      Gen Tsao chix
                                                      Szechuan dumplings w peanut sauce
                                                      Crispy fried noodles w chix and star anise
                                                      Sesame chix

                                                      Pattern of fried stuff, so take in moderation.

                                                      1. Twice cooked spicey pork
                                                        Sauteed string beans
                                                        Dumplings
                                                        Any cold leftovers

                                                        1. Crispy beef with sesame seeds
                                                          steamed dumplings
                                                          pork with garlic sprouts

                                                          1. egg drop soup
                                                            wonton soup
                                                            Curry prawn
                                                            Shrimp egg foo young

                                                            1. It has to be "pan-fried" dumplings. I know they are not as healthy or good for you as steamed dumplings, but they sure are good.

                                                              1. I like to order black bean sauce prawns, Ma-Po tofu, chicken w/string beans, hunan beef, hot and sour soup, or dry-cooked beef chow fun. I may also order crab rangoon, salt and pepper pork also. If it's from a take-out stand, I will buy the BBQ Pork.

                                                                1. Several of the places do really good Mongolian Beef around here, so I get that fairly often. I do get the General Tso's chicken on occasion, but this seems to be a surprisingly hit-or-miss dish, even at the same place for some reason. I'll have to try the Mei Fun at some point, since I enjoy dishes with rice noodles but haven't ever tried the ones there.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Vexorg

                                                                    Hubby and I love Chinese but we have never ordered take-out because we find it too confusing. All I ever want is a carton of fried rice, chow mein, and a meat entree (s&s pork, almond chicken, or Mongolian beef). Nobody seems to understand that. When I tell them I want enough for two, they start throwing all these options at me.....egg roll, egg foo young, white rice, brown rice, vegetables, blah blah blah.

                                                                    What am I doing wrong? Do these cartons come in pints or quarts? Does a pint feed one or two? I know this sounds silly but we always have to go to a sit-down restaurant and order Dinner #1 or #2 or #3, because I can't get these take-out people to understand that I just want rice, chow mein and almond chicken; enough for two people. HELP!! Is there a secret to ordering chinese take-out???

                                                                    1. re: JudiMorrison

                                                                      you can just call and say, "I want to get one fried rice, one chow mein, and one [fill in your entree] please." that's all. i'd say one carton is a pint, and will feed 2 if eaten with your aforementioned sides. if you were ordering more, i'd say it could feed more since the portions would be smaller. betcha you'd still have leftovers this way, unless you're big eaters. then i rescind my statement :) be unafraid... let yourselves not be stopped from having Chinese in the comforts of your own home!

                                                                      1. re: JudiMorrison

                                                                        Three years later, and I have to ask...did you ever order your Chinese food?

                                                                    2. Pork Fried Rice
                                                                      Egg Rolls
                                                                      Crab Rangoons
                                                                      Governors Chicken(General Tsos) XXX spicy
                                                                      Szechuwan Beef
                                                                      Pork fried rice

                                                                      1. Unfortunately, the gawdawful superbuffets have killed off the great old mom-n-pop Chinese places in my city. Consequently, I rarely eat Chinese these days. But back when I did, my favorite things were always egg rolls, BBQ riblets, wonton soup and kung pao chicken. I'd also order pork fried rice from time to time. But those days are long gone, I guess...

                                                                        **sigh**

                                                                        1. Crab rangoon
                                                                          Hot & sour soup
                                                                          Bean curd family style

                                                                          I'm a newbie to the noodle thing but i'm trying to learn my way through it one yummy dish at a time.

                                                                          1. Oh, Lord, I'll send in my CH credentials right away..

                                                                            At least once a month, we order the following "family dinner for four" from our local Chinese-Canadian spot:

                                                                            4 egg rolls
                                                                            Deep fried chicken wings
                                                                            S&S Chicken balls
                                                                            Beef w vegetable and almond
                                                                            Cantonese chow mein (chicken, shrimp, BBQ pork)
                                                                            Chicken fried rice

                                                                            This sets us back $30 Cdn, and feeds five with plenty of leftovers.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: FrankD

                                                                              Where do you live?? I'm in Toronto, and for $30, you get enough for two, with a few leftovers for breakfast. (At least, if you order an appetizer and entrée.)

                                                                              And to update my earlier reply, I've now switched to vast quantities of veggie hot & sour soup, with some kind of vegetable entrée (right now I'm on stir-fried long beans).

                                                                              1. re: piccola

                                                                                Richmond Hill. We order from Golden Hoy, Yonge St. just north of Major Mac. 884-1851 goldenhoy.com The Cantonese chow mein is a special request (the dinner normally comes with plain old chicken chow mein, which we detest). Pick up is $25.99, plus $3-4 for the substitution (the amount varies depending on who takes the order). Don't know how far it would travel and still be really hot, but we're just around the corner, so it always arrives piping.

                                                                                Just for comparison, for $21, they offer a dinner for 3: 3 egg rolls, S&S chicken, Cantonese chow mein, & chicken fried rice. So, for $9 more, we get an extra egg roll, the deep fried wings, and the beef w/ vegetables. Heckuva deal.

                                                                                1. re: FrankD

                                                                                  What's the name of the huge Chinese restaurant in RH (ground floor?) that serves Dim Sum to hundreds of mostly Chinese. We had Dim Sum there once. It was excellent!

                                                                            2. Nothing ever that's battered, sugared, deep fried, for starters. Good hot and sour soup is a must. Country or homestyle tofu (the brown sauce with ground pork), eggplant in garlic sauce, hunan beef with broccoli, and chef's specials that are wokked proteins and veggies if they have a well seasoned sauce. I love black bean sauce and very hot dishes, too. Always order no rice, no noodles, no added corn starch, sugar or MSG. Unfortunately, we lost our one reliably good Chinese takeout place a while back, and the others aren't as richly flavored or varied. :-(

                                                                              1. Vegetable Egg Foo Yung with fried rice, hot and sour soup, and wonton strips.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                  Ah, MAJOR Chinese-American food. I can't quite imagine it as takeout unless you live next door :)

                                                                                2. I'm a vegetarian, so I like to get take-out from Buddhist vegetarian restaurants that use lots of wheat gluten pressed into meatlike shapes (and no garlic, onions, shallots or leeks!). My typical order would be Pineapple Mock Chicken Balls, Szechuan Eggplant and House Special Chow Mein. When I can't find the mock chicken balls I'll get Mock Lemon Chicken.

                                                                                  1. Shrimp with Lobster sauce and the egg drop soup from Honk Kong in Dallas.

                                                                                    i love the beef sticks from anywhere that will sell them, too.

                                                                                    1. I could live off of a diet consisting entirely of char siu and crab rangoon, but if I am ordering Chinese take away, my favorite restaurants are typically Szechuanese, so I rarely stray from a starter of fuqi feipian, followed by a pork dish (usually double cooked or garlic) and perhaps a vegetable like cucumbers in scallion sauce or garlic eggplant if I'm not minding my fat.

                                                                                      1. Hot and sour soup, hunan prawn deep fried with garlic in hot and sweet/sour sauce, beef with black mushrooms, eggplant with spicy garlic sauce, steamed rice. We always order an extra dish or two for the next day! Yum...I'm hungry.

                                                                                        1. Diced chicken w/hot peppers.
                                                                                          Hot & spicy pork
                                                                                          Cucumbers with chilies and garlic
                                                                                          Ma po tofu
                                                                                          Stir-fried green beans with ground pork

                                                                                          In Germany, definitely kroepoek (deep-fried prawn crackers/chips), which is nowhere to be found in the Chinese restos I've been to in the U.S. Massive bummer.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                            The prawn crackers/chips are a snack item, you can get them prepackaged, like bags of chips, at asian supermarkets. Some chinese bakeries sells them. I have also seen the chips in boxes, to be deep fried at home, available at some asian supermarkets.

                                                                                            1. re: gnomatic

                                                                                              I know. But they're much better when they've been freshly deep-fried.

                                                                                          2. Ewww. Take Out Chinese food!

                                                                                            Just kidding. I love any of the broccoli dishes- broccoli chicken, broccoli pork, broccoli beef, tofu, whatever. I usually look for a place with high turnover- it usually means the meats and veggies are really fresh, not to mention freshly prepared/cooked.

                                                                                            Also, I can't help myself when it comes to those sweet biscuits with granular sugar. Really addictive!

                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Cookiephage

                                                                                              +1 on beef and broccoli! The chicken just doesn't hit that same spot with me.... And it's only from one particular place that I like it. Everyone else makes they're sauce too sweet and puts other vegetables (carrots, usually) with it. I don't mind others usually, but I'm ordering beef and broccoli, not beef and vegetables.

                                                                                              It's the best. ^.^

                                                                                              BF likes General Tso's chicken, chicken wings, and the fried cheese wontons.

                                                                                              1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                A personal thing, but I've just never liked broccoli with Chinese food. I love it in just about every other context, but to my buds, broccoli tends to overwhelm the other flavors in Chinese food.

                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                  Really? I think broccoli is at its best in a good stir-fry. It's always my go-to vegetable when I make them at home.

                                                                                                  Of course, it has to be cooked properly. I've had it practically raw (which IS quite overwhelming, flavor-wise) and cooked into soggy, slimy submission. Neither is appealing.

                                                                                                  1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                    I agree - has to be cooked right. Really dislike too undercooked or overcooked. When I'm using it in stirfries at home, I always blanch it in boiling water for just a minute or two before stirfrying. Gives me just the right "not raw, but not mush" texture while still retaining the bright green color.

                                                                                                    1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                      I do the same. Makes all the difference.

                                                                                                    2. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                      I'm sure I'm very much in the minority on this.

                                                                                                    3. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                      I love broccoli and similar veg in my Asian food. I do not like potatoes, tomatoes, or some of the other veg in there though.
                                                                                                      Cant remeber off top of head now though. Probably no squash.

                                                                                                      Broccoli, greens, peppers, onions, mushrooms, carrot, cabbage, celery are all passable and preferred.

                                                                                                      1. re: melpy

                                                                                                        I avoid pertatas and termaters, too. Also not wild about shrooms in Chinese. Love, LOVE bamboo shoots, though.

                                                                                                        1. re: melpy

                                                                                                          I know chiles aren't native either, but I can't get passed the fact that my brain keeps telling me that tomatoes and potatoes don't BELONG in Chinese food. I did make one dish with tomatoes in it and hated it. So I'm in the same boat as you.

                                                                                                          I will add snap peas and asparagus to your list, but take out bell peppers. And mushrooms can't be the main feature of the dish; I can handle them in small doses.

                                                                                                          1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                            Snap peas and asparagus are good too.

                                                                                                            I have just started eating snow peas after many years of yuck.

                                                                                                            Green beans can be good too. Wish I lived where I could get pea shoots.

                                                                                                            Mung bean sprouts, also.

                                                                                                            I feel like we're playing the "one of these things is not like the other" game from Sesame Street... "One of these things just doesn't belong"

                                                                                                  2. If its from a traditional Cantonese Chinese-American restaurant:

                                                                                                    Wonton/Egg Drop Soup
                                                                                                    Egg Rolls
                                                                                                    Roast Pork Egg Foo Young
                                                                                                    Lobster Cantonese (NO PEAS)
                                                                                                    Spare Ribs

                                                                                                    If its from a modern take out joint

                                                                                                    Hot and Soup
                                                                                                    Fried Chicken Wings w/fried Rice
                                                                                                    Roast Pork Chow Fun
                                                                                                    Vegetarian Moo Shoo w/Hoisin Sauce NO Pancakes, white Rice

                                                                                                    1. Hot and sour soup and Szechuan Beef - good or bad, CT/NY or TX, I don't care. The bomb.

                                                                                                      1. Lately I've been ordering:

                                                                                                        BBQ pork
                                                                                                        Hong Kong style Seafood chow mein
                                                                                                        Fu Jow or Yang Chow Fried Rice
                                                                                                        Some spicy prawn dish

                                                                                                        1. Home-style kungpao and Sichuan beef noodle soup from Joe's Noodle House in Rockville, MD. Shrimp, pork and napa dumplings from China Bistro, also in Rockville. That will get me through a day's worth of football.

                                                                                                          1. After reading the responses, Chinese takeout seems more synonymous with steam table to-go section of restaurants, or deli's of Chinese food in non metropolitan America, or certain Chinese neighborhoods in big cities that include old Chinatown and perhaps Asian supermarkets, with of course mall food court vendors like Panda Express, than it does with people say, in Hong Kong, where ordering takeout means going to a restaurant over there and getting the food "to go" versus dining in.

                                                                                                            With that said, I've had both versions. If we stick with American Chinese/Chinese American steam table fare for takeout (sold by weight), and if I have the stomach and clear arteries for it:

                                                                                                            - deep fried salt pepper chicken wings
                                                                                                            - chow fun (flat broad rice noodles), depending on how it is done and if still looks alive
                                                                                                            - button mushroom chicken (sometimes with carrots and zucchini)
                                                                                                            - broccoli beef (safe and true)
                                                                                                            - cha siu (BBQ pork, though for the most part BBQ spareribs are better)

                                                                                                            though if I were to get takeout from a Cantonese seafood restaurant that does good stir fry:

                                                                                                            - scrambled eggs and shrimp chow fun
                                                                                                            -garlic stir fry large pea sprouts (Bourdain ate this at New Hop Kee in Outer Bouroughs with Chris)
                                                                                                            -a steamed chicken dish (perhaps Empress Chicken as it is not served hot most of the time)
                                                                                                            -if the restaurant has a BBQ deli section in house, BBQ pork (cha siu), roast duck, soy sauce chicken, BBQ spare ribs

                                                                                                            1. Steamed dumplings
                                                                                                              Dumplings in peanut butter sauce
                                                                                                              Singapore Noodles
                                                                                                              Salt and Spices Duck
                                                                                                              Chicken in Mustard Sauce

                                                                                                              1. For us there are two absolute essentials to any good Chinese meal: egg rolls and fried rice. After that we like a wide array of things. My favorite is probably kung pao chicken, no hot peppers, light on the oil. I try to have a vegetable with every meal (but breakfast of course). I'm in love with Buddah's delight.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: sillygoosedown

                                                                                                                  Ah, I think we're figuring this out. You like Chinese-American food. And there's not one darn thing wrong with that. Enjoy.

                                                                                                                2. beef & bitter melon
                                                                                                                  yeung chau fried rice with salted fish
                                                                                                                  deep fried squid with salt & pepper
                                                                                                                  chicken, duck and salty egg congee

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: mogo

                                                                                                                    Oh, wow, I never thought about getting congee take out. What is yeung chau?

                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                      A place in China. I like this type of rice because it's not so heavy on the soy sauce.

                                                                                                                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeung_Ch...

                                                                                                                  2. If it's a really good Chi take-out, I'll order kung pao chicken, won ton soup and an egg roll or two. If it's a lesser species, sub pahk flied lice for the kung pao.

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                      As the punchline to that joke goes, "That's 'FRIED RICE', you plick!"

                                                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                        Heh heh. ;)

                                                                                                                    2. Dumplings... which type we're feeling that day :)
                                                                                                                      Garlic Eggplant or Szechuan Eggplant
                                                                                                                      Fei Teng Fish or well just Fish in hot garlic sauce if to go... because it the Fei Teng Fish where we go doesn't travel well.

                                                                                                                      and finally... whatever noodle dish we're feeling that day! Singapore noodles or the Shanghai style chow mein at our fav. place.

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: tiffeecanoe

                                                                                                                        I haven't seen anyone mention Shrimp Toast.I love it.

                                                                                                                        I like to get hot and sour soup and shrimp toast.Kinda like soup and sandwich.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Robinez

                                                                                                                          I love shrimp toast when it's done well. Unfortunately, few Chinese carryouts around me sell them, and those that do push something akin to a mutant hybrid of mini French toast and pork rinds. Greasy, and not in a good way.

                                                                                                                          In cold weather, I usually try the "house special soup," which is often a chop suey style of soup with bits and pieces of everything thrown in a broth: scraps of chicken/beef/pork/shrimp with cabbage. It's usually quite hearty and with a generous dollop of rice, makes for nourishing gruel. Mmmmm.....gruel.

                                                                                                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                            I think I know what you mean about the soup, but can you imagine getting away descibing a Jewish cholent as, "... soup with bits and pieces of everything thrown in a broth: scraps of chicken/beef/pork/shrimp with cabbage"?? Chinese cooks make soups with care and with ingredients not usually described as "scraps".

                                                                                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                              I've seen house special soup made during lunchtime rushes, and in many ways, it's like making sausage or laws. They're not lingering over every precious morsel. It's assembled quickly from whatever happens to be on the prep line and served hot. If you look into the history of American chop suey, similar descriptions are used: whatever can be thrown together, and what isn't crawling, goes into the meal. And that's exactly how I likes it.

                                                                                                                      2. OK, not sure i mentioned it in my first reply.... but a local dump here has some pretty decent house special fried rice -- with shrimp, pork, chicken, veggies. And it's great. It hits the spot.

                                                                                                                        So, fried rice is probably one of my favorite take out orders.

                                                                                                                        1. I think my answer is generic and it's what I DON'T get. I assume anything I get will need reheating so I never get anything fried and I don't get fish or seafood. I don't think any of those things MW well at all. The batter gets soggy and the seafood gets overcooked.

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                            I think fried rice holds up pretty well to nuking.

                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                              I should have excluded fried rice. It does. The worst, for me, is probably egg rolls but then I never GET egg rolls :)

                                                                                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                              I'm glad you pointed that out, I was answering for take out (which is rare for me as far a Chinese take out goes), most things do not hold well. They must be eaten there at the restaurant.

                                                                                                                            3. I'm surprised at how few people get chicken/beef broccoli...it's an oldie but a goodie.

                                                                                                                              And not a single person mentioned my go-to dish: Pepper steak w/ Onion! But I like to ask for it spicy.

                                                                                                                              When I'm in the mood for something different I'll go for beef or chicken curry.

                                                                                                                              Favorite noodle dish would be beef chow fun.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                I get chicken with broccoli because it used to be WW recommended.

                                                                                                                              2. Steamed Dumplings
                                                                                                                                Fried Wontons
                                                                                                                                Singapore Rice Noodles or Curry Shrimp/Chicken
                                                                                                                                Pepper Steak with Tomatoes
                                                                                                                                Combination Fried Rice

                                                                                                                                1. Steamed dumplings
                                                                                                                                  Scallion pancake
                                                                                                                                  Chow fun with roast pork
                                                                                                                                  Moo Shoo pork

                                                                                                                                  1. i always get veggie lo mein extra spicy and if i am at my dad's house veggie fried rice is also a must.
                                                                                                                                    flounder in xo sauce, boy choy in garlic, chicken in garlic sauce, buddha delight, scallion pancakes, shrimp egg rolls, hot and sour soup and occasionally spicy wontons/dumplings.

                                                                                                                                    1. I rarely get too adventurous when getting takeout, because I want things that travel. Love scallion pancakes, but they don't travel well. I feel a lot of things get soggy or dried out when delivered. I usually go with General Tso's Chicken (my place has a combo platter that comes with pork fried rice, broccoli and an egg roll), Steamed veggie dumplings and sometimes a cold noodle dish with spicy sesame sauce.

                                                                                                                                      1. I've also had good luck with the non-Chinese items on some of these menus. There's one place that does some awesome cheesesteaks with real shredded ribeye and another whose fried chicken wings are just perfect: crispy, fried hard.

                                                                                                                                        1. jfood has a new favorite to add...Milky & Crispy Shrimp. The milky is a coconut based sauce, over lightly sauteed shrimp and a little hot sauce. it comes with broccoli florets. this dish is sooooo good from a good szechuan restaurant.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                            drool.....

                                                                                                                                          2. In the 80s, my usual order was wor won ton soup, tai dop voy, beef with broccoli, sweet & sour chicken balls with ginger or pineapple, and steamed rice.
                                                                                                                                            In the mid90s, my usual order was Cantonese chow mein and honey garlic ribs.
                                                                                                                                            10 years ago, my usual order included salt & pepper squid and ginger beef.
                                                                                                                                            Over the last couple years, I haven't been ordering much Chinese take-out. My last order included won ton soup and General Tso's chicken.

                                                                                                                                            I'm craving Chinese take-out tonight, and have trouble deciding what to order. If you're ordering Chinese take-out tonight, what are you ordering?

                                                                                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                              Spare ribs, wonton soup and Szechuan chicken (extra hot).

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                that sounds good ;-)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                  Some of my faves

                                                                                                                                                  Magic Wok (Pleasantville, NY)
                                                                                                                                                  1-2 orders Roast Pork rolls (basically dim sum roast pork crepes that have been battered and deep fried)
                                                                                                                                                  Boneless spare ribs (only on those times they run out of rolls)
                                                                                                                                                  lamb with scallions
                                                                                                                                                  Noodles with Bean sauce, Peking style

                                                                                                                                                  Taste of China (Tarrytown NY)
                                                                                                                                                  Fried crabmeat rangoons (theirs are unusually full)
                                                                                                                                                  Salt and Pepper pork chops
                                                                                                                                                  Ten Ingredients lo mein (they make a very good one)

                                                                                                                                                  China Pavillion (Ardsley)
                                                                                                                                                  Ten Ingredients lo mein (another very good spot for this)
                                                                                                                                                  Peking noodles (thiers are a little too spicy for my taste, but you can get them to tone it down and the simple fact that there ARE three places outside Mahattan I can get peking noodles forgives much. The last one I know is in Yorktown)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                    Sounds good. None of those dishes are common in my neck of the woods. I'd like to try the Roast Pork rolls one of these days, should I find them on a menu.

                                                                                                                                                    My usual restaurant was closed tonight, so I drove a little further to try another place I'd heard about. Turns out, the menu at the place I hadn't tried is mostly northern cuisine, and had no typical Cantonese or Chinese Canadian take-out dishes on the menu, apart from spring rolls and sweet and sour chicken. I ended up ordering some spring rolls, spicy crispy chicken (which turned out to be very spicy and somewhat salty, with no sauce), restorative vegetables (that was their description on the menu) and steamed rice.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                      I wish you luck, but bear in mind the place I mentioned is the only place I've bumped into that serves them (and I have, no hyperbole involved, eaten at probably well over 1,000 different Chinese resturaunts over the past few years). I strongly suspect they may have come up with that particular recipie themselves.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                        Relized I left a biggie out of the Taste of China order; theire SERIOUSLY good shaghai dumplings (and now also thier pork and leek dumpings) both LIGHT YEARS better tha the dumplings one normally finds at your local hole in the wall.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                          Having orderer from Taste of China last night, I fear I must post that the lo mein has degraded, it is now merely adequate (in fact until it spent a night in the frige, it was inedible. So we are down to China Pavillion as being the only place where the Lo Mein is truly superlative. Plus possibly New Garden (Hartsdale) which is also home of some truly tasty scallion pancakes, which I'd probably be a lot more enthusiastic about if I didn't know they get them pre made (I saw the wrapper in the trash one day) wish I had seen close enough I could have worked out which brand, so I could pick them up at the Chinese grocery (they're the kind that look more like they have chives in them, instead of scalllions) They also serve an unusaual crab rangoon there (which they do make themeselve, I've seen them do it) in that they are the SOLIDIST rangoons I have ever seen. Normally the innards of a rangoon are mostly cream cheese and so rather gushy squirty. They on the other hand put so much crab in that the innards are a stiff paste, that gets stiffer when they are cooked so that the indside is basically a pate by the time you eat them.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                            I might use your experience as a random reason to help make up my mind for tonight - deciding between lo mein vs young chow fried rice vs chow fun

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                              Chow fun is a tricky one, more often than not the wide rice noodles tend to stick to each other and the dish can get a little jelly like (it sort of becomes Chinese kugel) Lo mein can be good but can not be, it depends on the resto. I wont comment on the fried rice (I don't eat fried rice normally anyway, so I don't feel I am an adeqaute judge of what is good fried rice versus bad fried rice) I LOVE stir fried rice cakes (especially with shredded pork and chinese pickeled cabbage) but you arent likey to encounter that ouside of a more "authentic" type Chinese resturant (and it probably has to be one that specializes in Shanghai cuisine). Mai fun can be nice too, thogh that is often on the bland side (or why I like Ha Moon mai fun so much, the pickeled vegatables go a long way to offsetting the lack of saucing mai fun noodles often have.)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                Yea I've had the same experience with chow fun but always hope for something different. Perhaps like with store-bought berries, I should accept it and move on to find something new and tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                I go back and forth with lo mein. A few years ago, it was a favorite but recently every time I have it it seems to just be noodles with some meat and vegetables and no real flavor and I can't figure it out though perhaps the old overnight in the fridge is the trick to this.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                  UPDATE
                                                                                                                                                                  Taste of China has expanded it's menu again, THEY are now serving rice cakes!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                    It's been a while since I updated. Unfortunately, most of my updates are negative.

                                                                                                                                                                    Magic Wok has Slipped a LOT, by now there is little, if anything worth eating. The roast pork rolls are now blandish (and not being fried at an adequate temp) The scallion lamb is downright insipid now, as are the Peking noodles, those though were never all that great (their selling point was that they had them in the first place, not that they were a great example). The boneless spare ribs are still flavorful but in a reverse of the pork roll problem, they now OVERCOOK them to the point where the ribs are 80% burned char.

                                                                                                                                                                    Chinatown Pavillion has slipped a little as well, their lo mein is now not as good as before (the spare ribs are still fine)

                                                                                                                                                                    Taste of China has gotten complicated. I've stopped getting the salt and pepper pork chops (too acidic for my stomach) in favor of the fried flounder with ginger scallion sauce which is gentler on my stomach (though if my stomach is bad to begin with, it can make me a bit queasy).

                                                                                                                                                                    Most of my other places now are either closed (in once case they were supposed to re-open as a pan-Asian six months ago; we're still waiting.) Or have slipped so far down they barely bear thinking about.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                      And having just gone back to New Garden today, I can state thier Lo Mein has slipped as well; there is now NO place around me that makes decent Lo Mein. In fact apart from the rangoons and the scallion pancakes I wasn't impressed with ANY of the food there this time.

                                                                                                                                              2. The usual order in my house is:
                                                                                                                                                General Tso's shrimp and chicken
                                                                                                                                                Sweet and sour chicken
                                                                                                                                                Egg roll
                                                                                                                                                Steamed dumplings
                                                                                                                                                Young Chow fried rice and/or chicken lo mein

                                                                                                                                                Crinkle cut french fries (I CANNOT resist them!! I don't know what the takeout places do to them but they are always fantastic from my local place with a heaping dose of too much ketchup) No one else eats them, it's kind of my thing but they are always included in the order. I think I probably eat too many of them and then miss out on more of the Chinese food as I fill my belly with lovely yellow carbs.

                                                                                                                                                1. Little tiny family joint near us,....take out only Grand Ma runs the fryer and dad handles the ducks.
                                                                                                                                                  All four generations now friends at the table here and unlimited privileges in our garden.
                                                                                                                                                  Their take on vegetarian egg rolls,garlic pork,shrimp toast to die for and crispy whole duck.They do much well but the duck and shrimp toast are so good I'll call early on and plan around time available.

                                                                                                                                                  1. I recently discovered "Lemon Chicken" which is basically a pounded-flat chicken breast dipped in a batter, deepfried, and cut into strips. My kids don't really eat much more than rice and Chinese broccoli, so I ordered the lemon chicken with the sauce on the side. They ate the hell out of it and it was really pretty good; the sauce was the usual cloying sickly sweet corn starchy stuff, but it came with a couple slices of fresh lemon, so I squeezed it on the chicken. The batter reminded me of fish & chips batter and the fresh lemon really helped cut through the batter.

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                      Introduce them to a good Chicken Francaise. They'll love it.

                                                                                                                                                    2. I'm not a huge fan of Chinese takeout since I make so much Chinese food from scratch at home, but when I have the inkling, there's a few standards that I enjoy, regardless of the place we order them from.

                                                                                                                                                      The "Boneless Spare Ribs, Fried Rice, Eggroll" combo from "Top's China" in Culpeper, VA.
                                                                                                                                                      The "Singapore Noodles" from Top's China in Culpeper, VA.

                                                                                                                                                      When I'm feeling under the weather:

                                                                                                                                                      "Shrimp with Lobster Sauce" from anywhere.
                                                                                                                                                      "Egg Drop Soup" from anywhere.

                                                                                                                                                      Other than that, it's pretty much just hit & miss.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Chicken or Shrimp Chow Mei Fun. I LOVE rice noodles!!

                                                                                                                                                        1. I grew up eating home cooked Taiwanese food made with skill and care every day, and as a dumb-ass kid I was always sick of it. Any chance to eat "white people Chinese food" - as my parents called it - was a treat for me. This affinity/affliction has lasted to this day. When I was in Beijing for three years of study abroad, I craved steam table Chinese buffets and greasy strip mall take-out food like nothing else.

                                                                                                                                                          My order is always the same: Chicken lo mein. This is a soft noodle stir-fried in brown sauce with plenty of wok hei. Chicken content is usually scanty. Maybe there's a little napa, carrot and scallion in there, but that's it. NO crispy noodles, and NO egg noodles in white sauce.

                                                                                                                                                          Egg rolls have to be a very particular type too. A wrist-thick roll with a blistered shell, a serious initial crunch and a slight chewy stretch to the skin. No fancy fillings, just tightly packed dry shredded cabbage and those little red granules of... pork, I guess? That's it. Chicago-area egg rolls seem to include a smear of peanut butter too, which is acceptable.

                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                                                            Peanut butter in egg rolls. Who knew?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                                              It gives it a slightly bittersweet creaminess that works well to hold together the shredded cabbage.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                                                              Not every Chinese restaurant in Chicago adds peanut butter to their egg rolls, but my local takeaway did and we rather addicted to those thick crackly skins yielding to a slightly creamy cabbage center. They were quite different than the thin-skinned spring rolls we made at home so they were a treat not just for me, but my Asian parents, too.

                                                                                                                                                            3. Lo mein. Not necessarily for the wonderful taste but because of its ability to expand way beyond the size of the carton it comes home in. A pint of lo mein is somehow able time completely fill up at least 4 plates. How does it do that?

                                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                                                Only one or two mentioned lo mien on this thread. It is always included in my order and particularly loved cold the next day.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                  Ah, a fellow devotee of second day lo mein. I'll actually go so far as to say that, at least to me, lo mein (indeed most Chinese noodle dishes) usually not only taste better when allowed to cool down to room temperature or lower in the fridge) but a lot of them ONLY taste good if they've been through a cooldown and re-heat (I am assuming you mean you like the noodles eaten cold, but to each thier own)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                    Yea, I know a lot of people that can't get enough of people and while I love fried rice and other noodle dishes, I can't seem to get into it. Perhaps I need to let it chill :)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, I usually throw my leftovers in the fridge and snack from them the next day, but when I'm too drunk to remember to put them in the fridge, or when I just dig in in the middle of the night, they are great at room temp, too.

                                                                                                                                                                      I'll agree with you further: Chinese takeout, like soup or chili, often benefits from an extra day to let the ingredients/flavors to meld, imho.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                        Oh I do that too (though in my case, it's usually more along the lines of sit down in the sunroom with my takeout, eat about half of it around 6:00; nod off on the couch, wake up around 11:00 and then finish the rest.
                                                                                                                                                                        I have learned, however there is at least one Chinese food you do NOT try to reheat the next day. I live close enough to a major city with a major Chinatown that my takeout does occasionally involve more "authentic" Chinese items like actual formal dim sum. One of my favorites is something called a glutinous rice dumpling (that term is a little ambiguous, given there are serveral dim sum that fit that term, so i'm taking about the things that look like little fried footballs made of sweet glutnois rice dough, stuffed with a mixture of chopped pork,dried shirmp,etc.) this item is usually served at room temperature (if you buy it at a bakery) or somewhat warm (if you get it at a dim sum hall) being a person trained to automatically put any food into the fridge that might be perishable (I literally only this week realized that it was safe to keep certain sealed vacuum packed salamis ouside the fridge until they are open [or mor accurately that it is ok to BUY salamis that are not refridgerated]) this is what I did when I had leftovers. I thus learned two things about those dumpings, NEVER try and eat them chilled (the dough, which is soft an yileding at room temperature becomes a rock hard mess when chilled with the texture of rubber) and NEVER try and reheat them (30 seconds in a microwave can turn them into boiling balles of sticky burning, and ovens into blazing leather. And evne if you wait for them to cool down the heating brings out all the oil in the crust turning them into heartburn bombs. If I want to eat the lefovers, I have to take them out of the fridge long in advance and let them reach room temperature naturally.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                          I have tried to eat regular steamed dumplings cold and reheated and also not a good experience. If anyone has any tips for reheating that'd be great. I love that dumpling sauce!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                            For regular steamed dumpings(assuming yuo don't have a steamer), try taking two soup bowls putting the dumpings in the bottom one on a DAMP (not wet) paper towel putting the second bowl on top of the first upside down, and micorwaving for between 45 seconds and 1 minute (depending on how many leftover dumpings you have and how powerful you microwave is.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                              Nope, I don't have a steamer and yes, I'm referring to the standard steamed pork dumplings. I usually eat half now and want to save the other half for later but doesn't usually work out. Thanks, I have Chinese food pretty much every Sunday night so will give your approach a try. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                sometimes i put them into my soup to warm them up...great complementary textures

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Bean Curd Family Style, Beef Ho Fun

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                      It's getting difficult to find decent beef ho fun in my neighborhood. Plenty of lo mein and chow mei fun and singapore rice noodles, but the flat noodles seem to be losing popularity. Maybe a quarter of the Chinese carryouts still serve the stuff. I did manage to stumble across a place that serves a decent ma po tofu with spicy ground pork. At some point, this dish became a de facto vegetarian option with no pork.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. I always go for the tofu dishes - for all my efforts, I'm not the biggest fan of how I make tofu at home. Always prefer it out - whether deep fried or not.

                                                                                                                                                                      At the moment, my go-to order is tofu with black mushrooms and oyster sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Chicken in black bean sauce, steamed rice, hot and sour soup, spring rolls. With extra hot and sour soup.

                                                                                                                                                                        Sometimes kung pao chicken and steamed rice.

                                                                                                                                                                        Subgum Wonton soup - Four wontons steamed with chicken and shrimp and fresh mixed vegetables. Served in seasoned chicken broth. Meant for 2 - I make a dinner out of it and eat that. Haven't had it in a long time - time to get some!

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jeanne

                                                                                                                                                                          I love Wonton soup but have never tried subgum perhaps Ill try it this weekend on our weekly delivery night.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. First, this has to be one of the best general topic questions on the board.

                                                                                                                                                                          Mine is incredibly Americanized as well.

                                                                                                                                                                          General Tsos Chicken served with white rice, and Chicken Lo-Mein. Crispy Noodles are appreciated as an appetizer with plenty of duck sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. If I was smart, I should probably get items that I know I will never be able to make as well myself. However, I tend to get things that I think I'll be able to duplicate at home someday .....like egg rolls, hot and sour soup, and dumplings.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Dan dan noodes! Am I really the only one? Also love any and all potstickers and (gulp) the northern style spare ribs at PF Chang's.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Orange Chicken & House Special lo mien. One thing I refuse to order is those crummy little egg rolls for a dollar a pop. I keep the ones I buy at WM on hand. 5 to a pack. Fry those up myself and they are delicious .

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Singapore noodles, general tao chicken, chicken in mustard sauce, chicken fried rice, schezchuan shrimps, a beef dish of some kind (sesame beef, garlic beef, beef and broccoli, orange beef) sweet and sour soup or wonton soup, hunan dumplings, spring rolls (or egg rolls depending where we order)

                                                                                                                                                                                  obviously not all of this at the same time, but usually revolve around those dishes again depending on where we do takeout/order

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Mmm, takeout Chinese is where I really just indulge my Americanized, greasy, unhealthy cravings.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The boyfriend and I usually get some combination of sesame chicken/orange chicken/tangerine chicken (one of the three) an egg roll (w/ duck sauce), crab rangoons (w/ duck sauce), moo shu pork, wonton soup, eggplant in garlic sauce or green beans in garlic sauce (sometimes w/ pork) or really anything in garlic sauce, chinese bbq spare ribs, lo mein, and so on....

                                                                                                                                                                                    Now I am craving some takeout...

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: SarachkaInBrooklyn

                                                                                                                                                                                      Me too, I shamefully admit this has become my Sunday night weekly indulgent fest

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Well, first off my favorite order is usually enough food for four, but really, it's all for me. I ask for extra forks, but I'm pretty sure I'm not fooling anyone.

                                                                                                                                                                                      My local place - (Leung's Chop Suey is the name) is classic American Chinese. Mmmmm

                                                                                                                                                                                      My go to orders generally include some combination of the following -

                                                                                                                                                                                      Beef Kow made spicy
                                                                                                                                                                                      Beef Chow Fun
                                                                                                                                                                                      Szechwan Chicken Wings (pretty much salt & pepper chicken wings but made with garlic & chili peppers and wow, you get 10 giant wings for like $5!)
                                                                                                                                                                                      Potstickers
                                                                                                                                                                                      Chicken Fried Rice (usually free since my order is HUGE)
                                                                                                                                                                                      Sweet & Sour Chicken (they send it with the sauce separately, which is great because the sauce is awful - but I love that deep fried chicken!)
                                                                                                                                                                                      Beef & Green Beans in Black Bean Sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                      BBQ Pork
                                                                                                                                                                                      Chicken Lo Mein
                                                                                                                                                                                      Fried Won Ton

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hmm. I think that's it!

                                                                                                                                                                                      It's really quite disgraceful

                                                                                                                                                                                      I usually will eat off of my haul for maybe three days - 4 or 5 meals or so. Then I wait for the salt bloat to go down and I tell myself never again, but usually two to three months later...

                                                                                                                                                                                      - Just to be clear, I don't get ALL that at once! If for no other reason then it would be around $75 and that would just be SAD.

                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                        I do the same! Well, I don't usually ask for extra utensils but they send them which always makes me feel like a little dough girl considering it's only for me but spread out over several meals. Also, for me Chinese food I like a smattering of dishes so a serving of General Tso's followed by Sweet and sour chicken. I can eat an embarrassing quantity of Chinese food but I usually don't finish one dish but rather eat many samplings of a lot of dishes and so my order is pretty large for just one.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                          Exactly! I call it my mini-buffet.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                            aha, exactly!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                          I so do this! What fun is Chinese food if you only get it for one meal? I'm all about the leftovers!

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. I'm looking for some new options for this week - how does subgum wonton soup differ from regular wonton soup? Also somewhat intrigued by lemon chicken....

                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                            <"how does subgum wonton soup differ from regular wonton soup?">

                                                                                                                                                                                            More vegetables in the subgum...

                                                                                                                                                                                            I love Chinese food in any form. But I've been learning, via the various COTMs to make quite good dishes at home. When we do order out my husband invariably orders General Tso's chicken. It's become his favorite, and as long as he has Gen. Tso's he'll eat whatever else I order which is usually vegetable chow fun, anything with spicy tofu, chicken lo mein, and spring rolls... Plus anything that looks different that I haven't tried yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                              monkeyrotica is right,good dish order,sauce on the side is the way to go

                                                                                                                                                                                              tiny place near me,the sauce is sweet,not cloying and can salvaged with a 50/50 lemon juice fix

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                                                                                Conveniently I scooped up some lemons at the store this morning

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                              Highly recommend ordering the lemon chicken with sauce on the side and add it to your taste, or throw it out entirely. I find the stuff tastes like liquid LemonHeads. If the place is good, they'll add a few slices of fresh lemon, which is all it needs, IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                Sounds tasty. I've never been a fan of orange chicken - too orangey but perhaps I'll give lemon chicken a try and mix it with the Mongolian beef that's also been on my Chinese food to do list.

                                                                                                                                                                                            3. We just found this great place here in Las Vegas and we get their salt/pepper shrimp, Gen'l Tso's chicken, hunan beef, mongolian beef and the lo-mein. Fabulous

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Corporal Wang's sausage is mighty hard to beat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hmmmmmmmmmm!!!!! (big grin)

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Hot and sour soup, fried rice, and fried bean curd. I've recently discovered a love for Szichuan sauce, and I always ask about the fresh vegetable dishes, but give me those first three and I'm super happy! I can't decide which one I like best. Now I want some Chinese food!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Eggroll/Spring Roll and Szechuan bean curd (tofu). Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Any shrimp with lobster sauce fans?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's from my "childhood." I haven't had that in forever!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Disneyfreak

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It looks like schlop, but people seem to really like it. Tomorrow is Chinese delivery day in my house so looking for a few new options.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thousands of Jews in the Boston suburbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yup, it was my best friend, a Jew who happens to be from the Boston suburb of Acton, who first recommended it :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Hot and Sour soup or crab and corn soup, especially when I'm sick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. When I was living close enough I used to pick up a couple of Lo Mai Gai, a large wor wonton with that excellent squid, a couple of orders of Har gau shrimp dumplings a couple of orders of steamed spare ribs in black bean sauce, a couple of orders of Yeh jup goh for desert and half a case of Huarun beer. Man those where the days! Forty five years ago I was only one of a hand full of 'Whites' who ever frequented Don Mees in Victoria. I only 'discovered' the restaurant b/c I was selling live rock door to the restaurant. One day the owner asked me if I'd ever had Dim Sum. Obviously not. He took me the the front of house and sat me in a little corner and the girls brought cart after cart of the most delicious dishes I'd ever seen let alone eat. From that day on I was a regular. We went there for lunch a while ago. Some of those 'girls' are now old ladies. We still remember each other. I still remember how the table cloths were white plastic sheets. There were dozens stacked on each table. The old Chinese men and women would spit their chewed on chicken feet etc onto the table cloths. When they left a bus boy would simply move everything into the center of the table cloth except the tea pot and lift the four corners up and carry the whole works into the kitchen leaving a nice clean fresh white plastic table cloth waiting for the dishes and cutlery and tea pot/cups/wooden chopsticks to be laid for the next customer. I started bringing my family for Dim Sum. Most loved it. One day I talked my mother who was visiting from Alberta into going to Don Mees. She very reluctantly agreed. She sat the whole time shaking her head NO! with huge eyes staring straight forward. She never touched a thing. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. The tough call for me is usually wonton soup vs steamed dumplings

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I'm a simple fool so don't laugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Egg roll - good egg rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Crab Rangoon - only if it's made without green onion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Shrimp toast - Not too oily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pot Stickers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                BBQ ribs - to be eaten cold - either at 3am or when I'm reheating leftovers in the upcoming days
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Combination fried rice with REAL shrimp - extra extra extra spicy. NO ONIONS, very little egg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sesame Chicken - extra extra extra spicy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Extra pint of white rice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chili Oil - LOTS of it. Just buckets! I generally pay $5 more to get a pint :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                IMO, the mark of a good Chinese place is their chili oil. If it's so good, spicy and hot that I think I'll need a fan on my next bathroom trip.... it's quite all right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                This will last a few days, but those days will be very pleasant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "If it's so ggod, spicy and hot that I think I'll need a fan on my next bathroom trip....it's quite all right".....one of the best lines I have read on CH in years!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Pardon my sounding like a food snob, but I just had to say this: no such thing as Singaporean noodles! It's something someone came up with. I've never even tried it myself!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: youngnsassy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "The dish appears on the menu of almost all Chinese-style (mainly Cantonese-style) eateries in Hong Kong,[1] and is also very popular in English, Australian, Canadian and American Chinese cuisine, though it is virtually unknown in Singapore itself."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapor...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: youngnsassy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Actually, there IS such a thing as "Singapore Noodles". I order it all the time. It's absolutely delicious. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: youngnsassy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If someone came up with it, then it exists. Ontology: 101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: youngnsassy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It is pictured, therefore it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Here it beith --> http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&am...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cheese Boy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My mistake, I should've phrased it "Singapore noodles didn't originate from Singapore" =p

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Gawd, I could eat Chinese every day if my hubby would agree to it. My idea of heaven is pan fried dumplings, General Tso chicken and fried rice, Chow Har Kew(battered and fried jumbo shrimps over mixed vegetables) pork lo mein and fried chicken wings. There used to be a restaurant in Union City NJ that served a dish I have never seen on any other Chinese menu. It was shrimp, wrapped in bacon and served in a spicy brown sauce with sliced onions. To die for!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Richdor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I could as well, and not the authentic stuff though also quite delicious. I have settled on once a week as a reasonable frequency :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Richdor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have had that dish (it has been 30+ years) but remember it being called Cantonese Butterflied Shrimp..........delicious !

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TonyO

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tony O, now that you have stirred my memory, I believe you are correct. Also, if any of you lived in Brooklyn NY near Ave. U there was a Chinese place , Richard Yee's, that had a version of this dish, except that they married chicken breast and shrimp together (how they did that I will never know!) and it was served on a bed of the thinnest rice noodles in the brown sauce. Sadly, I heard the restaurant closed it's doors forever just a few years ago. ex and I went there every week and they knew us by name. That was the early 70's and life was so much simpler then.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TonyO

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Butterfly Shrimp AKA Woo Hip Har that I remember ordering involved egg, bacon, butterflied shrimp, onions and sweet & sour sauce. It's been close to 10 years since my last order, but the dish is still available at some restaurants in Ontario, Canada.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Richdor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My wife's gone almost completely off Chinee food--God help me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    No Chinese for the Khantessa? Oh noooooooo! Why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I dunno. She used to be crazy about the stuff. Now she says it's too sweet. She's got an anti-sweet tooth. She makes salt cookies rather than sugar cookies for Christmas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. It's official add me to the lobster sauce fan club. It was kind of a disappointment of Chinese food meal - Tso's and sweet and sour chicken were less than OK though it could be that we've been having it nearly every week so perhaps I have grown tired of it. However, the random addition of lobster sauce to the order saved the night! It is fabulous stuff, so subtle, yet tasty. I couldn't resist dumping rice into a bowl and ladling it over as a post-dinner snack. I highly recommend anyone to try it if they haven't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Our house standard is MaPa Tofu, general tso tofu, wonton soup and egg rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Fried chicken wings (with hot mustard!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tofu with bbq pork (my local take-out joint does an awesome version of this)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Asparagus beef (in season, if not, some other kind of green veggie with beef)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Almond chicken chow mein

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Princess Yang's Shrimp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Kholvaitar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oooh, what is this? It looks good. Now I am craving Chinese food but just got back from a 10 day vacation so my weekly habit might have to be put off for a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Sweet and sour garlic eggplant with steamed pearl rice.Vegetable pot sticker dumplings with garlic/vinegar/soy dipping sauce. Sizzling rice soup without the meat and seafood.Vegetables sauteed in garlic.Asparagus chow yuke without meat. Sauteed snow/sugar peas:) All eaten with unlimited amounts of steamed pearl rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Lillipop

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love the way too many pints of Jasmine rice that accompany every order. It's just so perfectly steamed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm pretty sure I've never gotten jasmine rice with takeout Chinese food. Lucky you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Interesting, I think most of the Chinese food I've ever had for takeout has been Jasmine. Do you mind if I ask where you live?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Left Coast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Left coast here...always steamed *pearl* (short grain) rice.Everywhere @ Chinese restaurants all over N. California.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Lillipop

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yep. The more I think about it the less I think I'd like basmatic in this 'application.'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Roast pork
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Roast duck
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hot and sour soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Braised pork with napa cabbage and chili miso (also good with fish instead of pork)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: plf515

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A young Chinese couple just took over a Chinese restaurant that had been around for years. I had been introduced to them casually on the street by a friend who also has a business in the down town core.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Some time later I was in Super Store picking something up. While waiting in the check out I noticed the Chinese couple in the check-out beside me each with two large shopping carts full to overflowing with 'Swansons' type frozen Chinese food dinners. And some bags of frozen mixed vegetables. I pretended not to see them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              IMO the best Chinese in Victoria remains Don Mees. Best Dim Sum and take out. The 'war won ton' is fantastic!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The cranky old lady on the cash is no 'Mary Poppins' but you can't have everything.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Other Chinese restaurants have come and gone over the forty plus years I been going to Victoria for Chinese food specifically.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One that seemed to be very popular for Dim Sum recently closed after only a few months. Apparently the one of the line-cooks went after a server with a clever. Chased him all over the front of house during a busy Dim Sum service screaming his head off in Cantonese and waving the clever at anyone who tried to stop him.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              'haang seoi wan'!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The crazy line-cook episode, are you sure they weren't just filming a reality show for TV? Such a clichéd image!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  nope, the "cleaver control" advocates are on the case even now! ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. In China, it's eggplant + something and another vegetable with something. Rarely, meat is ordered- tires are too chewy as it is...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I can't stand the US version, except for egg rolls and mustard. Didn't like it as a kid either, though I'd slog through steamed chicken since it wasn't sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Recent discoveries for me are Sesame Chicken and Lemon Chicken. Fortunately for me, there's joint half a mile away from my casa that prepares these delicacies wonderfully.