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drive-through Chinese: does it exist anywhere?

Not that I think it's a plan for fine cuisine.

There are lots of Chinese restaurants in my town; the majority are buffets and the food is mediocre if not outright poor. The one that stays the busiest, with multiple locations, had to temporarily shut down a year ago because it had too many health violations upon inspection. Anyway, there's no pretense of cooking food to order because it gets brought out in these huge trays which are refilled regularly.

Meanwhile, drive-through food is limited to subpar American, Mexican, and Italian.

So I wonder, why *not* have drive-through Chinese? Even if the food wasn't great, if would be an equally appealing option.

Are there places anywhere that do this? If not, why not? If so, where...and is it any good?

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  1. Doesn't Panda Express do that? I went once and it ended up in the trash. We didn't do drive through but my daughter thought it was the funniest thing to see a chinese drive through.

    1. Yes, there is one in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. If I recall, it was actually pretty decent food, not an incarnation of a Chinese fast food restaurant. I tried the drive through once, it took forever, so I didn't do it again.

      1. I know of at least one in Gardena, CA. I don't even recall the name because it was just plain bad, and it took them so darn long to put our order together. I think the building is a former Der Weinerschnitzel.

        1. Reminds me of the scene in "Dude, Where's My Car?" at the Chinese drive thru:

          "and theeeeen?" "and theeeeeeeen?"

          So presumably that exists in Kalifornia?

          1 Reply
          1. re: coney with everything

            NO AND THEN!!!

            (srsly, i posted this (near) exact post and the mods took it down)

          2. I have seenat least one drive-thru Chinese place in Minneapolis.

            1. Location? One would need an end unit or stand alone building on which a drive thru would be permitted and perhaps the profit margin of the average cheap Chinese-(American) food place isn't high enough to support whatever additional rent/costs would be associated with that sort of location.

              That's entirely me musing off the top of my head with no data whatsoever to either support or refute that notion.

              5 Replies
              1. re: ccbweb

                On the same token wouldn't a Chinese DT pose some "communication barriers"?

                I mean it is hard to describe things over the phone, let alone over a DT comm system. Face to face seems far more easy. At least you can point to a menu item in question.

                1. re: RShea78

                  How hard is it to say "Number 1"?

                  1. re: PeterL

                    Restroom inside, not available in DT. ;-)

                  2. re: RShea78

                    >>On the same token wouldn't a Chinese DT pose some "communication barriers"?

                    And why is that, exactly?

                  3. re: ccbweb

                    Thanks, I welcome all forms of data. :)

                    That actually sounds very likely.

                  4. I believe one Panda Express has a drivet thru in Boise, but there are two others as well. One is good, the other blech!

                    1. I've got two of them a block from each other in my neighborhood (Delano district, Wichita). Egg Roll King and Chi Duc. Egg Roll King used to occupy the building that Chi Duc is in now, but when ERK moved a block down, Chi Duc moved right in. And I think there's 2-3 drive-through Chinese restaurants in south Wichita. I keep meaning to try Chi Duc, but I'm pretty loyal to the King.

                      1. There is a drive-through Manchu Wok in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. Manchu Woks are typically found in mall food-courts. The food generally is bland, greasy and heavily corn-starched. Lots of room for improvement!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: missmadeleine

                          ""The food generally is bland""

                          Chinese food seems to have went bland due to those that eliminated MSG, a flavor enhancer, and reducing the sodium content.

                          ""greasy and heavily corn-starched""

                          There must be some loose nut behind the wok!

                        2. There are multiple ones in the Tulsa, OK area.