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Dec 4, 2009 08:35 AM

Best Inauthenic, Americanized Chinese?

I know where to find tasty, authentic regional Chinese with rich in spices and variety meats. However, I don't see a lot of discussion on where to find the best General Tso's chicken or crab Rangoon.

Ideally, this would be a polynesian-themed restaurant with a waterfall and drinks in tiki heads, but I don't know how many of those exist nowadays, so food is a priority over decor.

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  1. Far and away the best crab rangoons I've had are at Thai Moon in Arlington Center. I had surprisingly good takeout General Gau's chicken from Sun's Kitchen in Arlington recently as well - other food (scallion pancake, rice and dumplings) not so impressive, however...

    1. Great topic! I love both the authentic And the Americanized food at Qingdao Garden in North Cambridge, but I love them more for their authentic dishes (including their amazing dumplings). If you're looking for a good place that focuses mainly on Americanized Chinese food, I really like Tiki Palace in Braintree, Jade Garden in Arlington, and New Jumbo in Chinatown (though they do have a lot of authentic dishes as well).

      2 Replies
      1. re: hiddenboston

        Do any of these do the decor? How are the drinks?

        1. re: the modern serf

          Tiki Palace is slightly cheesy, with Polynesian touches here and there. It's generally a very mellow place that locals know about but few others. Qingdao Garden has zero atmosphere, with bright lights making everyone look washed out (not a good place to go on a date!). Jade Garden is comfortable and spacious--probably the nicest of the ones I mentioned. New Jumbo is a bit more comfortable than most restaurants in Chinatown, and has just a hint of tackiness.

      2. iirc both Wang's Fast Food and Peach Farm do a good General Gau chicken (a friend of mine always orders that when we go to those places)...for tiki drinks, you could try the lounge in (New) China Pearl in Woburn

        2 Replies
        1. re: barleywino

          I live down the street from Wang's, so I've been getting a lot from them, but mostly the "sea cucumber and tripe" kind of stuff. Their not so good for dining in, but I guess I could order from them and do the tiki drinks and volcano stuff at home.

          1. re: barleywino

            The atmosphere and drinks at New China Pear in Woburn absolutely fit the bill. Last time we went I even saved my beautifully retro paper placemat that gave a large variety of recipes for various classic cocktails. I've mostly had dim sum there for food, but last time we had sweet and sour pork and pork fried rice and didn't love it.

            My favorite spot for pu pu platters is Oriental Garden in Haverhill. Funky atmosphere, too.

          2. Here are my favorites:

            East Asia: fried rice, egg drop soup, egg rolls (these three things are great, but everything else I've had from this place has been pretty bad: gloppy and sweet and overly saucy)
            Mary Chung: General Tso's, scallion pancakes, kung pao fish (no idea how I ended up ordering this, but it was really tasty!)
            Qingdao Garden: lo mein, egg rolls, orange beef
            Golden Temple: General Tso's

            East Asia Restaurant
            868 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144

            Mary Chung Restaurant
            460 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

            Qingdao Garden Restaurant
            2382 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

            1. I've got to think Golden Temple belongs on a list like this.

              Funny GT story. I have a coworker who grew up in Brookline/newton area. Sunday night was GT night. 30 + years ago he moved to NYC but could never find "decent" Chinese food.??? When he came home to vist family, first stop is always GT. Who am I to knock it? If I took him to Fuloon, he'd probably hate it. BTW, Fuloon does a great shrimp w/lobster old fave for my father which he had when I took him there.

              This coud also tie in with why some of us enjoy Prince Pizza, Kowloon, Valle's. It may not empirically be the best, but if one grew up on it, we can tend to retain a fondness for it. I'm sure the steaks I eat today are far better than what I ate at Valle's 30 years ago, and wouldn't frequent themif they were open, but I still have fond memories of them.

              4 Replies
              1. re: 9lives

                I also thought Golden Temple, but maybe that's "most popular Americanized Chinese" vs "best?"

                1. re: steinpilz

                  I can't say I'm an expert on this genre but if it's the most popular (Is it?) enough people must think it's the best, or cheapest (impossible), or most convenient (for some), or some other quality.

                  I have been to Golden Temple a handful of times and while I don't think it's the best and far from it, and they're very expensive, they also use a higher quality of ingredients than many Chinese restaurants. I doubt the average Golden Temple devotee scratches their head and tries to decide on Golden Temple or Best Little Restaurant for dinner tonight.

                  1. re: 9lives

                    Something else Golden Temple has going for it (besides high quality ingredients, which is a plus for me) is ambiance. There don't seem to be many sit-down chinese restaurants that don't have fluorescent lighting and cheap metal chairs, where you can order a decent mai-tai. Although the interior architecture at GT is somewhat odd, at least the lighting is dim and the booths comfortable.

                    1. re: 9lives

                      I thought people went to Golden Temple for the dance floor?