Friday, November 26, 2010

China Kitchen

China Kitchen, located at 406 East Colfax Avenue, is an a la carte feast where Chinese food collides with cafeteria style delivery. All entrees, of which there are many, sit in a long steam table, behind a surprisingly spotless glass partition, awaiting selection.
At a $1.35 per scoop (up recently from a $1.25) the adventurous eater simply walks along and points. Options include the following:
  • Fried rice
  • Beef and broccoli
  • Lo mein
  • General Tso’s chicken
  • Egg rolls
  • Whole fried fish
  • Wontons
The portions are large. A scoop actually means two heaping scoops. Ordering two scoops of fried rice elicits a chuckle and a shaking of the head from the guy behind the counter, and then he proceeds to mound rice in a pile that is 8” across and 2” deep. Combined with two scoops of General Tso’s Chicken, suddenly there is food for three meals, for $5.40.
The food is Americanized, salty as Lot’s wife, and given the cost and setting, surprisingly good. This is not a ringing endorsement, it is an all things considered endorsement. All the entrees that were tried were within a B+ - C range, using an the American school grading system, and the temperatures varied across the entrees, and in one case, within a single entrĂ©e.
The space itself is cozy, read small, worn, but not dirty, and the air is filled with the singular smell that is omnipresent in Chinese restaurants across the States, which is that of frying oil. For the cost and convenience, I would brave the crowds always waiting for the 15, whose stop is directly out the door, and step in, expecting to be satiated, while spending $4 or less.

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