In the restaurant that used to be the vegetarian version of a bbq place (in other words pointless) and had a brief stint as a really cool coffeehouse, there is now a kosher Chinese place. Which makes sense. I live near Yeshiva University. College students can eat all the fatty foods they want. It's called Chop Chop and it's a greasy spoon Chinese place - the kind of place that makes ethnically Chinese people cringe with "please don't think that all of our food is this shitty" due to the MSG, layers of fat and feeling of slow death walking just a little bit faster behind you as your stomach fills with rocks and oil runs from your pores.
Up until yesterday, I thought that Eden Wok was the worst shitty Chinese restaurant in New York (Buddhai Bodai is still the best) and I based that on the time I went there, tried to eat the oily chicken thing I ordered and put most of it in a cartoon, left and gave my leftovers to a homeless person on my way back to work (I think this is when I was working for Infovest21 so I was already miserable enough). I still feel a little guilty for that. It's not like the homeless people don't have enough problems.
And I even managed to not hate Chop Chop when I was living with Herz and he ONLY ate that shit and filled his room with the food bags. He would eat it, throw it on the ground and forget about it. So leftover bags of Chop Chop characterized his room. And I really just think it was because he was lazy. I mean he COULD have been a heroin addict besides being a pothead and a cigar smoker, but I suspect that basic uselessness is the main cause.
But no, I still went and ate there. I mean what else was I going to do - go to the pizza place with the skeazy Israeli dude behind the counter? Go to the other pizza place that is not as good (and I still don't get the whole French Fries ON Pizza deal. Not sure if I would have converted if I knew that Jews could be that bereft of taste) or go to the shwarma place with the old meat that isn't terribly cooked and the smarmy French dude who I think bought the place from the Israeli with mohawk and Sons of Anarchy obsession (he even parks his motorcycle INSIDE the restaurant - it's so cute)
Yesterday, Chop Chop's Sesame Chicken ruined me. Oh sure, I was not loving Chop Chop as it was. The mashgiach spent most of last year talking about how the liberal media is so unfair to Romney. When Chop Chop was more popular families would come with screaming children. I even shut the door so I wouldn't have to hear one brat and then her voice continued to echo between rooms (there are two rooms in this place - it could be fancy) with "WHY DID HE SHUT THE DOOR, MOMMY! WHY DID HE SHUT THE DOOR!!!" Because sometimes mommies and daddies forget to use birth control and demons pop out of orifices?
Also, they never fucking gave me the soy sauce. NEVER. They gave me the white rice. They always had white rice but they kept the fucking soy sauce behind the counter like it was a precious commodity. Sometimes I got the duck sauce - especially when I ordered an egg roll - but NEVER soy sauce. Every single time I had to go "Oh could I get soy sauce?" And I said it as if I was sorry for imposing - every fucking time. I have started to wonder if there is a massive soy shortage in the world - like Monsanto's EVIL SEEDS have wreaked havoc on the soy and they soy bean plants or vines or whatever have invaded other farms to eat and despoil all soy in their path. And that's why Chop Chop seems to have a policy of never just giving soy sauce.
So the sesame chicken - first the sauce was more sickly sweet than sesame - it attacked every part of the tongue and oozed a combination of toxic flavor down the gut. You know what orange pop makers do to oranges - that's what the sauce did to sesame sauce - an overwhelming sweetness as if someone vomited up a year supply of lollipops. And they drowned the chicken in the sauce - as well as the three broccoli heads - because health - and I should not say anything about the broccoli. It did its best. It wasn't limp or soggy. The broccoli wasn't at fault for its position at the bottom of a bowl of Lollipop Sesame Soup. Had I cleaned the broccoli off, I imagine I would have only tasted enough Lollipop Sesame to feel mildly disgusted.
Yet, the true test of the chicken was the chicken. And the chicken went beyond crunchy and overcooked straight to ash. Oh sure, there was a stray piece that had parts that could conceivably be called chicken (usually a piece that was too big for the fork) but the rest of the chicken ran to the burnt husks of what was once a bird that nestled its young and had hopes and dreams. If the chicken had wanted to be cremated, it was halfway there. But it's partially my fault. Every time I bit into another one, I felt the crunch and thought "this one. This one will be tolerable" but then I kept chewing and it was just burnt ash in my mouth. I longed for the black toast of youth because even that would be better than the husk of a dead thing covered in lollipop sauce.
Although in Chop Chop's defense, it still has an A from the health inspector. Apparently Eden Wok can only muster a B - and I suspect that the B was the result of a bribe.