When was the last time you had lunch at a Chinese restaurant? My theory is that picking a new Chinese restaurant can be one of the riskier decisions each of us make in our daily lives. It’s seriously like playing DIETARY ROULETTE. If you randomly pick a good Chinese restaurant… you’re in for a great meal. Peking chicken… Egg Drop Soup… Sweet-n-Sour… Kung Pao… whatever… life’s good if you end up at the right Chinese restaurant!
But if you pick a BAD CHINESE restaurant… the consequences can be disastrous! There are some really bad Chinese diners out there… I know of an absolutely nasty Chinese restaurant in Washington DC… I could swear the owner marinates his grisly chicken meat in MSG for weeks before packing it up in a Coleman cooler and smuggling it into his restaurant to serve just before the lunch hour… I get queasy just thinking about that place.
The real problem with picking a Chinese restaurant is identification. There are no tell-tell signs to help you in determine how good or bad a Chinese restaurant might be…. you’ve just got to roll the dice (or spin the roulette wheel) and hope that General Tao won’t kill you….
Now… on the other hand… If you’re looking for a good sandwich, a decent burger, or even some Mexican food… usually you can walk into the place and glean some indicators: Is the establishment clean… or are there City Weekly magazines strung all over the floor? Does it smell good… or does your shirt stink like grease seconds after walking in? But with Chinese food…. the tell-tell signs can be totally misleading… the place might be clean as a whistle… the sweet aroma of stir fry might fill the air… and the hostess will probably greet you with a pleasant Asian smile…. yet you could be just moments away from having the most disgusting Sesame chicken of your life… and spending the rest of the evening in the lavatory.
Fortunately for those of you who live in the Salt lake area… I’ve done the heavy lifting for you… If you want a good Chinese meal… and don’t fancy yourself as a gambler… I highly recommend THE DRAGON DINER RESTAURANT located on the corner of 1300 East and 3900 South. I’ve been a patron for years… and can almost assure that you won’t “land on black” at the Dragon Diner… I highly recommend the lunch specials (Peking Chicken is my favorite) which start at around $6.00.