Monday, June 18, 2012

The saying you haven’t experienced it all often applies. Friday night, was one of those times. After going out to dinner, I witnessed something new, strange, and a bit peculiar.

Chinese food is a staple in my house. We eat it almost every Sunday, finishing the leftovers throughout the course of the week. My friend goes to school upstate and the Chinese food up there just doesn‘t cut it for her. When she came down this past week, she told us that she was having Chinese for dinner at least once during her visit. When Friday rolled around, we found ourselves eating dinner at Hunan Cottage.

After we entered the restaurant, we were directed towards a table in the corner. The waiter brought over the menus, placed a bowl of crispy Chinese noodles on the table and walked away. After we placed our order, he looks down at my friend and says, “you must be very hungry.” My friend did order a good amount of food, but I didn’t see a reason for the remark.

He brought over my friends BBQ spareribs and she began to eat. Every time he came back, he would make comments, which we didn’t find humorous. Although he wasn’t harassing us, I don’t think it is polite to poke fun at your customers.

Anyway, onto the food. My friend handed over one of her spareribs to me and without hesitation, I took a bite. The tender ribs melted in my mouth, as I tried to savor the delicious flavor of the pork. I continued to eat the crispy noodles on the table, finishing off the first bowl and asking for a second. The waiter asked if I would like a third, after giving us the second bowl, but didn’t accept.

The noodles are basically chips; deep fried, crunchy, and oily all the way through, just as they should be. There was also a small bowl of cabbage on the table, which I guess is their version of coleslaw. The cabbage held a pickled flavor, as well as a sweetness to is. It went well with the acidity of the vegetable.

For my main course, I ordered chicken chow mein. I wasn’t exactly sure what that consisted of. I knew it had chicken (obviously) and some medley of vegetables. The meal also came with fried rice, and your choice of either an egg roll or soup. I decided on hot n sour soup, since I was told it was a popular choice.

The thick soup had a generous amount of flavor. Cooked vegetables we included in the soup, ranging from a few shredded carrots to mushrooms. It was slightly spicy, but leaned more towards the mild side.

I was excited to receive my main course, although surprised to see what the dish looked like. It resembled lobster sauce, but instead of shrimp, allotments of chicken were folded in. The sauce was a bit gelly, but it was a great pair with the vegetables.

The rice was also a better version of what my family usually eats when we take out from Golden China. The rice was a dark brown color, comprising of peas, egg, onion, and of course fatty pieces of pork. There was a great soy sauce flavor, not minding the saltiness. As somebody once told me, “there is nothing better than salt. I like salt on top of salt.”

As we ended our meal, the waiter handed us the check, which happened to read in Chinese. Unfortunately, the Chinese we learned back in elementary school didn’t carry us through paying the bill. We had to call a waitress over, and ask her which was what.

Now this is the part I found curious. After handing over the money, she proceeded to count it right in front of us. She was telling us we didn’t give enough tip, individually telling us how much we should give. I have never seen a waitress/waiter haggle for a tip. We weren’t too pleased with the service after some of the comments so we didn’t give as much money as we should. However, I didn’t find it right for the waitress to tell us how much more money we should take from our pocket, and put into his.

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