Lunch: Monday, April 13, 2009

photo35I’m conflicted, or maybe apathetic is a better word. But I’m getting ahead of myself — let me back it up…

Intrigued. That was the state-of-mind that led me to walk in the door at Chef Yu for a second time in a week (the first to grab a take-out menu). Its spacious and airy, cool and a dimly lit, the perfect counterpoint to the din of Eighth Avenue. Lunch specials are a bargain; they top out at $6.75. My take-out order of a small wonton soup and lemongrass chicken came out to $9.05. (Cheap!)

photo211Astonished. My food emerged lightening quick, three minutes, five minutes max. That was the first surprise. Back at my desk, I was surprised again by the number of items packed into my take-out bag. In addition to the entree and soup, Chef Yu sent me packing with a small salad, two mini egg rolls, vegetable fried rice, a fork and sauce packet and a sizable package of crispy chow-mein noodles that have virtually zero nutritional value and any purpose, as far as I can discern, except to be something I shove in my face at some point in the future when I’m starving and rummaging in my desk drawer for anything to eat.

Suspicious. Here’s when I began to get suspicious. Why so many distractions? I take a bite. Ah, here’s why. The food’s not bad, but it’s certainly not good. The salad is iceberg lettuce, the fried rice tastes heavily of soy sauce and I ended up picking through it to find the stray mung bean or edamame. The chicken is too chewy, the vegetables, meh, the sauce not unlike McDonald’s sweet and sour dipping sauce, which is to say a little too sweet.

Disappointed. Sort of. Well, not really. Maybe. Undecided, or apathetic. I suspect at some point I’ll forget all this and be drawn in again by Chef Yu’s promise of cheap and calm.

COST: $9.05


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