“Cheap Eats” is my post-series on cheap restaurants and prepared food options in New York. I recommend cooking your own food most of the time, but every once in a while it is nice to indulge and you don’t have to pay through the nose to do so. I plan to review many of the cheap options I find on various websites and will let you know if they are as good and as cheap as advertised. If you have a suggestion for a place to review, feel free to let me know through my contact page.
For those of you who enjoy the cheap eats series, you will be happy to know that I have just done another round of research and have another handful of restaurants that I plan to hit up throughout the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015! And guess what? There are plenty of them that aren’t in Chinatown!
But this one is – ha! I just love Chinatown so much and when I heard a rumor about Lychee Pork (lychee is one of my favorite fruits after passionfruit and guava), I had to run out and try it. So back to Chinatown we go!
I have come to love the dingy facade that a lot of these restaurants have. It’s usually a great indicator that they won’t over-inflate their prices! I totally have hole-in-the-wall syndrome!
I took the container back to my office, sat down, and chowed down. Here’s how it stacked up…
THE CHEAP EATS BREAKDOWN
How was the ordering experience? When I walked in, I saw a small counter to my left. I sauntered up, smiled at the employee and took a look at one of the menus they have stacked on their counter. It took me FAR too long to find what I was looking for. Go to the back of the menu and look for “Rice Dishes”. It’s not listed under “Pork” as I would have guessed. I tried to order, but the lady behind the counter had to go get another employee who spoke English. I always take that as a good sign. After that, the ordering process was easy and I took a seat at a nearby table to wait.
How unique is the food? This is a tricky one. At first, it feels like your regular take-out Chinese food. The sauce is like General Tso’s, but with a nice lychee flavor. However, the veggies are what differentiate it. Be on the lookout for peppers, cauliflower, and even taro! The taro looked a lot like the pork pieces and I don’t like being surprised bite to bite, so I had to pay attention, but having taro in there was a nice bonus!
How delicious was the food? Pretty delicious! I love run-of-the-mill Chinese food, so the Lychee Pork was like an upgraded version of a pretty standard meal.
Did it fill me up for $5 or less? Definitely! This is absolutely a full meal and the final cost was $3.95 – no tax!
Conclusion: If you are in Chinatown and you want a better version of the American-style Chinese food that you are used to, it’s definitely worth checking out.
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