Thursday, January 7

back to my roots

i've been looking backwards at some older posts from when i first started this blog and realized how different the scope and content of the blog has gotten since then. if i think about it, the main reason i started this blog was because i like to read other people's reviews of venues, restaurants, etc. for whenever i google them. it always seems more "real" and relatable when i read some Joe Schmoe's blog about his/her experience at a particular venue than reading the NY Times critic's review.

i guess the change in content couldn't be avoided once i became a poor and extremely frugal law student. once that i happened i became a big fan of the pre-game and started going to the same places a lot (hence the frequent Kenka blog posts). although i am still poor and (attempting) to be frugal, i refuse to be a hermit that stays home all day in order to not spend money. after all, i'm getting old and how will i meet anyone if i never go out? so, for instance, i am going out to drinks and dinner tonight with friends.

however, i will not be spending money will-nilly. for work i am bringing lunch every day and, if i forget breakfast, i buy a toasted cinnamon raisn bagel plain because it's only 85 cents. in my rush this morning, i wasn't able to pack a lunch or bring breakfast from home. because of such, i sought out a cheap lunch deal close to work that i could make stretch into tomorrow's lunch as well.

when i think about portions that can be stretched into 2 meals, i immediately think of chinese food lunch specials. they tend to be $6 (or they used to be $6 at most, but i found out they currently price $6-$9. crazy.) and come with soup and rice. i researched places in Midtown West and found out how expensive even their lunch specials were. all except China Gourmet. their lunch specials top out at $5.40 and come with hot and sour/wonton soup and brown/white/fried rice and are rumored to be GINORMOUS portions. YEAH!
but the cheap price comes with a caveat. reading reviews on-line i noticed a decent number saying the food was extremely greasy or that they felt sick later from an abundance of MSG. i weighed the frugality against the reviews and decided to take the chance anyway. i usually have a stomach of steel, and being chinese, i've eaten my fair share of take-out so i think i can handle it.
sitting down with my beef & broccoli it's immediately obvious that the portions really are GINORMOUS. on top of that the food was very quick. i called from my office and walked the 1 avenue and 1 street block to the restaurant and my food was already waiting for me to pick up. yes, the food was a bit greasy, but no more than the typical chinese take-away. the flavor was just ok, nothing great but not horrible. as for the MSG, so far so good, although it's only been about 2 hrs since i ate it. hmm, i am starting to feel a little uncomfortable but nothing awful and i can liken it to the feeling of having-eaten-a-heavy-meal uncomfortableness. i also wonder if i'm not being overly sensitive e.g. psychological side-effects of reading other ppl's bad reviews.

so for $5.40 and i have an abundant lunch for 2 days. that means i only spent $2.70 for lunch in NYC. but if i wasn't being frugal i don't think i would order from China Gourmet again.

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