U Like Chinese Restaurant
747 Columbus Ave
New York 10025
Btwn 96th & 97th St
Just moved to a new spot a few weeks ago and took a stroll around the block to see what restaurants and resources are around and I came across ” U Like Chinese Restaurant”. The name was what got me into the door but once inside I knew what I was in for – Cheap Chinese Restaurant Syndrome Yeah you know, Chinese fast food, Chinese for westerners, Chinese food for non-Chinese, etc. If you’re Asian and you’re caught eating at one of these places it can be shameful and embarrassing (if you are so proud – which I admit I am not). Yes the food is not authentic Chinese – it’s usually loaded with extra sugars, MSG, and the prices are so cheap you have to think twice about ordering a dish that includes meat. The chicken is always dark meat and NEVER order any fish dishes. The cool thing is though that these restaurants are regionalized for the neighborhood. I saw a place in Spanish Harlem on 110th St that has pretty good fried chicken and steak hoagies and another Cheap Chinese Restaurant down in the lower east side that serves stewed chicken, black beans, and yellow rice too.
Anyhow I ordered string beans and tofu over brown rice. In California it’s hard to order brown rice at a Chinese Restaurant – most times they even charge you extra, but here in NY it’s a free healthy option which is nice. The food was decent and cheap and I couldn’t complain. I usually order sesame chicken which they serve with a few sprigs of deep fried/blanched broccoli florets but the sauce is usually way too sweet for my taste. So what’s your take on cheap Chinese? Are you up for it? I don’t have any pride and I can eat at these places and besides it’s always fun to look at the expressions on the restaurant staff as they strain to hold back their laughter whenever I order dishes with my “jook sing” accent in Cantonese.