How to Pick a Good Chinese Restaurant

I have been in a lot of cities and eaten a lot of Chinese food and a universal truth has emerged about how to pick’em well.

THEOREM: THE GOOFIER THE ENGLISH NAME THE BETTER THE CHINESE RESTAURANT

You are probably thinking that is ridiculous, how can a name, and a bad name at that, be a mark of quality?  Yet, empirical evidence suggests that it is.

For instance for many years the best Chinese restaurant in Las Vegas, a town with a vibrant Chinese restaurant scene, was titled Food Express (Chinese name was I believe something like Food Comes First).  It eventually declined in quality, but for awhile Food Express reigned supreme.

In Chicago, the best Chinese food comes from Go4Food (or as I call it, Gopher Food).  Reno had the Duck House.  Vegas also has a place called China Mama.

However, Madison has introduced a corollary to the above:

COROLLARY: JAPANESE NAMES FOR CHINESE RESTAURANTS IS INDICATIVE OF YUM

For instance, Fugu in Madison is named after the Japanese word for puffer fish, despite serving Chinese and having no puffer fish on the menu.  Similarly I recently went to a restaurant called Soga Shabu Shabu.  Here they do serve shabu shabu, a Japanese preparation, but the rest of the menu is Chinese.

So go out and eat with this new knowledge.

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