Are Chinese "Restaurants" decreasing in your area?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by burntfrijoles, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Afflicted

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    I was astounded by how metropolitan and diverse Toronto was when we visited there; I expected a bunch of white dudes in flannel shirts for as far as the eye could see. And we did get really good dim sum there. Lovely city.

    We've had the same family-owned Chinese takeout places around here for as long as we've lived here; no changes.
     
  2. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here in Outer Redneckia, the Chinese buffet restaurants aren't doing well, at least one closed permanently, but those little take-out only places are doing quite well.

    BTW, the Chinese restaurants, buffets and take-out, here are usually pretty good. The locally owned "Meat+3" and BBQ restaurants tend to be pretty bad. You would think people who wanted to run a successful restaurant would know better than buying expensive frozen food from Sysco, Costco or Sam's, but no.
     
  3. Informal

    Informal Tele-Afflicted

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    One of my first jobs when I was 15ish, was cleaning restaurant exhaust hoods for my buddy's dad's company... This obviously involved being in the kitchen after hours.

    My sample is only 30-40 Chinese restaurants, in the Reno area... dozens of years ago..

    But it scarred me for life, If it's not a National chain (Panda or P.F Chang's etc...) I ain't going there.



    I worked in a few Restaurants after that job, and basically enjoyed it... Except being on the closing shift, which involved TONS of cleaning...

    Just to give you an idea.... Without exception.... EVERY Chinese restaurant I did hoods at... Their closing shift was fairly simple.... Turn off the light, lock the doors.... Go home.

    That was it... They were all filthy.... unplucked ducks sitting in stock pots, chicken, eggs... all types of perishable foods just sitting on the counters, floors so greasy we had to lay down our own mats so we wouldn't break our necks.

    I asked my buddy's dad how any of them could possibly pass a health inspection, He told me they basically bribed the inspectors with a couple hundred $$

    The only reason they would call us to do the hoods, is because they would become so clogged, the kitchen would be too smokey without an oxygen mask.... Or there was a grease fire in the traps.
     
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  4. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    So far as Chinese restaurants go where I live, the middle is disappearing and the low end is getting inedible. People don't seem to be willing to pay for what good food costs. When you think a neighborhood take out has sunk as low as it can go you get a surprise. It's gotten worse. The middle, family type restaurants, have been hurt by the plague. Some are gone. Some are failing. There are a couple of exceptional restaurants in more affluent areas that appear to be doing well. My wife and I take out from one of them. We're not ready to breathe used air in close quarters yet.

    Expensive restaurants seem to have found ways to survive. Capital Grille, a prime steak house, sells complete meals with the prime aged steak seasoned and ready to cook. Side dishes are packaged for easy reheating and salads have dressing on the side for you to take home. Anyone who can afford Capital Grille has a suitable grille for the steaks. What I said to my wife is that the food is still excellent but I miss being served and catered to and having someone else clean up after the meal. A fine restaurant is more than just a good meal.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
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  5. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    In my experience it's hard to find good Mexican food anywhere other than the Southwest and California. There are obviously great Tex-Mex places in Texas.

    THe best Mexican food I ever had was in Taos.
     
  6. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    We have several really good chinese places here, but the best ones and the ones that have done well during the last year are newer and follow a different model than the americanized chinese restaurant with huge dining room that became popular in the 80s and 90s. There is much more interest in authentic regional chinese cuisine. My favorite happens to be a Sichuan joint not too far and a hand pulled noodle place down the street.
     
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  7. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    Chicago Mexican food slams too. Otherwise yeah, even the stuff in NYC is pitiful by comparison (you have to go to like passaic NJ or ridgewood queens, and even then it’s like “this is legitimate Mexican food, but it’s not mind blowing”).
     
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  8. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I've tried to like Indian. Lots of times.
    I've learned that I simply do not.
    And Japanese isn't much better , to me
     
  9. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I am sure my scenario is not the case in larger, metropolitan area with a large Chinese-American population.
    Really, with or without COVID, the entire restaurant industry has changed. There are still upscale or unique dining places in larger communities but the food business is dominated by chains as gathering places rather than true dining establishments.
     
  10. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    I dealt with a bankrupt Chinese restaurant. I sent someone round to inspect it. He said it was very odd : the whole place was in mint condition and nothing had ever been touched in the kitchen. The dining furniture was not knocked or scraped. The owner begged to buy it out of liquidation. Total mystery

    We then found out it got raided as a cannabis farm
     
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  11. Mr powers

    Mr powers Tele-Meister

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    We're lucky because we have one and it's the best in the area.
     
  12. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are (were?) some really good authentic Mexican restaurants in the Buford and Chamblee areas of Atlanta.

    There were also some authentic Chinese restaurants in roughly the same area as well but they were way too authentic for my taste.
     
  13. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    "White dudes in flannel shirts as far as the eye could see."!!! That's hilarious! Thankfully, not the case. You forgot about the long boards!! :lol:

    I find the problem with Toronto and restaurants, is that there are so many, I have a hard time picking one. There's hundreds of Chinese restaurants, many Thai, which can often be quite mediocre (over represented by pad thai), many Korean, oodles of Mexican (might be the fastest growing segment, YAY!!), Ethiopian (many close to where I live), Indian (so many), Greek, Japanese, and so forth.

    Ya, Toronto is very diverse. I believe the census is that there are more people of colour in Toronto than there are white people (just checked the census and 52% identify as "visible minority"). Massive immigrant population, bringing all of their fabulous food. Where I live, I'm surrounded by Greek, Ethiopian, Bangladeshi, Indian, Filipino, West Indian, Chinese and a plethora of others. Population of almost 3 million, apparently 180 different languages.

    It's an interesting place. I have a continuous love hate relationship with it. It's ridiculously expensive. The food though, nothing but love! You can grocery shop your way around the world.
     
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  14. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Lucky to have a diverse mixture of cultural places here in Houston. Mexican restaurants abound but are now highly supplemented by Central and South American restaurants. There are large Asian communities here as well with a good mix of Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean places. The Harwin district in Houston also has a lot of middle eastern restaurants. Throw in Texas BBQ and Cajun food and just about everything is available. During the past 1 1/2 years many of the family owned and smaller establishments have closed for obvious reasons. Looking forward to dining out again with friends and family.
     
  15. HotRodSteve

    HotRodSteve Poster Extraordinaire

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    I used to practically live at a Chinese restaurant in Patterson NY called the Ming Hoy. After work we would head to "the Hoy" and sit at the bar or on special occasions eat in the dining room. They had the greatest eggrolls of all time, big, juicy, thin crisp wrapper, filled with cabbage, shrimp and pork. It was a meal on it's on. The Pu Pu Platter was an orgasmic event, we ordered them at the bar and drank down all the Polynesian cocktails that Henry the Bartender put together, he was an artist, the best bartender I ever knew. The take-out "restaurants" just can't compare, the food is boring and bland, there's no atmosphere and the eggrolls universally suck, I haven't had a good one since the Ming Hoy closed down.
     
  16. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Lots of Chinese restaurants here in Port town Seattle, despite recent AAPI violence and (((()))). We've got a few of our faves and try to get monthly take-out during these times despite the great versions Mrs Deeve cooks up @ home.:cool:
    Peace - Deeve
     
  17. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    I had basically the same experience when I worked for the cheapest pest control company in Houston.
    We sprayed several places that got featured by Marvin Zindler's Rat and Roach patrol.

    As for restaurants, I was spoiled when I lived in central Houston near Herman Park.
    My favorite 'Mexican' restaurant was a family from Guatemala that set up shop in an old gas station.
    They were within a short walk of our house.
    Excellent fish dishes and I got to know the family well and commonly had off the menu specials.
    We were close to Vietnam town which has several excellent places. A Vietnamese co-worker took up to some excellent places that I would never have found otherwise.
    Also, we were close to a superior Vietnamese bakery and cake shop. Yum!
    Sigh... One is spoiled.
    I most miss Mrs. Ybarra's near San Antonio. Just a house on the side of the road. No sign, locals only, but the best Mexican food in the world.

    M
     
  18. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    The events of the last year have forced a lot of restaurants of all types to close
     
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  19. oregomike

    oregomike Tele-Meister

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    Covid aside, the current negative climate might also be a factor.
    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/racism-targets-asian-food-business-during-covid-19-pandemic
     
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  20. beanluc

    beanluc Tele-Holic

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    On the other hand:

    Once I got a job at a restaurant, there was NEVER anyone dining in there (in the week I worked there, the only meals I cooked to order were for one couple off the street plus whatever the service host ordered for himself), but the bar was always standing room only, full of friends of the owner and none of them ever paid for anything.

    I quit after a week to go work someplace where I'd actually get to cook something. When I went in a few days later to get paid for the days I did "work", they said they'd print off a check for me and beckoned me into the office. While they tinkered with the one computer and the printer, I stood next to another computer with accounting software running, no screen lock. It showed that the restaurant side of the house had been depositing $40-60k each night that week. Of course I didn't say or ask anything, I took my check, smiled and left for good.

    So, you know, there's always *cough*moneylaundering*cough* ways to stay in "operation" with no reasonable amount of walk-in business.
     
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