Q: Do you know of any good Chinese-American food in Charleston?
A: You seem like a strong person, so I’m not going to sugarcoat this: No. At least not if your definition of Chinese-American food was forged in a red lacquer-trimmed big city restaurant that served glossy sweet-and-sour chicken, beef and broccoli awash with brown sauce and mu shoo pork with flour pancakes. There’s no shortage of establishments at which you can get simulacrums of the above, but I’m almost certain you won’t be satisfied.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t worthwhile Chinese-influenced meals available around town: Xiao Bao Biscuit reliably does a fantastic job with Sichuan-style dishes, while Riso Noodle House and Golden Garden both serve Chinese-Chinese classics that are otherwise hard to find here, such as beef noodle soup. And you have your pick of take-out joints with Southern-inflected menus that emphasize chicken wings and fried rice: Downtown, you’re probably best off with Chopsticks House. In North Charleston, I like Shuang Xi.
But if you’re looking to sit down and start your meal with a bowl of wonton soup and fried eggrolls, the closest you’re likely to come to what you’re envisioning is Dragon Palace Chinese Bistro on Daniel Island. In good Chinese-American fashion, they offer family meals, including soup, spring rolls, beef lo mein, lemon chicken and shrimp with walnuts, sized for two and priced at $37.50.
And if that’s still not scratching your itch, remember that roundtrip tickets to New York City are about $130: LaGuardia Airport is just a $2.75 public transit ride away from the birthplace of General Tso’s chicken.
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