Where should I provision a Chinese style picnic? I would buy it this afternoon, store it overnight in the fridge, carry it on a flight (no liquids!) and eat it a couple hours after taking it out of the fridge. I know there are Japanese markets in New York that have fresh, scratch made packed meals and I've heard there are cafeteria style restaurants there were you build a meal by choosing a meat and a couple sides. That's what I'm lookging for: Food that's specifically made by the restaurant with the expectation that it may not be eaten immediately.
In a city as diverse as Vancouver, I have no doubt that you've got New York beat in this type of Chinese restaurant. I'm not even sure what to call it. And I assume you can compete with the best of them in Japanese bentos (right word?), too? I'd also entertain any Vietnamese options that might be appropriate.
If I were packing this with American food, I might choose fried chicken. Maybe Chinese style fried - or bbq - chicken is a good place to start? I know there are bbq places that pretty much only sell bbq meat but I'd prefer someplace that could give me a complete, single serving meal. Aren't there some noodle dishes that are eaten cold? (No tan tan noodles, please. I'm a little tan taned out.)
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