I just had the worst Chinese meal of my life at the Pheonix Garden on 40th and 2nd.
I'm still in shock. I was seated at a table with suspicious brown stains on the formica. The group at the table next to me left food and dirty linen all over the table. Get this: The waiter cleaned the table by pouring cold tea on it, and giving it a few swipes with the party's used napkins!
The service was rude and the food was awful, too. The hot and sour soup was sweet and slimy. The steamed "chive and shrimp" dumplings were served glistening with moisture. I grabbed one with my chopsticks. It wouldn't come loose! Finally the skin broke and snapped back like a rubber band, leaving the filling stuck to the metal steamer basket. The filling did not appear to contain any shrimp, it appeared to consist primarily of pork gristle and leeks. The dumplings were served with a dish of brigh orange sweet and sour sauce, in addition to the mustard/chili oil.
Service was agonizingly slow. Ten minutes just to get change. They charged me for a Diet Coke I never received. I didn't even bother to dispute it because I just wanted to get out of the place.
A sign over the bar claimed that the Pheonix Garden had won a Zagat award of distinction.
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