Restaurants & Bars

Peking Chinese Kitchen; Statesville, NC

evewitch | Aug 29, 200909:56 AM

Just call this the "Great Chinese Experiment." OK Chinese-American, anyway. Peking Chinese is located downtown, which was my primary reason for choosing it. It is the first Chinese restaurant I have tried since moving here. I was a little disappointed - it wasn't bad, per se, but it wasn't good, either. Next time = next place on the list.
Here is what we ordered:

beef lo mein - noodles were good, decent vegetables, but the beef was "weird" for lack of a better term. It wasn't tough or chewy, but it wasn't crisp. It wasn't even what I would call tender. The only descriptive term I can come up with is "spongy"
pork lo mein - same noodles & vegetables, obviously. The pork was fine, but it wasn't what I expected. Instead of being large pieces of stir-fried pork, it was the same small remnants of pork ribs that you usually find in the pork fried rice.
beef & broccoli - same weird beef. The broccoli was fresh and crisp. There was virtually no sauce. I was disappointed by this. If I order something that I expect to have gloppy brown sauce, I guess I actually want gloppy brown sauce, dammit!
General Tso's Chicken - This was well cooked. I really couldn't decide if the chicken was pre-breaded or not. The breading was a little heavy-handed, but the chicken tasted ok. I thought the sauce was a little sticky-sweet. It had pepper pieces in it, but wasn't spicy at all.
Fried Dumplings - obviously frozen, but a decent brand and well cooked (except one which was slightly burnt). Decent dipping sauce. This was my favorite.
Hot & Sour Soup - my daughter liked this. I am not a connoisseur, so I don't have a firm opinion. The broth seemed to have most of the correct flavor profile, and it seemed to have more crunchy vegetables that others I have tasted, and also had tofu strips. (These are usually missing in the restaurant versions I have tried, but my home recipe includes tofu.) It could easily have been frozen pre-made, but if so, it was a higher-end brand and had at least fresh celery added.
egg rolls - yes, I had to have these even though I knew they would be frozen. It's a weakness. Again, a good brand. The frying oil was not hot enough, which resulted in huge puddles of grease.
I never eat the white rice with dinner, but it was fine.

I asked the counter guy for recommendations when I was trying to choose "mine." He said the lo mein was good, and the General Tso's (we had already ordered these). His next rec was the Hunan-style dishes. I didn't feel like eating spicy food last night so I said so. That was when he suggested beef and broccoli. I should have just tried the Hunan offerings. The restaurant has the standard "Chinese distributor" menu and another preprinted menu of "specials" which generally seemed to be the menu items in a tray with fried rice rather than in a pt./qt. with white rice. Also, some extra "fried things" which probably go from the freezer to the fryer (cheese wontons, crab sticks, et al.). The menu board in the restaurant is the standard back-lit with pictures. There is a board with items written on colored squares of construction paper, but on closer inspection they are the same specials on the pre-printed specials menu. There were no true specials. There is also nothing written in Chinese anywhere in the restaurant, nor is there any on the menu (I have seen these pre-printed menus with Chinese characters for each dish - this one was "extra" Americanized). We were the only people in the restaurant that were not ordering/eating fried chicken wings with fried rice. No, I am not exaggerating.

No website - the address is 224 W. Broad St. 704-881-0881.

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