2/26/2005

 

Chinese Village, Moscow, ID

Chinese Village
(208) 882-2931
2010 S Main St
Moscow, ID 83843
Directions
In all honesty, I was more than a little creeped out when Lou drove to the wrong side of the tracks in Moscow, Idaho, and we pulled into a dusty parking lot filled with junker cars and dilapidated sheds. I could see a queasy seafoam green building trimmed with fried red neon tubes hiding amidst the clutter. I was bitchy at first. "I'm not eating in that dump, it looks scary." Well, he had eaten there before "many times" and promised the interior was a bit more kept up.
A bit dark, it was, but not quite the nightmare hovel I was afraid of. Actually, some of the decor looked like it been installed within the last decade, including neat black lanterns and huge, overstuffed red vinyl booths. After being seated in one of these monstrosities, our perky bespectacled Caucasian waitress cheerfully informed us that our tea was still infusing and would taste better after letting it sit around a while. Over the course of the meal, I heard her share this tidbit with everyone that came in after us. It was part of her routine. She was kind of a middle-aged Plain Jane, save for the red and gold shimmery silk Chinese-collar blouse she was sashaying about in. Her prompt and friendly service was worth duly noting here.
The menu was a bit scant but did feature something a bit unusual on the American side of things: Glazed Honey Pit Ham. But of course not. I decided on the #5 (Almond Chicken/Pork Chow Mein/Pork Fried Rice/Egg Roll) and Lou the #3 (Almond Chicken/Sweet & Sour Prawns/Pork Chow Mein/Pork Fried Rice). We nervously sat, fiddling with our chopsticks in silence until we realized: Wait! Where is the Soup? And there was none to be had. We asked our glassy-eyed waitress about it and she shooshed us, saying that our entrees were almost done and that we wouldn't go home hungry. Indeed, we were starving, and my poor tummy was having a hard time with the overly-sugared (packets, unfortunately), overly-steeped tea that I had consumed four cups of already. We spaced out, listening to the rioutous conversation of some lesbians a couple of booths down.
Our food came fast and hot. I dove into the Almond Chicken first and was a bit overcome by the doughiness of it: too much breading. The gravy was well presented, with a sprinkling of Almond dust, but was a bit on the bland side. The rice was, well...fried rice. Well done, but nothing to call Aunt Mabel about. The highlight, for me, was the Chow Mein, a good texture of celery crunch and sub gum sauciness, which became perfect only after spiking it with what was probably too much soy sauce. The egg roll. Oh, the egg roll. The damn thing was simply inedible, having cleary fallen apart in the deep fryer and then overcooked to the point of a distinct fishiness. Not good. Lou, of course, was so starving he never even paused once to conider the nuances of his meal. He cleared his plate in near record time, causing our poor waitress to grab away his plate and sigh "Looks like it's fortune cookie time already..."
Fortune cookie time, indeed. I just couldn't finish my meal and was immediatley craving something chocolate.
Rating: Ambience - 7/10 Food - 5/10

Comments:
Chinese Village was always the place when I was a kid visiting Moscow. But when I got old enough to realize what my taste buds were experiencing, I discovered that the only good Chinese restaurant in Moscow is the Old Peking on Main Street. It's been there for nearly 20 years and is always good.
 
Does anyone remember the East West Tea House in Pullman? It closed years ago but was by far the best Chinese food in the Palouse. I have eaten in a lot of Chinese restaurants since then and have still not seen anything close to their almond chicken. Brings back memories. Some good.
 
Hey, I have enjoyed...your blog is informative - even entertaining.

I have a halloween sites. They pretty much covers costumes and masks related stuff.

Thanks again and I'll be sure to bookmark you.
 
I'd try the Golden Star on Third Street. They are retiring after almost 20 years, but still same great food. They don't sell any alcohol there, but the food is good enough without it unlike any of the other Asian restaurants in the area.
 
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