The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

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  • Chinese Restaurants

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    This Guy Has Eaten in More Chinese Restaurants Than I Have!

    Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

    The Los Angeles Times has a feature on David Chan  (@chandavkl)who has eaten in over 6,000 Chinese restaurants, and has a ginormous Excel spreadsheet to prove it. Though his list starts in 1955, which is decades before spreadsheets were even invented. The coolest part is the time-step map over the years, which plots all the […]

    Popular Irish Chinese dish: 3-in-1 = fried rice, curry sauce and French fries all in one.

    Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

    It’s actually not bad, carby overload, with cool crispy and grainy and sauce texture. It’s arguably the most popular Irish-Chinese dish. Best when you are drunk from beer, I’ve been told. Best description when they called it “Chinese poutine.”

    A Peek at the Menu at the New Majestic Restaurant in Singapore

    Friday, August 20th, 2010

    I paid another visit to The New Majestic, one of the restaurants I visited in my quest for the greatest Chinese restaurant in the world. We went there with Don and Laura, freshly married folks. When I visited in 2006, it had just opened. It continues. Lots of high-end ingredients (shark fin, abalone etc.) and […]

    Chinese Restaurants circa 1100 AD in the Khmer empire?

    Monday, August 16th, 2010

    Chinese restaurants have a long history. And perhaps one of the earliest recorded instances are found on the walls of the Bayon Temple within the Angor Thom complex in Cambodia (It’s one of the complexes within the Angor Wat area). Bayon was built in the late 1100s or early 1200s century as the official state temple […]

    Is Zen Fine Chinese Cuisine Back?

    Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

    Chowtimes reports that the restaurant I selected as the “Greatest Chinese Restaurant in the World” (which had closed) is re-opening: Sam Lau’s Zen’s Fine Chinese Cuisine in Richmond, near Vancouver, Canada. (Photo above courtesy of their diligent reporting). They were struggling because of the economics for a long time sadly. Too bad I just missed […]

    Armenian Chinese Restaurant in Yerevan!

    Thursday, February 18th, 2010

    My friend Alexis Ohanian snapped this shot of Beijing restaurant in Yerevan, Armenia for me. Here’s there on a fellowship with Kiva. He’s 1/2 genetically Armenian and the designer behind my book blog you see here. Random fact I learned. Last names that end in “-ian” are almost always Armenian.

    Chinese Restaurant at the Belize-Mexico Border

    Saturday, January 9th, 2010

    Sent to me by a friend who is traveling through Mexico. Funny to me, that it’s called Chopsticks, even though this is a Spanish-speaking area of the world.

    Satellite Kids, a Chinese Restaurant By-Product

    Sunday, July 26th, 2009

    In The New York Times, Nina Bernstein writes about the troubled development of satellite kids, (often) of Chinese restaurant workers, who are sent back to China to be raised (often) by grandparents. This was the case with the Hiawassee family in book (earlier article about the family here). A 1999 article by Somini Sengupta covers […]

    Mr. Chow vs. Phillipe Chow (Chau?)

    Thursday, July 9th, 2009

    New York Magazine’s grub street has an excellent write-up of the feud between Mr. Chow and Phillipe Chow, which culminated in a trademark lawsuit [pdf] filed in the Manhattan federal court. It’s a lawsuit that reads like it’s written by a PR person, not a lawyer, which means it’s a good read. Basically Mr. Chow […]

    Where are the Chinese Restaurants in Israel?

    Sunday, June 14th, 2009

    I have been in Israel for a few days now (mostly in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Jaffa) and I’ve barely seen any Chinese restaurants. I’ve seen two actually — one while driving and one while walking. I knew it wasn’t a big thing here, from queries on the Internet, but I was surprised by how […]

    Chinese-Mexican Food: The Chimale

    Saturday, May 16th, 2009

    This Associated Press article on the Korean taco trucks in Los Angeles mentioned something in passing that caught my eye: “Chimales,” Chinese-Mexican tamales stuffed with kung pao chicken or Chinese barbecue pork. They are topped off with a side of pico de gallo and sour cream. The chimales are made by, whose motto is […]

    This Paper is Not Edible

    Saturday, May 9th, 2009

    My friend Tomoko, who lives in Tokyo, went to an upscale Chinese restaurant called Si Chuan Do Hua and had fortune cookies served to her. It was the first time it had happened to her. The fortune was in Japanese and English. The more amusing thing is that on the back it warned, in small […], now in English!

    Monday, April 6th, 2009, which provides Yelp style reviewed for Chinese in Chinese, now has an English interface thanks to Google translate. The translations are remarkably good. They are not perfect, but given that Yelp-type reviews tend not to be too literary (pretty simple declarative sentences), you can get the gist.

    The Chinese Restaurant Workers’ View of America: Through Area Codes. Chinatown Bus Ads

    Monday, February 2nd, 2009

    These two are Chinatown bus advertisements for routes that go to the more obscure regions of the eastern United States. (Chinatown bus goes all over, not just Boston, NYC, Philly and Washington). Notice how they emphasize the area codes. That is because many Fujianese restaurant workers are not educated and thus don’t really read and […]

    Men at Wok

    Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

    This is another hilarious name for Chinese restaurant, courtesy of Michael Epstein. I still think Wok n Roll is still better, but getting cliched. This one is located in Brooklyn, though apparently there are others: one in Williston, Vermont and one in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

    Comparing Non-Profits to Chinese Restaurants

    Thursday, November 20th, 2008

    My friend Alex Tsai sent me this post on the scaling of non-profit giving from the Acumen Fund blog: “We need to talk about how we get foundations to stop giving inefficiently,” said Aaron, who likened the multitude of nonprofits with similar missions to the hundreds of Chinese restaurants across New York City. “All the […]

    Fortune Cookie Chronicle Takeout Boxes

    Monday, November 10th, 2008

    These were created and executed as the JCC of Greater Washington as part of my talk. I think they were absolutely adorable and I took one as a souvenir.

    General Tso’s Inn: He’s Moved Into Real Estate

    Thursday, October 16th, 2008

    General Tso’s Inn. This was originally uploaded by HolmesBartonHolmes. I was surfing along on Flickr looking at General Tso photos, and was amused to discover General Tso’s Inn.  He’s moved into real estate investments apparently. This is located in Southeastern Indiapolis. (GENERAL TSO’S INN. 642 TWIN AIRE DR. 317-917-1546)

    Another talk, in Walnut Creek, Nov. 2 @ 5 p.m.

    Thursday, October 9th, 2008

    Just got another booking for a talk, sandwiched between another event in Solano County earlier that day and a red-eyeflight later that night. (Northern California loves this book). Here are the details: TIN’S TEA HOUSE LOUNGE 1829 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek 5:00 pm Sunday, November 2, 2008

    A Fortune Cookie Chronicles book club at the Fortune Cookie Chronicles Powerball Restaurant

    Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

    This is very adorable. I got a great email leading me to the photo above. “I’m the organizer for my neighborhood’s book club. We read your book last month and then ate at King Buffet, which is one of the fortune cookie winning restaurants here in Lawrence, Kansas.” The photo is of them holding up […]

    Artinsanal Chinese food? Chinese food truck in France

    Monday, June 23rd, 2008

    David Sax of deli fame sent me a photo of a Chinese food truck he stumbled upon in France! He writes: So there I was in a small town in the French countryside last Friday, picking up all sorts of cheeses, breads, and meats at a farmer’s market in the central square, when I came […]

    The best Chinese restaurants in the world…sorta

    Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

    Here is an incomplete list of the some of the restaurants I visited for my chapter on the greatest Chinese restaurant in the world. This is not an endorsement for all of them, as you will find reading the chapter. Rather what my research turned up as interesting candidates. Not all restaurants here made it […]

    A Chinese Restaurant in Venice (with a boat docked out front)

    Sunday, May 4th, 2008

    My friend Kathleen took a photo of this Chinese restaurant in Venice for me (love the boat out front)., for Chinese people.

    Monday, April 28th, 2008

    This is awesome (though it’s in Chinese):, a Google maps mashup of Chinese restaurants that Chinese people want to eat at across the country, with ratings.

    This is the Chinese restaurant story about waizhou that started it all

    Sunday, April 20th, 2008

    Sometimes people ask how it came to be that I would write a story on Chinese restaurants. The story actually starts two years before the book with a story I did for the New York Times, published in January 2003, on a Fuzhounese immigrant family that travelled from New York City to rural Georgia to […]

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