1) Chicken "Terriyaki" Dumplings
There is a deli right across the street from us that, in addition to making sandwiches, has a large amount of prepared foods. (Those of you in Pasadena, think Porta Via.) These chicken "terriyaki" dumplings (I'm pretty sure teriyaki is spelled with only one r) were quite good, although the sauce was the saltiest soy sauce I've ever tried, which is saying a lot.
2) Pagoda Express Spicy Orange Chicken
The veggies and rice were good, too. The whole thing was way too salty, although you know going in that frozen, microwavable meals contain a lot of sodium. But this meal that I ate is something I would definitely try again.
But I don't think I will: I may have caught lightning in a bottle here. I may have just managed to cook it at the perfect temperature for the perfect amount of time and I will never be able to replicate it. (We got rid of the microwave I used to cook this.) So I'm not entirely sure I will ever buy another one of these. But if you ever see one on sale, give it a try, you may like it too.
3) Safeway Selects Orange Chicken
4) Fortune House
We had sweet & sour chicken, shrimp with walnuts, boneless bbq ribs, and Fortune House's fantastic egg rolls. (Rick also had another entree but I have no picture of it and can't remember what it was - I think it was pepper steak.)
All of the food was good. The baseball game was not. But that's how it goes sometimes.
5) Chicken Teriyaki
6) PF Chang's General Chang's Chicken Spring Rolls
But then they came out with some new frozen appetizers, and they were on sale at Target, so I figured they were worth a shot. I opted for the "General Chang's Chicken" spring rolls. The package gave three different instructions for reheating them: the oven, toaster oven, and microwave. None of those sounded ideal, so I pan fried them. (It's not like frying them a second time is somehow going to ruin them. It's freaking PF Chang's.
Remember my ratings system for egg rolls? I haven't posted it in months so many of you might not be aware: the bottom category, the only category I do not enjoy, are egg rolls that have not been cooked long enough and are still cold. Since I was cooking these here myself, there was no danger of that happening. I made sure they were hot. So I enjoyed them. Did I enjoy them a lot? No. There was very little flavor, in classic PF Chang's fashion, and the provided sauce was syrupy-sweet. (I used some of my strategic reserve of hot mustard packets, which went much better.)
I will try one of the other PF Chang's appetizers if they're on sale again, but not these spring rolls.
7) Shrimp Dumplings
8) CPK Chinese Chicken Salad
When we left the vet's office, I noticed one block away a California Pizza Kitchen. It had never occurred to me that they were in New York. (There are two locations in Manhattan.) While I generally enjoy CPK's toppings, I find their crust no different than the extra-bland, pre-made crusts of a Dominos or Pizza Hut. I didn't think that would fly in New York City.
But I've been eating and loving a lot of pizza these days, so I didn't have any need for a CPK pizza. What I did crave, however, was one of their Chinese Chicken Salads, which has been perhaps my favorite item there. So last week I went and got myself one - actually it was on my birthday, which is one week before Bryce's. (He's four years older than I, though he looks younger; we've certainly been places over the years where he has been carded and I have not.)
As usual, I enjoyed my salad. I have the CPK cookbook with the recipe, but they are withholding something: I've followed the recipe exactly, at least fifteen times, and it never tastes as good as this. In my memory the salad used to have more lettuce in it, this was mostly cabbage, but I'm okay with that. It's been more than three years since I've eaten this, and it may be another another few before I return, but I imagine I will.