I like to think it was a sign from God. Â As my roommate Alex and I opened the door to our new apartment in Murray Hill, a flurry of take-out menus attacked us. Â One, however, stood out – a Chinese take-out menu that offered combination dinners for under $7.
Now, I love a good combination dinner. Â Between the entree, pork fried rice and a choice of an egg roll or soup, I’m practically in heaven – and don’t even get me started on the value. Â After unpacking over the weekend, we decided to order from J East, located on 3rd between 16th and 17th.
Despite telling us it would be about 25 minutes for our food, J East was here fairly quickly – and our food was very, very hot. Â I knew I wanted enough leftovers, so I went with a combination of kung pao chicken, wonton soup and pork fried rice, with an egg roll on the side. Â Al went with his usual of “the general” with white rice and sweet and sour soup, with wonton noodles in it.
According to Al, this Chinese was “arguablyÂ the best takeout Chinese he’s ever had.” Â I have to agree that it was in fact pretty good. Â While we disagreed on the wontons in the soup – Al thought it was “fabulous” and I thought it was a little bit too mushy of a noodle – both of us thought that everything tasted great, even a few days later. Â I liked that my egg roll had a crunchy shell, and didn’t fall apart or get too soggy after dipping it in duck sauce. Â Al liked that his “general” was very light, without being overly sauced. Â My kung pao chicken was phenomenal. Â I rarely eat the vegetables in Chinese takeout, unless it’s the broccoli in my chicken and broc, but I found myself scooping up the carrots and celery and enjoying that as well. Â When it came to my pork fried rice, I was surprised there were decent size pieces of pork in there, and found it to be delicious. Â As far as the portions go, it was pretty large – I’ve made about 4 meals out of my leftovers. Â Since I know that means nothing to any guys out there, Alex has been able to make about 2.
The icing on the cake had to be the fortune cookie. Â Unlike our old takeout joint on the Upper East Side, these fortune cookies weren’t stale and my fortune was promising. Â Any place who gives me a cookie with the fortune “May life throw you a pleasant curve” receives an A+ in my book.The Basics Name: J East Location: Â 175 3rd Ave between 16th and 17th Who to bring: Take-out, so not sure Price: Under $7 for a combo. $. Overall: Delicious and good value. Â 4 stars.