Reviving the Restaurant Review: Takeout Take-Aways

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Takeout containers from China City restaurant. Photo by Cecilia Kennedy

Hot-off-the-griddle sizzling restaurant reviews, from ordinary people with access to Google, have simmered down.  And I feel a bit lonely.  I’d cozy up to these reviews, reading them on my lunch break.  Sometimes they were enlightening.  Often, they were not. (Very, very often they were not.)  So, when dine-in service was replaced by takeout and delivery here recently, I thought I’d see all kinds of new reviews. Maybe there would be customers who struggled to get their containers open.  Perhaps someone else would order duck and lobster and wonder why they would still have to pay “so much” for “takeout.” Oh, the silly shenanigans I was hoping to read in quarantine! But for the longest time, I saw nothing—and it was eerie. Restaurant reviews would just stop at “two months ago,” “three months ago,” “a year ago.”  Some of the reviewers of those days gone by would gush over favorite servers—and name them by name. Others would complain about servers who refused to give them alcohol just because “they thought they smelled and looked drunk already.” And they would name those servers by name too.  Every once in a while, a thoughtful reviewer would provide pictures and a scrumptious description of the food.  I really liked those reviewers the most.

Just this past week, I’ve begun to see a few restaurant reviews for takeout, but if I want to see more, I’m going to have to contribute my own.  So last night, Nate, Alex, and I had a hankering for the food from China City in Mill Creek, Washington.  This restaurant did receive a takeout review within the past week, but it wasn’t a good review.  That reviewer did not like the food. Maybe they were having an off night—who knows?  That review did not stop me from picking up the phone and ordering for the family. Our takeout experience was, in my humble opinion, 5 stars.

Here’s my review: (It is not posted on Google or anywhere else public, except for this blog.)

ckspicy007! “Super Tasty Takeout in Easy-to-Open Containers” (Five Stars)

 Earlier in the day, it was raining, so our quarantine plans of mowing the lawn were shot. Fast-forward a few hours, and we all got a huge hankering for the food from China City in Mill Creek. (Missed lawn-mowing opportunities will do that to you.) We were not disappointed at all—with the food—or the curbside pickup/ordering.  Here is a detailed breakdown of our experience:

–Our teenage son drove the car for the first time in a month, and it was kind of scary. He’s normally a really good driver, just a little out of practice. In all fairness, he did get the hang of driving again by the time we reached the curbside pickup.  He did great parking the car!

–Curbside pickup was fast and friendly. Everyone is wearing masks these days, but I think we were all smiling. (I was at least.)

–The food was smelling great in the car, until we turned on the air conditioning and the odor made me think that maybe the car was on fire. I’d never  been so scared in my life.  We solved the problem by turning the air conditioning off. (The car did not catch on fire, which was a plus.)

–The containers for our food were super easy and convenient to open. We didn’t have any problems at all.  Everything we ordered was there—including more things we did not order like fortune cookies and packets of soy sauce, which I thought about keeping in case soy sauce becomes the new hoarding trend.  I can’t keep up with the hoarding trends these days. They change all of the time.

–Hubby ordered a cocktail, which also came in a very convenient bottle—pre-mixed.  He was able to open that one pretty well, but when he thought he’d get adventurous and open the grenadine bottle from our refrigerator, well things got sticky.  He spilled everything all over the place and we all had to wait for him to clean it up before we could sit down to eat.

–We ordered food at a spice level of “6,” so our food was very, very, very, very, very, very spicy, which meant that to us, it was very, very, very, very, very, very good.

–Atmosphere-wise, things went downhill.  I noticed stuff in my house that needed to be cleaned.  The family cat circled us like a shark until we cut up tiny pieces of non-spicy chicken and fed it to him.  Also, I had to get up at least two times to get my own beer from the fridge.  Shouting, “Someone get me a beer!” didn’t help at all. This would never happen in the restaurant itself.

–At the end of the meal, we ate our fortune cookies.  Everyone else got great fortunes but me.  Mine said something about apologizing and reading books. I already do these things. How are they “fortunes?” I think I actually said something like, “I ought to apologize to this beer,” but Hubby heard, “Twerking for Steves,” which sounded nothing like what I said in the first place.  “That sounds like a terrible memoir of working for Rick Steves as a Twerker,” I said. “I don’t think that would ever happen. That is a memoir no one would write.” Then, Hubby started twerking at the table. Again, this would never happen if we were sitting in an actual booth in the China City restaurant.

–To sum up: The food was wonderful and tasty. I just wish the house were a little more atmospheric and that perhaps we could all try to remember how we would behave if we were seated in a booth at an actual restaurant.

Your Turn:  Have you had any good takeout/delivery experiences lately?

34 thoughts on “Reviving the Restaurant Review: Takeout Take-Aways

  1. I’ve never seen a picture of your husband, but I must say that the image, nonetheless, of a grown man twerking at your dinner table is frightening. 🙂 I’m very happy you enjoyed your food. Panda Express keeps emailing me about their $20 family meal deal, which I may take them up on eventually. Otherwise, I have not had the pleasure of doing take-out yet. I hope you do leave that restaurant a review. I’m sure it will make their day.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I never see containers like your take out containers except in the movies !? We did have take out a couple times lately, some fantastic turkey pot pies, I wish I bought all of them and froze some. Thankfully, we will do a turkey when it finishes thawing, my wife is an excellent cook, and I love the leftovers also.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve done take out of my two favorite eateries, croissants and sandwiches. Side note: Drive the car at least 15 minutes a week to keep the engine in good working order, advice per several mechanics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes–great advice. We’ve actually been driving the family cars every week–it’s just that Alex hasn’t driven in a little while–and the air conditioning has not been used since I guess September? So, it was a kind of weird/shaky experience at first, but I’m happy to report that all is well:)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If you want to read the reviews, you have to do them yourself. What is the world coming to?! 😂Very very very very very very spicy, sounds good! I’m glad it was in the AC carrying the smell and not your car idly catching on fire. Curbside collections are such a good idea, we don’t seem to have that in the UK. x

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love the way you can take an everyday experience and make it so entertaining:) No takeouts here, good or otherwise, but the Tai place across the street from me in the Square sure does a steady business, I’ve noticed. I may return to the newest coffee shop a few doors down from me one of the days. Everything feels so strange…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. No, no take-outs!
    Mind you, I wouldn’t mind a take-out; eating something other than my own cooking might be fun. Just can’t bring myself to do that, at the moment. Secretly,though, I do enjoy my cooking; and this current period is just the excuse for eating yummy, nutritious food every meal. Just wish someone else could do the cleaning up! 😉 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have enjoyed cooking as well. The starter dough that Nate and I are growing is doing well. I made pizza from it on Friday night, and it was wonderful! I’ll make bread from it tonight–and more pizza on Friday. Take care and stay healthy:)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a lot of fun and a nice change. It was still expensive though. We used to go out twice a month, but we’ve gone out a lot less now–saves a lot of money:) But, we wanted to support a local restaurant, so that felt good to do as well. Stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. We haven’t done any take-out yet because we live in a fairly rural area without a lot of access to restaurants but our local pub just started doing take-out on Fridays and Saturdays. I’ll keep you posted. And speaking of posts–this was hilarious, especially the twerking at the table:-)

    Liked by 1 person

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