Dirty Jerz & Chinese Food

Jersey has it all. Over the years, it has given rise to the famous and infamous – the guido/guidette crew of the Jersey Shore, Chris Christie, Camden, the Cake Boss, Bruce Springsteen and Steven Spielberg to name just a few. While I can’t claim these are all gifts to the world rather than curses, I happen to be a born and bred Jersey girl myself, so I’m a little biased when I say some good things do come out of the chemical smelling Garden state.

Now I’ve lived in Boston for six years and I’ve learned to love baked beans, have given up on hearing the letter ‘r’ ever used again and have even (sort of) learned to tolerate the 1000 days of winter this great city endures (granted every winter I threaten to move and every summer I wish I could live in P-town forever). But one thing that I truly miss about my “dirty” upbringing isn’t in the list of famous things that have come out of the state – no, no – it’s the Chinese food delivery. Don’t get me wrong, Boston has amazing restaurants (hell, I even spend my days representing a few of my faves) but this lovely well-meaning city just can’t seem to get Chinese delivery down pat. My first Chinese delivery experience in Boston happened one ill-fated evening when I had the unfortunate experience of ordering shrimp lo mein from a popular college eatery, whose name I’ll keep to myself so as not to offend anyone.

It started out okay, the price was right and it smelled fine (when the container was sealed) but when I opened the packaging I was immediately hit with the smell of old dog food and found myself staring into a container of what looked like greasy, brown linguine sprinkled with rotten looking veggies and shrimp that had not been properly cleaned – nobody wants a shrimp that hasn’t been deveined.

For any born and bred New Englanders who aren’t certain of what I’m talking about…this is what lo mein should look like

ddImage source Sherman’s Food Adventures

Not this

ffImage source bamboowok.com

Needless to say after that experience it was a while before I ate Chinese again but when I did, I encountered a similar thick noodled mess. Then I tried just ordering veggies, but they were always covered in a too sweet/too thick sauce. So, alas, I have given up on Chinese food delivery and come to terms with the fact that Chinatown’s Peach Farm is the only place where I can get Chinese that tastes like home.

While I have no ambitions to move back to my dirty home state, if I could just find some way to have Chinese delivered from 5 ½ hours away and to make winter 999 days shorter in Boston, I could guarantee I’d call it home for life!

Posted by Gillian

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