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Chinese Munch In - Wheeling Ameri-Chinese

Chinese Munch In - Wheeling Ameri-Chinese
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  • Chinese Munch In - Wheeling Ameri-Chinese

    Post #1 - September 21st, 2021, 12:29 pm
    Post #1 - September 21st, 2021, 12:29 pm Post #1 - September 21st, 2021, 12:29 pm
    As I mentioned in the Openings & Closings, the former China North at Wolf and Camp MacDonald roads in Wheeling is now Chinese Munch In. The owners had a place with the same name on Golf, but it's been closed. They've got obviously rental chairs (plastic-seated folding), but service is fast, and attentive.

    Upon sitting down they brought egg drop soup, a good sign (although I'd have preferred hot and sour). Decent version, nice broth. I may have added a bit too much soy. The lunch special menu has a fair number of items, and the paper menu showed a Kung Pao without too many veg (maybe peas?) so I took a chance. The takeout version "lunch box" includes an egg roll, the in-house version gets soup instead.

    Generous serving ($8.75) of chicken, peanuts, green and red bell, water chestnuts, and sadly celery (no peas). Unfortunately lacking in that sour-garlic-ginger-sweet flavor I expect from the Fuschia Dunlop recipe, but some heat (surprisingly no scorched peppers). The addition of some chili oil helped.

    I'll give them another try -- there are probably some winners on the lunch list, and they have chow fun on the main menu. But for now I can only say 饭馆的菜不错 (the restaurant's food is not bad).

    Chinese Munch In
    1960 S Wolf Rd, Wheeling, IL 60090
    chinesemunchinwheeling.com
    Phone: (847) 229-1818
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #2 - October 9th, 2021, 5:12 pm
    Post #2 - October 9th, 2021, 5:12 pm Post #2 - October 9th, 2021, 5:12 pm
    Gave them a second chance, not sure they're getting a third.
    Lunch specials included beef chow fun, I asked if they'd do the discussion with BBQ pork, and ordered an egg roll.
    The egg roll was very good: crisp, high meat to veg ratio, hint of peanut butter (wicked mustard available).
    The chow fun was pretty bad, however. Undercooked noodles, really sloppy knife work with bigger-than-bite-sized pieces of bok choy and pork, the latter tough and gristly. Their house-made chili oil, though, is outstanding.

    So except for condiments and appetizers, can't recommend.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #3 - October 12th, 2021, 8:16 am
    Post #3 - October 12th, 2021, 8:16 am Post #3 - October 12th, 2021, 8:16 am
    Mon Ami Joel--

    Is it just me, or are your statements a walking, talking hypocrisy? (Maybe I just am missing our witty repartee in person... 8) )

    By definition, 'Ameri-Chinese' connotes--in my opinion--a fully Americanized version of Cantonese cuisine. And near where both of us grew up in Skokie, that skew--Kow Kow, Ah Fong (I delivered from there), Bamboo House, Pekin House, Lin's Garden, China Chef--was prevalent and mostly very, very good. Face it, it was comfort food for us growing up.

    So I don't know how nit-picky you want to get about a cuisine that's already been bastardized. Gristle in meat I understand balking at--I wonder if they use Weinstein Meats, which was the gold standard for American Cantonese shops back in the day. But as far as amount of heat, or the way vegetables are sliced, or addition/lack of peas? Hey baby--this ain't Chicken Vesuvio!

    Maybe, truth be told, the dearth of good Ameri/Cantonese joints up here in New England is driving me a little batty. Passable is about as good as it gets here, which I guarantee would be considered substandard to y'all. Trying one more place down in Kittery, ME today and will report back.

    Miss ya, Joel...and all you other miscreants!

    Jay
  • Post #4 - October 12th, 2021, 12:43 pm
    Post #4 - October 12th, 2021, 12:43 pm Post #4 - October 12th, 2021, 12:43 pm
    Heh - the peas were just a difference between the pictured and presented dish, not a complaint. The chow fun was much worse than the kung pao. 那个菜很难吃

    What I'm looking for is that they're caring about the food they make. Big slabs of gristly meat, uneven cuts of stir-fried veg do not show they care. I ate at a hole-in-the-wall chifa place in Lima, Peru that was probably no more authentic Chinese, but had great flavors, consistent cuts and the food was beautiful (as was everything I was served in Peru, dang I want to go back).

    I'd love to have something like China Chef in my neighborhood -- Morton Grove is just a bit too far for a quick work lunch (the LTH North lunches are sometimes an abuse of the lack of oversight I have as a remote worker).

    I should probably give them another try: It's probable there's something there I'll really like, if I can find it.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #5 - October 13th, 2021, 2:55 pm
    Post #5 - October 13th, 2021, 2:55 pm Post #5 - October 13th, 2021, 2:55 pm
    jnm123 wrote:Maybe, truth be told, the dearth of good Ameri/Cantonese joints up here in New England is driving me a little batty. Passable is about as good as it gets here, which I guarantee would be considered substandard to y'all. Trying one more place down in Kittery, ME today and will report back.

    Oh, but the LOBSTAH!!! :D

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