For the longest time I have avoided stepping into the Panda Express across the parking lot from my local grocer. It’s not so much that I disagree with the existence of Panda Express or think I’m too high and mighty to lower myself to the level of Chinese fast food. No, the real reason is that I just feel like there are some better Chinese restaurants around that serve food just as fast. Nonetheless, every time I would walk by, the strong scent of glazed Asian-ness would be quite enticing. Finally, I gave in to that noxious perfume and took a plunge into Panda Express.
Once inside, the line was surprisingly long. When I made it to the first segment of the counter, I was offered a free sample of their new Sweet Fire Chicken. It tasted pretty good, so I decided to get their “2-Entree Plate,” which comes with two entrees and a side like rice. My first entree was that Sweet Fire Chicken and my second was their Orange Chicken, which had no orange coloration whatsoever, yet managed to be the only other entree without vegetables. I wasn’t in the mood for picking vegetables out of already-prepared food, so this was the perfect choice. For my side, I chose the fried rice.
My food was all loaded into a tri-cut styrofoam package and I paid the measly six bucks and went on my way. I opened the package and was amazed to find just how much rice I had been given. It was pretty huge, but it made my entrees look tiny. Fortunately, the entrees weren’t actually tiny and would end up being plenty filling.
I started eating the Sweet Fire Chicken, which ended up being more sweet than fire. The sample I had tried didn’t really give me enough to tell just how not hot they were. Luckily I had snagged a bit of chili sauce and used this to spice up the food. The Orange Chicken was alright too. It had a similar amount of sweet and spice, but with a bit of a citrus taste as well.
Overall, Panda Express gave me a pretty decent meal. None of the food was particularly special, but it filled me up for cheap. Plus, the convenience for me is pretty unbeatable. I don’t think a visit to Panda Express is necessary for…umm…anyone, but if it is conveniently located, it shouldn’t be written off completely.