Stuck in the Charlotte Airport between flights at dinner time, I was hankering for some Chinese food. Enter: Manchu Wok, a Panda Express-style Chinese fast food place. I stared at the strange variety of stir-fried meats that mildly resembled what my own wok would look like if I tossed every single food in my kitchen into it. I decided to order the “Pick 3 + Noodles or Rice” and do my best to avoid dishes with vegetables. My chosen trifecta was Sweet and Sour Chicken, Pineapple Chicken and General Tso’s Chicken, with noodles.
The food was lazily all tossed together into a styrofoam container, which made it virtually impossible to tell the differences between the different chickens.Fortunately (or unfortunately) all the chicken seemed to taste the same. My first step was to remove the veggies from the Pineapple Chicken. Unfortunately when Chinese food is pre-made, you can’t really ensure that there won’t be any vegetables. Luckily, I wasn’t stuck picking them out with chopsticks, as I was provided with a fork. With that finished, I was free to dine on my chicken trifecta. But wait. Not yet. The Sweet and Sour Chicken came bare and I was supposed to put the sauce on myself. How lazy was this place? The sauce did little to prevent the chicken from drying out my mouth, as it had apparently been dehydrated for astronauts. I jumped to the General Tso’s Chicken to see if he fared any better. This had very little kick to it, but a decent crunch. Finally came the Pineapple Chicken, a soggier version of General Tso’s with sprinklings of pineapple throughout. The meal easily filled me up, but not in a good way. I was no longer hungry, but I don’t expect to crave Chinese food again for a very long time.