I’ve tried dozens of fast-food joints, but Panda Express is my favourite.
Panda Express offers the full package: cheap food, large portions, stellar customer service, and a welcoming atmosphere.
In fact, the last time I visited, someone shouted “welcome to Panda!” when I entered the restaurant.
I had to go without Panda Express for a while, as there wasn’t a location nearby me in New York City. But in October 2015, the chain opened a location at 69th Street and First Avenue.
Now, I go there every time I can’t fight my craving for cheap, fast, greasy, delicious Chinese food.
I like the whole menu, but my favourite items include the deep fried orange chicken, the fried rice, and the crispy rangoons.
I order a plate — two entrees, one side.
I always order the orange chicken. The sweet, tangy, crispiness of the deep-fried chicken is delicious.
I often find that I pick the broccoli beef for my second entree.
The broccoli is perfectly steamed and mixed with thin strips of beef sauteed in a ginger soy sauce.
There aren’t as many options for sides, so I like to mix it up between the fried rice and chow mein — whichever carb I’m craving more.
Both sides are light, yet flavorful, and I appreciate that they’re not doused in sauce.
But what I love the most is the appetizers; I love to indulge in the crab rangoons.
If you can’t make up your mind, Panda Express can help you out. Customers can sample any item on the menu before ordering it. Some people abuse this practice. One time, I stood behind a man who sampled every item behind the counter, then left. That’s one way to dupe the system.
The best part is the price: you get so much for under $10! I’m never able to finish it all, so I save it for the next day, and then I get Panda Express two days in a row.
However, the brand has suffered from some bad press; it u
ses additives in its food at a time when consumers are demanding fare that is fresh and natural — but the chain is making an effort to turn its business around.
While Panda Express’s food is generally seen as more of a guilty pleasure than a staple lunch item like a Chipotle burrito bowl, it’s still my favourite fast food restaurant without a doubt.
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