An ode to the wonder that is Chinese Food delivery

BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 18: A cook stands in steam as he moves dumplings, or xiao long bao, from a steamer at a local restaurant on November 18, 2021 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 18: A cook stands in steam as he moves dumplings, or xiao long bao, from a steamer at a local restaurant on November 18, 2021 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images) /

Perhaps there’s nothing out there (except for pizza) that hits the spot more than Chinese food delivery. Today we dedicate this ode to the wonder that has aided many in those random moments of culinary desire.

You know the feeling… You’re sitting at home, late evening has dropped around the city; the horizon has darkened. All you hear outside your apartment window are the sounds of the city night: The honking horns, the calls echoing long through the alleyway behind the strip mall across the street… You want something but you don’t know what, but then suddenly out of nowhere, it hits you: Chinese food!

There’s nothing like Chinese food to feed the soul on a hard day…

As stated above, yeah pizza sure does the trick and is certainly one of the top options for delivery, but let’s be honest…Chinese food is definitely a close second if not a tied option for delivery.

In his book, The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac wrote about the wonder that Chinese food was:

"“We all got together…and drove in several cars to Chinatown for a big fabulous dinner off the Chinese menu, with chopsticks, yelling conversation in the middle of the night in one of those free-swinging great Chinese restaurants of San Francisco.”"

In that book he details the events of when his character, Ray Smith, goes to the top of a mountain, Desolation Peak (North Cascade Mountains in Washington State), in order to work as a fire lookout. Once he reaches the solitude of that mountain—something he wanted so desperately to do for the sake of illumination—he slowly finds himself missing the wonders of life in the city…Chinese food definitely being one of them (as well as chocolate, yet another of the many culinary wonders we all take for granted).

Just another example of how important Chinese cuisine has become in North America and it’s been the case for a long while…. That book was written in the fifties and released then as well—specifically in 1958—and look at what an influence the cuisine had on one of the greatest writers of all time, the late, great Jack Kerouac.

Proves my point I guess.

But why do we love the cuisine so much? Perhaps in the end it’s the exotic side of it. For us that grew up on North American cuisines and the staples like Italian and any other ethnic foods of our own heritage, Chinese food represents destination in and of itself.

It represents that one place we can go without stepping foot on an airplane or boat, to set sail in search of culinary delights…to take our collective palates to those destinations and in this case that destination is none other than China, where the cuisine and its history speak for itself.

Which of course also speaks to the wonder of the concept of delivery.

Now with Chinese food delivery, not only do you not have to travel the world, but you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your very own home. All you have to do is dial a number of your favorite place or even consult an AP. Amazing how spectacular technology has become…brought us all closer to the food we love and are obsessed with.

In some cases Chinese restaurants will deliver late at night, which is perfect for when you can’t sleep or are working on that term paper or perhaps even that proposal for your next big meeting.

And heck, it could even be just because you’re in the mood for some great food and want to sit on the fire escape on a warm evening and eat your General Tao over a bed of white rice, or your Shanghai Noodles, or Chow Mein, or even pan fried dumplings.

Or maybe, you just want a bag of egg rolls, dipping in for one as you read your favorite book. Honestly the possibilities are endless and hey, we’ve all been there, haven’t we dear readers?

In the end, our friendly Chinese food delivery guy can even be our confidant…maybe you need to tell someone about the bad day you had and heck he’s there for you, even if he doesn’t say a single word…only stares at you blankly as the transaction of your payment goes through….

The moments for him at least, tick by ever so slowly, but for you, at least you got it all off your chest. The bag he holds after all is your salvation, your end to a pretty terrible day and it holds the delights of the wonder that is undoubtedly Chinese food delivery.

Enjoy, dear readers. I know I will. Guess I know what I’m having tonight.

“…And oh, that pan-fried chow mein flavored air that blew into my room from Chinatown, vying with the spaghetti sauces of North Beach, the soft-shell crab of Fisherman’s Wharf — nay, the ribs of Fillmore turning on spits! Throw in the Market Street chili beans, redhot, and french-fried potatoes of the Embarcadero wino night, and steamed clams from Sausalito across the bay, and that’s my ah-dream of San Francisco…”

-Jack Kerouac / On The Road

Next. The food writings of Jim Harrison—a look back. dark

What are some of your favorite Chinese food menu items, dear readers? Any special exclusive items that your local Chinese restaurant has you want to share? Let us know.