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2girls1snack: Chinese Food Carts!

Bwog’s finest snaccs, Mia and Donna, take on the ultimate snack (more like a whole meal)–the three-dishes-one-rice combo offered by three Chinese food carts on Broadway. 

Are you Chinese and do you sometimes crave the taste of home? Do you love generous portions? Or are you just a person with tASte? If yes, you have to try at least one meal at the holy trinity of Chinese food carts on Broadway. For the sake of science (and to distract ourselves from the monstrosity that is midterm season), Mia and Donna tried the three-dishes-one-rice option (三菜一饭) that all three carts offer. We ordered a tomato and egg (our control variable? We are doing science after all) and two other dishes from each. Here are our unfiltered thoughts.

Healthy

Despite its English name, Healthy is not your Chinese food cart version of Sweetgreen. It is more appropriately described by its Chinese name, Qingyun, which means green cloud–so poetic right!! They have a more subtle taste, and their style is closer to the northeastern part of China, where flavors are less strong. Having grown up in that area, Mia especially enjoyed their dishes. She found the tomato and egg well-seasoned, and you couldn’t sense the pungent, sulfur-ish taste of eggs, which is good. The other two dishes we ordered were shredded potatoes and the famed red-braised pork ribs (hong shao rou). The pork ribs came with edamame beans, which was a nice touch that balanced out the sweet, salty and relatively strong taste of the ribs. The shredded potato was well-made and had a nice texture that was neither too crunchy and raw nor too soft and mushy. If you like subtle tastes, or if you are just getting into Chinese food and would like to ease into the many different regional styles, Qingyun is a good place to start! The people in the cart are very nice and will greet you enthusiastically. There is usually a line (as with many other carts) during busy meal hours.

Location: Broadway and College Walk

Hours: 11am-7pm

Price: $8 for three-dishes-one-rice

Home of Sichuan Taste(川味之家)

One of the issues this food truck has is that it doesn’t have an English name, which makes it harder to find but for the sake of convenience, we have attached a picture of the food truck itself!

Here it is in all its glory (feat. Mia, a snacc)

At this food truck, we ordered tomato and egg, beef and mushroom, and dry spicy hotpot which had fish balls and tofu in it. True to its promise of tasting like Sichuan food, the food here definitely had a stronger flavor palette: things were saltier and spicier. The flavors definitely worked well together, and we were both impressed by the dry spicy hotpot because it was so fragrant. Donna found the tomato and egg to be cooked especially well here because it was thicker and less watery, but also sweeter. The defining feature of this food truck is that flavors are all amplified, and it’s ultimately up to personal preference that will determine how much you like the food here. That being said, one of the pitfalls of this food truck is that it runs out of food pretty quickly. We got our grub at 6 and at that point they only had 4 dishes left, so everything we originally chose (minus the tomato and egg) had to be substituted by something else. If you come at a later time, chances are you’ll be disappointed you won’t be able to eat what you wanted to cause they already sold out. That being said, they did give us extra food cause they ran out of options!!

Location: Broadway and College Walk

Price: $8 for three-dishes-one-rice

Uncle Luoyang

Uncle Luoyang is a good middle ground between Healthy and Home of Sichuan Taste flavor wise. We ordered the tomato and egg, deep fried fish with peppers, and string beans. While the tomato and egg here was thicker than Healthy’s but less sweet than Home of Sichuan Taste, the string beans were very salty and quite cold as well. In terms of dishes, it seems like they vary in terms of how strong the flavors are, whereas at Healthy and Home of Sichuan Taste you have a pretty good idea that one is more mild and one is more strong. Interestingly, they serve you by piling all of the dishes you order on top of each other, but this does not really affect the taste. The deep fried fish was delicious, but one drawback of ordering fried fish/meat from these carts is that it is not going to be crisp and dry, because it is not fried on order. Uncle Luoyang is quite popular among students who frequent the food carts. Their truck is yellow, which is cute.

Location: Broadway and College Walk, in between Healthy and Home of Sichuan Taste

Hours: 11AM-7:40PM

Price: $8 for three-dishes-one-rice

After we tried all of these food trucks, we decided the food was all good depending on what your preferences for taste are. These are our rankings:

Donna:

1. Uncle Luoyang

2. Home of Sichuan Taste

3. Healthy

Mia:

1. Healthy

2. Uncle Luoyang

3. Home of Sichuan Taste

To conclude this post, we want to reiterate that these three are all quite good and taste like China (albeit different parts of it)!! The rice actually tastes like rice!! It’s a cheap and convenient option when no dining hall is calling towards you, and the people working in the food trucks are so nice as well. Thank you for making it to the end of this post and we hope that you love whatever you do eat next!

header and images via Bwoggers

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