I came home to a fridge full of excellent vegetables but slabs of chicken that were still frozen solid. I was definitely fearful that something like that might occur and that’s why I have some quick and easy meals on hand in case I have to deal with it. Problem is, I have a wife who was not so much interested in any of my quick and easy meals and suggested that we go to Bucky’s Diner instead before returning the terrible movie (Semi-Pro) and getting a card for my father because I’m a moron and thought Father’s Day was two weeks away — it’s not so if *you* forgot, I suggest getting out there today.
I went digging through the recent coupon fliers that we had in the kitchen and eventually found the Bucky’s $2-off dinner coupon and we headed out the door. I should have stopped to return the movie beforehand but I didn’t and it came back to bite me in the ass later… As soon as we parked in front of Bucky’s we noticed something odd — were they painting the front windows? Where was the “OPEN” sign that MSPD wasn’t terrible fond of? Ah, another one bites the dust. Even though I didn’t care for the place when it first opened, Kim and I had been back several times since it moved over to a “diner” and enjoyed it for breakfast and dinner. At least they were taking the constructive criticism that their customers offered and were really trying to make it in this ever-worsening market. I’m sad to see them go.
After Bucky’s, because I was now starving, we went next door to Jade Island Chinese Cuisine which, in the past while dining at Bucky’s, noted just how many people would come in through the shared main door and choose the left door instead of the right. I figured if that place continued its life beyond Bucky’s, it must be giving away great food or drugs.
Kim and I looked at the nasty menus (they looked yellowed from years of this restaurant having a “smoking section” which just meant one half of the restaurant) and I particularly enjoyed the crossed out, but still fully readable, menu items and the menu items that had cardboard and tape over them to give new prices or different ingredients. After much hemming and hawing, we came up with egg drop soup, cream cheese wontons, sweet and sour chicken and Hunan pork (extra, extra spicy) which both came with sides of rice (we chose fried — they don’t include meat in their fried rice).
The egg drop soup and wontons came out first and the egg drop soup was almost puke green instead of yellowish. It tasted pretty much like ass and I didn’t particularly care for the crunchy vegetables that were inside. While I don’t know what authentic egg drop soup is (is there such a thing?) this wasn’t like any I have ever had before and nothing like I ever wish to have again. The wontons were served with hot mustard (it was watered down like you couldn’t believe) and sweet/sour sauce. They were pretty much what you would expect from frozen “Chinese” food that you could get at the grocery store and while they were cheap, you got what you paid for.
Our entrees arrived a bit later, to the apologies of the waitress, who said that my Hunan pork takes just a bit longer to make than anything else. I didn’t think that the wait time was at all unreasonable so I just shrugged. I had asked for it to be “extra, extra spicy” which was what the waitress said their hottest option was (Hunan items should be hot) but mentioned if I didn’t think it was hot enough that she could offer me some red pepper flakes to add. Well, even though I’m into spicy shit and pretty much nothing is hot enough for me, this was beyond lame. I seriously couldn’t taste the spiciness at all and even Kim said it was quite mild. Don’t fucking tell me it’s going to be “extra, extra spicy” when you’re just going to make it the same as you always do. Kim’s meal was pretty much blah and she summed up her experience later with something about World Buffet in Apple Valley being better than Jade Island Chinese Cuisine — if you happen to read her comments on World Buffet, you’ll understand just how fucking god awful terrible tonight’s dinner was.
It doesn’t seem like they use MSG although I didn’t ask but I haven’t had any complications yet. The place is pretty dirty and I just don’t understand why people chose it over Bucky’s. I guess they really wanted “Chinese” food and couldn’t bring themselves to go just about anywhere else… Fuck, even the fortune cookies were nasty. My fortune couldn’t have been more wrong, “You will be hungry soon, get a takeout.”
After our disappointment with Bucky’s and Jade Island Chinese Cuisine, we were on our way home and I noticed that Two Guys from Italy was closed and had a small typed note in the window. Hoping that the day had finally come, I drove in excited only to find that they are remodeling and will be reopening with some sort of different Italian themed restaurant. Now, the entire reason that Danny opened this version of Two Guys from Italy was to try something new (after he failed at Viva Italia) but I guess the customer confusion over that stupid fucking ordering system he had finally took its toll. I hope that whatever reincarnation Danny comes up with for Two Guys from Italy is better than what it has been since it first opened — because we certainly haven’t been back to sample any more of the terrible food we were served the night we tried it out.
Jade Island Chinese Cuisine
7534 149th St W
Apple Valley, MN 55124
See all the pictures from Jade Island Chinese Cuisine on Flickr here (mobile).