My sister and I have an obsession with this Chinese restaurant in Dover New Hampshire called China Yan. Now, I love Chinese food in general, but China Yan is something special. Dover is a college town (well, right next to one) so the food is cheap, substantial, and delicious. We're talking a $6 buffet and homemade Crab Rangoon. When my sister visited from out west a few years back she went there before seeing her parents or me and claims that, upon her death, she would like her urn placed on the shelf behind the register. Yans is a family business and during my time in and out of the area I've watched their kids (a boy and girl) grow up from pigtails to high school. We use to order ridiculous amounts of Chinese food and the kid's mother would give us five pairs of chopsticks and at least ten fortune cookies, even though she knew damn well that we were the only ones eating that food.
See? Obsession isn't really too strong a word. When my sister and I were on the west coast we searched for a Chinese restaurant that could compare to Yans, assuming that the closer we got to China the better the Chinese food would get. While I'm sure there is wonderful Crab Rangoon out there, we didn't find it.
Crab Rangoon: that's how we gauge a restaurant. It's not very scientific, but the theory is that crab Rangoon is one of the easiest things to cheat on. You can get them frozen, use sub par filling, or fail to change the friolator grease. If they're cutting corner with the crab rangoon, the rest of their food cannot be trusted.
Wong Garden and if you're ever in the Belchertown Mass area you should swing by. The only difficulty with my discovery is that they really aren't close to where I "live", so yesterday I concocted an entire day out based around my craving for Chinese food. I drove out to Spencer Mass where there is a great Salvation Army Store (which I only found one shirt at) and Pine Grove Cemetery. You might remember that I visited Pine Grove back in July of 2011 and not much has changed, but I got a coffee and walked about for an hour or so. It was a very nice Saturday out and the best part was that on my way "home" I drove through Belchertown and said to myself "well, since I'm in the area I might as well grab some Chinese food..."