Monday, August 23, 2010

Redhouse: Chinese Food Fast And It's Really Good

Above is a picture of the Chicken Mei Fun that I had and even though I thought it was going to have different noodles I didn't mind because it was really delicious. Usually when you order from one of those Chinese Fast Food places you sometimes get poorer quality food at cheaper prices, so I tend to shy away from them unless of course I only have five bucks to my name. So the other day I went out wandering trying to think of a place to eat, stomach grumbling, and believed I was going to end up back at Vanessa's Dumplings (my new favorite place). However, I thought, I couldn't possibly blog about Vanessa's yet again, everyone would think I worked there or something, so I had to find an alternative. Right across the street I spotted this place called Redhouse and on the sign it said Asian Cuisine which I really couldn't tell just from looking at it from the outside. Once I got closer it seemed to be just a dressed up fast food place so I immediately became a bit skeptical but I thought why not at least give it a try. In looking over the counter at the kitchen area I could see that it was already a bit different that your average run-of-the-mill joint from just the way it was set up. Then after a look at the menu I could also tell that this place was a step up from the norm. Hmmm what to eat I thought, something to give me a good read on the quality....Dumplings! Maybe a little competition for Vanessa's across the street, eh? The first thing I ordered was the Dumpling Platter with 2 Pork, 2 Shrinp, 2 Chicken and 2 Vegetarian dumplings. Then I spotted the Chicken Mei Fun lower down on the menu thinking it was the dish with really fat noodles (that being Chow Fun), so I ordered it as well. Not too much food I thought. Another tell tale sign of a better quality establishment is the amount of time it takes to prepare the food and how much is already prepared ahead of time. I watched intently as the solo chef plucked all the necessary ingredients for the Mei Fun and threw them into the wok. Then he dropped all the Dumplings into the water for a quick boil just before he gave them a quick fry. The Mei Fun came out first and it looked steaming-hot good fitting perfectly into the plastic to-go container that the guy behind the counter closed up tightly. Then came the crispy looking Dumplings which smelled fantastic and were also really hot, all put quickly into a bag and off I was back to work. Of course the first thing I had to try were the Dumplings and I have to say that Vanessa's are still better. The problem here was that I chose the platter and not just Pork which I would almost certainly normally choose. The Vegetarian and the Chicken just weren't my style and didn't have the flavor I was looking for, especially the Vegetarian which basically had the ingredients of an Egg Roll inside and I don't really like Egg Rolls. The Pork and the Shrimp were extra delicious and I must say that the Dumpling Sauce at Redhouse was a tad tastier (sorry Vanessa). On to the Mei Fun. I quickly realized that the Mei Fun was not what I thought it was going to be with it's ultra skinny noodles, but I was able to ignore my order blunder and eat it anyway. Thankfully I did because it was extrememly delicious and probably the main reason why I will go back and try Redhouse again. This of course is a great example of why you can't just grade a place based on one dish or one experience and need to give yourself at least two options. Another idea I have had recently is actually asking the place what is their specialty, not that it's original or anything, but why not try the dish that they think is their best, it's my new motto. Redhouse is located at 203 East 14th Street just off of 2nd Avenue.

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