The Ghetto Chinese Spot (GCS) is a culinary institution that transcends race, cultures, and partisan politics. If you need cheap (Go Democrats!!), like your Chinese highly Americanized (Go Lucy Liu!!), or could go for a nap (Go 'Itis!!), this Shangri-la of trans fat is your target destination. Feed your family of five, and put them to bed all for $10 or less.
Planning Your Trip - You won't find Ghetto Chinese Spots in Zagat's or Seamless Web. You only find them in your 'hood (short for, "where black people congregate") — in New York, this means uptown, north of the 96th Street Mason-Dixon, or the outlying boroughs. Ghetto Chinese Spots usually stay open from noon until midnight. If you're not driving, take the bus, train, or rickshaw to the nearest ghetto and look for a sign declaring "the best/finest/greatest Chinese Food in all of NYC" (there are about a million of them). If you're having trouble, ask one of your friendly neighborhood negroes for assistance.
Are We There Yet? - GCS proprietors typically present a compelling dichotomy of aesthetic illusion. Walls are adorned with mouthwatering portraits of succulent dishes fit for an emperor (disregard these red herrings, they're not on the menu) and beautiful lush images of "Natural China." This attempt at botanical garden ambience runs in stark contrast to the reality of talking to your hostess through bullet-proof glass, despite not being in jail. Please note: All you bloggers with guns, your weapons are of no use here.
Learning the Menu - Ghetto Chinese Spots are like franchises: individually owned, but they all serve the same thing. Here's a primer:
Sure Shots - Wings, Half Chicken, Fries, Fried Rice, Lo Mein, anything in Garlic Sauce.
Maybe Try - Egg Foo Young, Chow Fun, Sweet and Sour, Spare Ribs/Tips.
Caution - Every GCS has some eyebrow-raising selections. At my local GCS, for example, there is an item called, "Hawaii Five-O." Basically anything where they don't attempt to identify the ingredients is questionable. Selections like "Happy Family" or "Four Seasons" also come to mind.
We Gots Grease - Looking for grease? Few venues can rival the alcohol-neutralizing power of the GCS. But watch your clothes; the food could give concrete that oily translucent shine. Drop a wing on the leading brand of paper towel or tampon, and it will soak through. Mmmm DELICIOUS!
Let Them Eat Dark Meat - The GCS does not enable the fa ade of entitlement characteristic of the typical boujhee [sic] American consumer. There is no "white meat substitution." All meat is filed under questionable. If you ask about Tofu at the GCS, they'll only call to the back for their cousin (I kid the Fus, I kid).
Confucius Say - When eat at Ghetto Chinese Spot, better to taste, but no look.
Try The Tea - If you're of strong teeth and gums, you may opt for the tooth-achingly sweet "homemade" Iced Tea. Get a good swallow-and-swirl going and you can actually feel the cavities forming.
Fun Facts - Did you know GCS's have magic sesame seeds? Sprinkle a few kernels and magically transform any dish into "sesame [whatever]." For example, sprinkle on General Tso's, and VOILA! Sesame Chicken. Some say these seeds are so powerful they can turn cherry Jello into hummus, and Malcolm X Boulevard into Sesame Street.
Did you know that GCS proprietors were the first to discover black people can't resist General Tso's sauce? Take your average piece of feces, cover it in Tso's sauce (not soy), and see if you don't get a nibble out of it.
Did you know a GCS might have up to ten types of sauces? Only three are safe, the brown sauce, the garlic sauce, and the general Tso's. Sweet-and-sour sometimes, but try all others at your own peril.
Did you know the most popular dish at the GCS is Four Wings w/ Fries? There are two billion orders of this every day in Harlem alone. If you're looking to impress the locals, try ordering the wings with "hot sauce and ketchup, fried hard, and cut-up."
Ghetto Terror Alert - Yellow. There is a moderate Ghetto Terror threat due to a high proportion of black-on-Asian crime at the GCS. But most customers, if they keep to themselves and avoid eye contact, are left alone.
Slang Check - Slang at the GCS is nominal. No one says "they're going to Dirty China" or anything like that. And all orders are straightforward, no doubt due to the already formidable English-Chinese language hurdle.