Have you ever had orange chicken? If so and you would like to learn about my experience eating the best orange chicken I have ever had, keep reading. If not, well you’ve gotten this far so you might as well keep reading.
It was humpday, Wednesday, and I was struggling to get over the hump. I thought a nap may help, so I took one after work. It didn’t. Maybe playing some Xbox would help. Nope. I asked my two friends, Jeff and Santi, who were sitting beside me, “how about we watch some netflix?” I changed the TV input and put on an episode of Chef’s Table. Well, that just made us hungry.
Luckily I wasn’t going through this midweek slump alone. Like myself, they wanted get over the slump and look forward to the upcoming weekend.
While relaxing and watching Netflix, I heard these peculiar sounds. Peculiar, but not novel. These noises were so familiar yet I couldn't put my finger on what they were. I thought I was hearing things. I looked around and nobody made any gestures regarding the sounds. I figured the sounds were a figment of my imagination, so I re-glued my eyes to Chef’s Table. As I watched Nancy Silverton cook her world-famous pizza it hit me like a bird flying into a clear glass window--we were hungry. Those sounds I was hearing weren’t from myself or from any inanimate objects in the room: they were Jeff’s and Santi’s stomachs growling. Bingo! I figured out what we needed to do to get over our slump: eat.
We had some ham, cheese, bread, and even some double stuffed oreos for dessert. But we couldn’t just eat. That would be boring and wouldn’t help get us over our slumps. We needed an adventure. I proposed that we all venture outside of Amherst to get some food.
Northampton is this lovely, lively, little town with a myriad of restaurants, shops, and interesting people; it was the perfect place to explore and we did just that. To our surprise we found a parking spot in record time. We parked a bit off Route 9 directly across the street from this Chinese restaurant called the Great Wall Restaurant. We decided to go window shopping and explore before we decided on where to eat. Urban Outfitters, Shop Therapy, and Thornes Marketplace were some of the stores we decided to check out. After an hour or so of walking around and checking things out, the growling stomachs were not just back, they were upset--more upset than Drake. You'd think in a place like Northampton where there are plenty of places to choose from it be easy to find somewhere to eat, but there are just too many options for three indecisive (and hungry) guys.There were too many options to choose from. One thing that helped solve the problem was that we all wanted to eat somewhere we had never been before. After much discussion and contemplation, we finally decided on a place to eat. The time remaining on our parking meter was 30 minutes and we didn’t have anymore spare change. We definitely wanted to eat somewhere near the car, preferably at a restaurant where we could sit and be able to keep our eyes on it. Once that was all figured out it was a no-brainer. We decided to eat at the Great Wall Restaurant. It was perfect; the restaurant was right across the street from the car so we could keep an eye on it, the food wasn’t overpriced, and, best of all, none of us had eaten there before so we were in for a new experience.
As soon as we walked in, I was smacked right in the face by the aroma of the food. That’s always a good sign. We waited to be seated for a total of 30 seconds before our waitress sat us down right by the window with a perfect view of the car. It was as if it was meant to be.
There was only one problem: there were too many options on the menu. From chicken fried rice to moo shu baby shrimps, if it was considered Chinese food then it was on the menu. I could not decide and I was getting nervous as the waitress approached our table to take our order. The waitress took Jeff and Santi’s orders first, yet that extra time didn’t help my situation. This problem happens a lot, but I have a unique way of solving it. The waitress asked what it was that I would like to order and I looked at the menu for a bit seeing if there may have been any dish that I might have overlooked. There weren’t any. So I turned away from the menu and gave my attention back to the waitress who was waiting ever so patiently. I smiled and asked her, “so what is your favorite thing on the menu?” She chuckled and said that the orange chicken was “fire.” After that response, I had to get the orange chicken and I did just that.
After our orders were taken we sat and chatted about a wide range of topics from “The Decision Pt. II” (where LeBron James will decide to move during the NBA free agency) to latinx immigration policy in the U.S. Overall, it was great conversation filled with laughter and insightful thoughts.
The restaurant was empty. As soon as the kitchen doors opened, we knew that our food was on its way over. The waitress then came to our table with the food. It was sizzling hot, right off the grill. Almost as soon as the food was set on the table did we start digging in. The orange chicken was outright the best orange chicken I have ever had. It had the perfect amount of seasoning, was not too spicy, had just the right amount of tanginess, and didn’t bloat my stomach at the end of it.
Once the check was paid and we got to the car with no ticket on the front windshield of the car, it was safe to say that we all overcame our midweek slump.