January 29, 2014

Deliver Me From Hunger: Ithaca’s Best Takeout Hot Spots

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By CATHERINE ELSAESSER

My first winter experience in Ithaca has discouraged me from going out to eat. However, when the roads are too slushy or the subzero temperatures make you feel like hibernating, delivery is a delicious and easy option. There are dozens of restaurants to choose from, and with a little patience, you can enjoy off-campus food without ever leaving your dorm. I will dive into three different cuisines and will be sharing the best dishes I have discovered from the comfort of my dorm room or apartment.

Jade Garden Chinese

Chinese food is the classic delivery cuisine. I have ordered Chinese food countless times when hanging out with friends, watching movies or for a quick dinner with my family. I was excited to dig into the cartons of steaming food from Jade Garden, which is rated as the best in its category on GrubHub. When examining the menu, it was hard to choose from the endless possibilities. There are over a hundred options to choose from, and surely anyone ordering from Jade Garden would be able to find something they like. Three out of the five items we ordered were marked as favorites from the menu; however, the dishes received mixed reviews. The best items we ordered were the dumplings appetizer and the sesame chicken. The steamed dumplings were soft, although you can also order them fried. There were eight dumplings in an order, and they were filled with savory, moist pork. The sesame chicken came in a generous portion with crunchy broccoli, a slightly sweet sauce and sesame seeds garnishing the top. The chicken was moist with an exterior coating that remained crispy even when dressed in the sauce. Dishes to avoid include the chicken and broccoli and the pork lo mein. The chicken was tender, but the sauce was fairly tasteless and only a few pieces of broccoli were included. The lo mein was mixed with scallions, carrots, chewy pork strips and other vegetables, but the dish needed more salt or spice to bring out the flavors of the ingredients. The vegetable egg roll we ordered was a generous size, but was somewhat hard to chew. Overall, I would give Jade Garden another chance, and there are plenty of dishes to choose from the next time I order delivery.

Taste of Thai Express

Andy Johnson / Sun Staff Photographer

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