Snow Pea: two reasons to eat here
On first glance, Snow Pea appears pretty sub-standard. The atmosphere is extremely plain with laminate tile floors, white table-tops, and nothing on the walls except a big old marquee-style menu. Everything is plated on really cheap Styrofoam dinnerware along with plastic utensils and napkins that are so small and thin they’re pretty much useless. Even in the realm of cheap, fast Chinese places, Snow Pea comes off a little less interesting than most.
Yet, I still recommend that you try Snow Pea for two very good reasons:
- Lemon chicken with steamed broccoli and no rice
- Fried rice with chicken and vegetables, spicy
It’s rare that I get into such specifics when recommending a restaurant, but this is a special case. You see, I really like eating these things at Snow Pea, but only these things. So, I have to give specific instructions and recommend that you follow them exactly. You’re welcome to try other dishes, but I take no responsibility for any culinary calamities that may befall you.
They actually char-grill the chicken while you wait so it comes out fresh and flavorful. Whatever marinade they use on that stuff is addictive. Sometimes the chicken is over-cooked and tough, but if you catch them on the good days (which most days are) it’s really, really good. And the cost is a moderate $6.25.
Ask for it with steamed broccoli and no rice. That way, you get twice as much broccoli and a million times less carbs. By default, it comes with mixed vegetables, but I’m telling you, you don’t want that. You just want the broccoli. Really.
The broccoli is steamed over a wok, not stir fried. It comes out perfectly crisp. There’s no real seasoning to it, but somehow it just tastes really good. I love it because it is just about the healthiest meal I’ve ever found at a Chinese place. Try it. You’ll either love it or hate it, but if you love it, you’ll keep going back.
Before I was into trying to eat less carbs, I always got the fried rice. I don’t know what they do to that rice, but it is better than any other fried rice I’ve had. The grains somehow stay separate from each other rather than clumping together. The flavor from the sauce and the wok is smoky and not overly soy-saucy.
I ask for it with a combination of chicken and mixed vegetables, and I throw in a “spicy” and they give it a little bit of extra kick. The vegetables are fresh and include pieces of the broccoli mentioned above. The chicken tastes amazingly good. I’ve had it with just the chicken and no vegetables, and I’m telling you, it’s just not the same. Again, you just need to try it and then you’ll believe.
I’m not saying Snow Pea is the best Chinese food around. I’d say it’s average at best in most areas other than the two dishes mentioned above. I’ve tried one other dish there and thought it was pretty boring. A lot of my friends love the General’s chicken, but I’ve never had it, so I’m not vouching for it. But the lemon chicken and the fried rice, well, they have kept me going back regularly for a long time.
Try them and see if you feel the same way. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.