One of the things I looked forward to when we traveled to China was the opportunity to eat real Chinese food. I have my favorite Chinese restaurants here around home, but I knew before we got there that Chinese food in China would not be the same as Chinese food in America. With that thought in mind, the very first restaurant we saw in China, in Fuzhou, was a Pizza Hut. Our guide made sure to point that out to us. Just down the road from there we passed by a KFC. I do not eat at KFC in the U.S. so I knew I would not eat there in China – the main reason being I did not know what the ‘C’ stood for in the Chinese interpretation of edible food (much the same as the American interpretation of the same letter).
Later, we hit the mother lode. Up ahead as we drove through Fuzhou I glimpsed the ubiquitous icon of American fast food: the golden arches. Sure enough, we had stumbled upon a McDonalds – another place where I do not eat in America. I was almost ready to call off the entire trip in revulsion, but we had a child to adopt and that overrode calling off the trip just for the disgust of American fast food. However, had we seen a White Castle, I would have bolted for sure! Can you imagine the impact of White Castle food in China? We did not see one; therefore we continued with the adoption process.
In Guangzhou, we ordered pizza from Danny’s Bagel Shop. I did not look at this being a compromise since Danny is a Chinese fellow who had lived in Chicago (I think it was Chicago) before moving back to Guangzhou and opening the Bagel Shop. His food was excellent and he delivered to the White Swan, where we stayed in Guangzhou. Some of the kids had sandwiches and spaghetti. Danny fixed the American foods in a Chinese sort of way – much the way that Chinese restaurants make Chinese food in an American sort of way. However, we did not order the special from Danny’s, which was tuna and shrimp pizza with pineapple and pine nuts. Some how, I did not get the Italian-feel from that combination.
We fought our way past the fast food extensions into China and managed to find a few good places to eat authentic Chinese food everywhere we traveled in China. And it was all good. I still drew the line in Wuhan during our 2001 trip to adopt Jenna. The White Rose Hotel offered us a 20% discount at the hotel’s Korean restaurant. If you will check out the specials’ board (focus on the red section in the picture behind Jenna) you can probably understand why we did not eat at the Korean restaurant.