Might there be good Chinese food in Ypsi’s future?

I’m reading the AnnArbor.com story on the new restaurant opening next to the Hua Xing Asia Market on Washtenaw, and it’s got me really excited. (Excited to the point where I’m almost guaranteed to be disappointed.) Prior to reading the article, I thought that the owners were likely opening a newer version of the faux-Chinese buffet they operated previously at that same address. But, thankfully, that seems to not be the case. Here’s a clip from the article:

…Chinese Buffet 2 was not authentic Chinese food, Wang said. It catered more to American tastes. “Now, everything will be authentic,” he said…

So, don’t go there looking for chop suey or sweet and sour chicken… This, in my opinion, is a very good thing. Or, at least it could be. I enjoy dim sum at Great Lakes Seafood (their fried squid rocks), but it’ll be great to have another good place on this side of the Canadian border, and it will bring people here. (In Windsor, I’d recommend Wah Court.) Anyway, after reading this article, I’m hopeful. Here’s a clip:

…With seating for close to 400 and 15,000 square feet, it will be one of the largest Chinese restaurants in Michigan when it opens this weekend.

…But (Xingshou) Wang’s plans go even bigger. He hopes his market and now his restaurant will be the center of what will some day be a small Chinatown, something he sees when he visits New York and other big American cities, but missing in Michigan.

He owns eight acres of land on the south side of Washtenaw Avenue, between Golfside and Hewitt, and wants to attract more Asian businesses to the area.

For now, Wang is focused on opening Asia City Restaurant, which cost more than $1 million to build and furnish. It replaces Chinese Buffet 2, which Wang owned and operated for 15 years before he closed it two years ago to begin planning Asia City Restaurant. The old 7,000-square-foot building was razed to make way for the new restaurant…

And it’s cool to know that we’ve got another entrepreneur here in Ypsi with real vision. Here’s hoping the launch of Xingshou Wang’s newest enterprise comes off without a hitch this weekend, and that his ambitious plans for a local Chinatown come to fruition. I think it would be an awesome thing for Ypsi.

Oh, speaking of good food along the Washtenaw Feeding Corridor, I also highly recommend Pacific Beach Burritos. The people are friendly. The food is delicious. And it won’t cost you a fortune. We’re lucky to have them.

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  1. Posted February 4, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Sorry if I made anyone feel bad for liking Americanized Chinese stuff. That wasn’t my intention. I just really prefer the real stuff, to the sickly sweet and dumbed down crap that’s pushed by places like the old Chinese buffet that this new restaurant is replacing.

  2. Posted February 4, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    I like the evolution taking place. Mr. Wang came here and opened a restaurant that served what he thought that Americans wanted. And he was successful. He probably didn’t eat the stuff himself, but he was successful, and he saved his money. Then, when he had enough, he opened a market, which drew Asian customers from 100s of miles away in every direction. And, once it was profitable, he tore down the old buffet, and built a restaurant that he could be proud of, convinced that there the Asian community had grown to a level that could support it. It think that’s an incredibly cool story. And I hope it spawns other businesses.

  3. Tom
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    hahaha. Entrepreneurs with visions. It will save the economy!

  4. Posted February 5, 2010 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    I don’t think I said that it would save the economy. It certainly, however, doesn’t hurt. If successful, I’m guessing this restaurant could employ close to 50 people. That’s pretty substantial.

  5. Jeff
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I am one of those sad folks who actually like americanized chinese. I have a serious aversion to vegetables, so it hinders my likes and dislikes. *sigh*

    That being said, I moved to Ypsi a few years ago and was amazed at how every chinese place tasted like shit. I mean I must have tried 20 different around the Ypsi/A2 area. All horrible. The onyl good one I’ve found is Lucky 7, however their Rangoons have onions. Here’s hoping Asia City changes my mind!

  6. Posted February 5, 2010 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    – “Sorry if I made anyone feel bad for liking Americanized Chinese stuff. That wasn’t my intention. I just really prefer the real stuff, to the sickly sweet and dumbed down crap that’s pushed by places like the old Chinese buffet that this new restaurant is replacing.” –

    God…I hope that they have a nice corral at this new place. That way, you’ll have a place to tie up the high horse you rode there.

    And as for not eating the stuff himself…well that’s bullshit too. Everytime I ate at that place, the staff were all sitting at that big long table by the register, stuffing their faces full of it.

    Jeff…King Sheung(?) on Carpenter is pretty good, as far as “americanized chinese” goes…and they have a diet menu which consists of all steamed meats & veggies, if you have a significant other who doesn’t like unhealthy stuff.

  7. Kim
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Golden Wall on Cross is pretty good. Some of the stuff is too syrupy for my tastes, but it’s OK. And the family that runs it is nice.

  8. anonymous
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Golden Wall also has faux-meat dishes (not on the ordinary take-out menu, but on a menu at the register inside) that I like. Once you know about them, you can ask for them when you call in an order. If I recall correctly, they have faux-beef and faux-chicken, but not pork.

    Oh, and another vote in favor of PB Burrito!

  9. Dirtgrain
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Cool. I’ve been eyeing PB Burrito.

    I wonder about China Chef. Will they go out of business? Or is this new restaurant going to be more pricey? I like Lucky 7, which I think is quite similar to China Chef with the dishes that I tend to get. But I want a place nearby that makes good Singapore-style rice noodles. Dynasty in Ann Arbor used to make them so well–they closed. The Chinese restaurant across from Fraser’s Pub makes them well. But I’d rather have a close source in Ypsi.

  10. Gretchen
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    A good conversation about Americanized Chinese food can be found at Chow Hound.


  11. Leslie from A2
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Not to quibble, but isn’t that part of Washtenaw technically still in Ann Arbor? Good news, either way!

  12. Stan
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s actually Ypsi Township at that point. And this is wonderful news. I can’t wait to eat chicken feet and frog there.

  13. West Cross
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Now you’ve done it Leslie. In my mind the AA/Ypsi line is at 23, but the Washtenaw corridor is something of a grey area between the two.

    If Asia City counts as Ann Arbor than that means we have to give up Iggy Pop too, and that will never happen.

  14. Edward
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    “Hands off our Pop”

  15. Dirtgrain
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    I believe the border zigs and zags a bit, but Golfside is part of the border (my mailman friend told me once).

  16. Curt Waugh
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    This map shows that area as an Ann Arbor-esque enclave:

  17. Dirtgrain
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    I see it’s part of Precint 1 in the Ypsilanti Township: http://www.ytown.org/government/township-departments/maps-1/large-maps/precinct-map-large.png/view?searchterm=map

  18. Rob
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Curt, if by Ann Arbor-esque you mean Pittsfield TWP, you’d be right sir. I remember a time during my more “active” youth being let off at the “border” by Pittsfield’s finest….

  19. Rob
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Oops! Meant to mention Golfside as the “border”

  20. Curt Waugh
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    My only concern in all this is what the prices will be. I’m hoping that the owners of this new establishment are shooting for high volume/low margin. Seems like there’s been price creep with every newly-opened restaurant in the county.

    No doubt, our family is going to this restaurant, as we have with every place on this stretch. My other hope is that they’ll take advantage of the fresh seafood next door. Order a fish, they go grab it next door. Maybe they’ll even let us pick our own fish.

  21. Taco Tom
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Well, I went tonight and noted several things. First, as one might expect, the opening night was full of hubbub and disorganization. Second, it is arranged with two dining areas, one where meals are ordered, and the other is the buffet. The buffet has the usual “Chinese buffet” items, but in addition has an area with raw ingredients, which may be taken either to be steamed or given to a cook to stir-fry the usual way. The selections are meat-oriented, beef, pork, shrimp, crab, chicken, all raw and ready. Noodles, some cabbage and sprouts available. The wider selection of chinese vegetables are not to be seen. I like bok choy, and could find none. Mushrooms are only of the white button variety and no other.
    I did not experience the dining side, but did try the buffet side.
    On the whole, I felt it was not too distinctive or interesting. I gauge Chinese restaurants how well they make certain items. Hot and Sour soup is one such item. Theirs was rather bland, not hot, not vinegary and flavor somewhat washed out.
    On the other hand, the shrimp was fresh, (came from next door) and so was good.
    The checkout process was laborious, but I attribute that too the newness of the employees, the system and that credit cards take longer to ring up than cash transactions.
    Will I go back? I know many other places where Asian food is better, much better. Tuptim for Thai, and Garam for Korean as starters.

  22. Curt Waugh
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    And I blew that border thing. When I was looking at the map, I lost my mind and kept thinking the restaurant was west of Golfside.

  23. Ted
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the review, Tom. I think I’m going to sit on the sidelines for a month or so before going.

  24. Posted February 11, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I had to return to this entry of yours, Mark, because we’ve eaten at Pacific Beach Burrito three times now in the past two weeks and we’re absolutely floored by the deliciousness of the food. The fish tacos are great, but what we’ve fallen in love with is the shrimp burrito. Highly, highly recommend. The food’s relatively inexpensive (the shrimp burrito’s just under six bucks; fish tacos are right around a dollar) and served quickly and, yes, as you said Mark, the staff are very friendly.

    If you have a chance to try the food, please do. Let’s keep this place around awhile.

  25. The Kingpin
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was pretty good too!

  26. Pete
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I went for dinner on valentines day. It was very sad. Glass table tops had a film of grease on them. 6 tables walked out ahead of us. Waited 50 minutes and did not even get the appetizer. I have seen some good reviews of he food. So I may go back again since I didn’t even get to eat. From what I saw of the staff and the building this place was not ready to open yet. I highly recommend waiting a few months at least, which is sad cause they had people waiting to get in, but then like I said, we were number 7 to leave hungry.

  27. Kim
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I think they probably rushed in order to be open by Chinese New Year, which just happened. It will ultimately cost them, though.

  28. Tom the Man
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    AnnArbor.com doesn’t like Pacific Beach Burritos.


  29. Curt Waugh
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    While I thought the flavor was better than the reviewer, I was also surprized that my first burrito there seemed to be just meat. I assumed that I was just out of the loop and this was some new way that all the cool places were making burritos. I guess not. I also had an enormous pool of grease at the bottom of my foam to-go container. That was a little off-putting.

  30. Ashley Cricket
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Dim Sum is good, but slow. We went this morning. The serving staff was overwhelmed. Only one of the three rooms was supposed to be for dim sum, but they decided, given the number of people involved, to make the other two rooms for dim sum too. No one on the staff seemed to be prepared for that.

  31. Leslie from A2
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I finally got to Pacific Beach Burrito. I wasn’t crazy about the bare bones atmosphere but the food (and the prices) were great!

    I also wish there wasn’t so much styrofoam and plastic. Maybe next time I’ll try carry out. Still, I loved my big burrito! I wish they were open later. It’d be a great late-night stop on the way back from Ypsi shows.

    Thanks for the recommendation, everyone.

  32. kjc
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    i agree sorta with the annarbor.com guy (especially about the bad hot sauce) but more with the comments for that article. the west coast fast food burrito places i’ve been to all do this. i remember once ordering an avocado burrito that had nothing but avocado inside. i took friends to pac beach over the weekend and one of them was annoyed by the carne asada burrito having nothing else in it.

    that being said, the fish tacos are excellent. and it’s cheap as hell.

  33. Alice
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    It’s weird to hear people complaining about too much meat in their burritos. I can’t imagine people in other parts of the world doing that.

  34. The Nacho Man
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Like Sam The Butcher…bringing Alice the meat.

  35. Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Fred Flin-stone runnin’ round on bald feet.

  36. peets blog
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    So, now that some time has passed, what’s the verdict on this place?

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