Wah Mei Review: Wah Mei pork chops and grubby fingers
These days I seem to crave foods that make me feel comfortable. Things like pizza are nice because they’re portable and relatively inexpensive. For comfort, what I really want is Chinese food. A few weeks ago the NYC Cravings truck debuted. The initial fervor of a Taiwanese food truck made me wonder about the last time I had pork chop/fried chicken leg over rice. It had been too long. I made the trip down to Wah Mei Fast food because it’s probably one of the best places for take-out if you want pork chop over rice.
Wah Mei used to be called Mei Wah. This name changed occurred a few years ago. I remember when I was at NYU and lived down by Chinatown, this place would always smell like meat and grease. You didn’t even have to walk into the ‘restaurant’. All you had to do was get within fifty feet and the smell would just overwhelm your nose.
I’m not sure if the name change really did change the food. They still sell chicken leg and pork chop over rice. They add pork sauce, mustard greens, and napa cabbage over the rice to make it super delicious. This is the kind of stuff that I grew up on, and this is the kind of simple, delicious meal that just sends me over the top with happiness.
As far as pork chops go, I pretty much like them all. Asian pork chops are usually thinner than their Wester counter parts. Whenever people talk about pork chops over rice, they’re usually refering to a thin style pork chop that’s flavored with five spice powder. At Wah Mei, this is how they roll too. When you order, they heat up your pork chop in the most heavenly way possible. No, not by microwave. No, not by cooking it fresh. By dropping a pre-made pork chop into a vat of dark oil. You would think murky oil would produce a pork chop that’s harmful for your health, but rest easy. The only thing that it produced was deliciousness.
Even though Wah Mei’s pork chop is delicious, it’s actually not as delicious as the pork sauce. Pork sauce is some sort of ground pork concoction with a soy sauce base. I think. Maybe it’s just ground pork mixed with liquid brown lard. Who knows. It’s delicious on rice because it’s salty and makes you want to eat more rice. Couple the pork sauce with the pickled mustard greens, each bite becomes amazing. They add some napa cabbage probably because people like me need some fiber at some point. Mmm… fiber.
Today I want to rant about free food in the office. Maybe you have this as well… sometimes after some big meeting where they cater brownies or cookies or sandwiches, they’ll take the extra food and put it in the pantry/kitchen area of the office. Then free food lovers like me descend upon such a treat like liberals for Obama video clips. Then there’s always that guy. The one who has grubby fingers and touches everything. This bugs me to no end. It’s free food and there’s lots of people who are interested. The rule is you look to see what you want, then you take if you want it. The rule is not pick up what you think you might want, and put it back when you realize you don’t want it. Seriously son, who taught you manners? I want to do that thing that moms used to do… like you reach for some chips or to double dip and your mom slaps your hand away because you’re being a spoiled brat. That’s exactly want I want to do to Mister McGrubby Fingers. And maybe I’m not man enough to just say, “Yo, don’t ruin it for the rest of us with your nasty germs.” But this is a work place so I stay polite and just skip the free food. I mean it helps that free food only comes along once a month at most but still… I thought there was some sort of common decorum with all of this. Isn’t there?
Wah Mei190 Hester St.New York, NY 10013
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