I made a quick stop in Arbutus for some lunch today. Yes, I've been already (to wit: Exit 10). And Arbutus isn't large. But the East Drive shopping center is close to this exit, which is only on the outer loop (the inner loop leaps right from 11B to 12B). This is the one with the smallest Super Fresh I know of, as well as a Dollar General and a Pizza Bolis, Fikos (map) - a second subs and pizza place, and a Chinese-Japanese place. With only about $6 of cash on hand, I went for the last place, the Grace Cafe (map, which is for Pizza Bolis, which is next door - I can not find Grace Cafe on the internet anywhere). I went there knowing that Chinese lunch specials rarely amount to more than that.
The Grace Cafe had the typical lunch time offerings - sweet and sour, chop suey, beef with broccoli, orange chicken, the usual fare - at the typical lunch time - 11:30 to 3, seven days a week. I went for the orange chicken ($5.25), for which I waited about 10 to 15 minutes. I did have to ask for chopsticks, and the only thing that comes with it is fried rice and the ubiquitous fortune cookie (no egg roll).
I got it home, still hot, and noticed a styrofoam container brimming with orange chicken sauce that was precariously hanging onto the edge, just waiting to fall all over the place. As I got further into the orange chicken, I noticed that, as is often the case with hole-in-the-wall Chinese take-outs, a mind-bogglingly large amount of salty, otherwise flavorless (except for the occasional tasty chunk of pork) fried rice, and a smaller supply of pretty typical orange chicken pieces, with a few florets of broccoli thrown in for good measure. Plus, there were a few little strips of orange peel. It was, in all, a pretty average eating experience.
I couldn't finish it. It's not the fault of Grace Cafe, per se. But as I ate it, I realized that I just don't enjoy all that fatty orange chicken anymore. If you ever need to gain weight, orange chicken is the perfect way to do it. It's got all the things that pack on the calories: lots of fat, lots of sugars and carbs (the sauce and the breading), and enough protein (webbed in with the fat). I just feel sick these days whenever I eat orange chicken. So I found myself plying my cat and dog with what I couldn't finish - a little here, a little there, until I just lost interest. I gave my cat a whole piece of the boneless orange chicken, and my dog the rest of the container. Hell, he'll eat anything. Might as well not waste it.
Places I visited:
Grace Cafe (Chinese / Japanese) - next to Pizza Bolis, 5401 East Drive, Arbutus, MD 21227.
- Would I eat there again? Probably not
- Would I go out of my way to eat there again? No
Fikos Pizza & Subs (pizza / subs) - 5209 East Drive, Arbutus, MD 21227; Phone: (410) 242-4342