The Chinese Food Spectrum

pancake rollBlue Sky

5275 SW Philomath Blvd.

Blue Sky is a great Chinese food restaurant for anyone who likes variety and fresh taste. They serve Mandarin, Cantonese, and Szechuan dishes with gluten-free and vegetarian options, all with no MSG. The sauces are not overly sweet, the meat is not greasy, and the rice is lightly fried so it is very soft. The restaurant has a calm atmosphere and they’re one of the few places in town that delivers.

China Buffet

1720 NW 9th St.

As you ponder your choices of Chinese food in town, remember to keep China Buffet in consideration. Different prices are charged for lunch and dinner meals, with the evening seeing more meats on the buffet line. As with any buffet, the food can be hit or miss. When it’s good, it’s amazing, but when it’s bad, it’s probably undercooked or cold. However, China Buffet definitely deserves a spot on the Corvallis Chinese food list.

Queen’s Chopstick

2329 NW Kings Blvd.

Real, healthy Chinese food isn’t easy to find around these parts, but Queen’s Chopstick will give you a run for your money. Despite the no-frills ambiance, the friendly service and fresh, flavorful food provide all the sophistication necessary. For those who can read Chinese, ask for the secret Chinese menu and you’ll be exposed to a unique gamut of dishes. I typically judge Chinese restaurants by the quality of their hot and sour soup, as it’s always either fantastic or dismal. Queen’s did a reasonable job, which translates as quite good in my book.

King Tin

1875 NW 9th St.

As with many Asian cuisines, King Tin offers a variety of vegetarian options and specifies that the entrees do not use any meat broths. My personal favorite is the vegetable egg foo young. You can also choose from five vegetarian soups. Their food is consistently good and the service is always friendly. This casual, spacious restaurant is ideal for large groups. For meat eaters, they have the standard offering of deliciousness, making the Tin surprisingly versatile.

Young’s Kitchen

2051 NW Monroe Ave.

Guess what? Young’s Kitchen isn’t a Chinese restaurant. Their menu is primarily Korean and Japanese food. However, Young’s will suffice if you’re stuck on campus and gasping for General Tso’s chicken. I personally recommend all of their other options, since these cats serve up hardcore Korean comfort food such as a rice omelet. If you don’t know what to get, scan the room for something that looks good and ask the cashier what it is.

Jade Garden

503 SW 3rd St.

It’s stretch your dollars time, people. Let’s face it, college students, this four years may be the last time in your lives you have access to food and something to do all day other than online panhandling. Rather than finish with a mountain of debt by eating gourmet, why not try some smart eating? It’s not smart in the healthy sense, but I promise you’re not likely to see this much food for $5 anywhere else. Jade Garden is a Corvallis treasure that’s treasured by the thrifty, with good reason. Also, don’t bother asking them to hold the MSG; all you’ll get is a piece of bok choy and a spring roll shell.

China Blue

2307 NW 9th St.

There are many places in town to get inexpensive Chinese food. China Blue is… one of them. Honestly, this place is entirely unremarkable, but not half bad. I find if you give China Blue a shot after having had Young’s or Jade Garden too many times in a row, you’ll think to yourself, “Wow, this place is just as good as Young’s Kitchen and Jade Garden!” What are the odds? That wasn’t a hypothetical question, I really want to know what the odds are.