NYC Food Guy’s Cheap Eats: China Gourmet’s General Tso’s Combo Platter is Midtown West’s Best

Date April 8, 2008

Like everyone else, NYC Food Guy wants nothing but bang for his buck when it comes to Chinese takeout. It’s a ray of light from heaven, therefore, when the food is not only cheap but delicious. China Gourmet offers a General Tso’s combo platter with generic but fluffy pork fried rice, and a greasy yet crisp egg roll for $6.35.

And here’s the NYC Food Guy inside info: Pay $1.40 extra for white meat and you’ll get freshly cooked General Tso’s the way it’s meant to be eaten. Piping hot with a sweet, spicy sauce covering crispy nuggets of juicy chicken. No cartilage. Only a couple little pieces of nothing but fried skin.

I’ve had this exact dish three times in the last 3 weeks and it has been delicious everytime. Just have some coffee ready because if you can actually finish this massive amount of greasy perfection, a serious food coma is inevitable. Beware the dumplings, by the way, they’re awful, particularly the steamed vegetable variety which looked like mint green play-doh ravioli.

China Gourmet 877 8th Avenue (b/t 52nd & 53rd St.) (212) 246-8181, (212) 246-8191, For Credit Card: (212) 489-3088 $6 minimum for delivery

62 Responses to “NYC Food Guy’s Cheap Eats: China Gourmet’s General Tso’s Combo Platter is Midtown West’s Best”

  1. Davey said:

    Absolute Best General Tso’s is a place in Rutherford, NJ called “Village Gourmet”. During the week they used to do $5 lunch specials because it was such a huge hit. Super hot and chicken pieces are the best quality. It’s an actual restaurant but you can take out as well. Not NYC but thought I’d throw that in there.

  2. moo-shoo aficionado said:

    nycfg–where can i get some diesel mooshoo chicken???

  3. janet wasserman said:

    i’m a baller i’m a pimp…i eat wonton soup and fried shrimp

  4. Baby Bok Choi said:

    where’s the best place in the city to get baby bok choi? me hungry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. egg foo dong said:

  6. beef/brocolli said:

    So a chinese couple is laying in bed and the guy says “i want 69!”….his girl responds, “why you want beef-broccoli now!?!?”

  7. Finger lickin good said:

    NYCFG – if you were an inmate on death row and about to be served your last meal, what would you request?

  8. Hey yo food guy said:

    do you think you could handle this?

  9. NYCFG's Biggest Fan said:

    This site is really cool and I truly enjoy what you bring to the table NYCFG. The only thing that concerns me is there are an alarming amount of imposters that post way too often. I don’t understand how I can have any credibility in my posts when someone usually mimics me. It’s annoying and if there was one thing I could change about this site, that would be it.

    But I’m definitely positive that if we had to log in to post comments, I wouldn’t post, let alone read this site.

    But keep up the good work, you have a gift. Keep using it.

  10. juxtaposition said:

    NYCFG–why havent you responded to mooshoo aficionado yet? i’m all about the mooshooooooo

  11. NYCFG's REAL Biggest Fan said:

    how can you be the biggest fan when i’m the real biggest fan? you are such a hypocrit….impersonating me and pretending like you’re the biggest fan

  12. betazen said:

    Will be over there tomorrow most likely and will give it a try. I loves me some General Tso but always feel like wrong when I order it from a Chinese place.

    “Yes, do you have anything less Chinese to order here?”
    “General Tso it is then.”

  13. stevenp said:

    Serious comment (for a change!): Does anyone else know of other places for great General T takeout in midtown? (Either Lex/50’s or 8th/40’s) Thx.

  14. hungry hungry hippo said:

    nycfg where are you today??? i’m a hungry hungry hippo and i want some dining advice!

  15. Nut Buster said:

    stevenp – There is a quality chinese take out spot on 45 and lex called oriental Noodle House. I have to admit that I have not yet tried the GT there, but will probably do so tomorrow. where do you usually go for chinese in east midtown?

  16. monster rain said:

    MONSTER RAINNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Joan V. said:

    as a 38 year old woman, i must say these comments are a tad on the unusual side, but funny nonetheless.

    As far as chinese food goes, finding a reliable place in NYC is VERY difficult…chinese is usually hit or miss, but i’m an avid fan of the mongolian beef, and also the traditional chicken in garlic sauce.

    keep up the good work nyc food guy. i admire the fact that you let your visitors speak their minds — people have a lot to say!!

  18. AzN-American said:

    Betazen – what do you mean by something “less chinese”? Do you have something against chinese? I am an asian-american (my family is from Taiwan and Shanghai) and am quite offended by this remark. What if I said to the pizza man “do you have something less italian?” The answer would be NO because the pizza man sells italian food. Just like my causin Ming sells Chinese food. ughhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. AzN-American said:

    and by causin, i meant cousin. Excuse the typo.

  20. Mike Pelfrey said:

    Food Guy,

    Know any good foods that can help boost my performance? No, not that performance. I meant my performance on the mound. I’m pitching tonight for the mets and really need to stop this skid. 3 minutes til gametime, I hope you can get back to me.


  21. pizza man said:

    technically i don’t sell italian food…i just deliver it

  22. stevenp said:

    Nut Buster:

    I used to work by 46th, and have tried the Noodle House and Hing Won(?) just east of Lex on 45th. OK, not great Gen. T. I’m near 53rd/3rd, been to a tiny place on 52nd bet. 3rd/Lex, not so great. Haven’t found great Chinese in the area. Will be relocating to 41st/8th soon. I’ll probably try China Gourmet (delivery or a long lunch walk); scouting out anything a bit south, closer to 40th, for when I move.

  23. DDR said:

    Lawrence —

    What’s the good word on fried dumplings in NYC? Have you been to joe’s shanghai?

    Hope all is well.


  24. the REAL mike pelfrey said:

    nycfg–i just pitched 5 dominant innings and beat the phils, and now i’m starving!! i’m at shea stadium — what can i get to eat around here? hurry, i’m hungry as F*ck!

    Btw, the mike pelfrey above is an imposter!!!!

  25. betazen said:

    AzN-American –

    If this indeed a serious comment, I’ll just say that General Tso is somewhat controversial in origins. From what I’ve gathered, Chef Peng created this dish in NYC when Chinese food was not appealing to the common American (restaurants were going out of business.) He created a few “americanized” dishes and found great success.

  26. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Moo Shoo Aficianado-

    I haven’t had a lot of moo shoo in the city but I will take it into consideration and see what I come up with. Any top spots for you? Any bad places?

    Baby Bok Choi-

    I’ve had some good bok choi at Westville in the West Village. It was marinated in soy sauce. You can get a platter with, I believe 4 vegetables, prepared in a unique way for around $12. A great deal. Healthy & Delicious, a rarity for NYC Food Guy.


    Houston’s cheeseburger, houston’s fries, houston’s brownie sundae, houston’s ribs, banana pudding from virgil’s, trainwreck cheese fries from virgil’s, chocolate chip coconut pancakes made by my mom, a couple spicy buffalo wings from Scruffy Duffys, some spicy pad thai from Chelsea Thai, and a nice tall glass of bubbling seltzer to wash it all down.

  27. Bacon and eggs said:

    NYC Food Man,

    You write an amazing blog. It’s been a while since I’ve seen such an attentive writer, who responds to all of his comments. It’s rare that you find a writer who actually reads what ALL of his readers write.

    Please keep up the good work!

    With that being said, do you know of any great places to get soul food? I’m talking chitlins!!!!

  28. Quadruple bacon cheeseburger says said:

    eat me!!!!

  29. Quintuple bacon cheeseburger said:

    no eat me!!!!!!!!!

  30. 2nd Avenue Deli said:

    NYCFG –

    What are your thoughts on NYCFG. I know it’s expensive but do you think you could do a review comparing some jewish-style delis? I am thinking 2nd ave, katz’s, carnegie (any others??).

    I LOVE the pickles at carnegie.. they are so crisp 🙂

  31. 2nd Avenue Deli said:

    Sorry, I meant to ask what your thoughts were on 2nd Avenue Deli

  32. T.B.K. said:

    Hey Guy,

    My uncle just opened a restaurant on the upper east side and is looking for some publicity. If he offered you a free meal, would you write a review? Doesn’t matter if you dont’ like the food, he’s just looking for an honest opinion and it is pretty obvious you have a steady inflow of consistent readers. Plus I like your style.

  33. cheese and crackers said:

    nycfg–where can i find some quality cheese and crackers in this city to take my girlfriend for? she loves cheese, but there are no chucky cheeses in the manhattan area

  34. Yankees in 2008 said:

    Cheese and Crackers,

    Does your girlfriend like frumunda cheese? If so i’ve got a GREAT place.

    In my pants.

  35. jeepers said:

    I just clicked over to this site from a hamburger today and i can’t stop laughing. definitely checking back here more often

  36. cheese and crackers said:

    Yankees in 08 — I’ll run it by my girl and let you know what she thinks. thanks for the generous offer.

  37. Molly said:

    my boyfriend sent me a link to this site..

    nyc food guy – your readers are so funny! your blog is very entertaining. congratulations!

  38. Mexican Mark said:

    NYCFG, have you ever tried dog or cat? I hear that dog is quite good and would love to experience it. Only problem is I have a dog of my own so it doesn’t seem right eating dog. No qualms with cat though! 🙂

  39. the BIG show said:

    Does anyone know if there is a sizzler in NYC? I looked up on google maps and see there is one on 36 and broadway but when I call the #, there is no answer. I LOVE me some sizzler, or any all-you-can-eat buffet.

    I heart all-you-can-eat MEAT!!!!!!!!!

  40. Inappropriate said:

    jesus man, how can you seriously ask for someone’s opinion on dogs and cats? those are domesticated animals and most certainly not meant to be served as food. absolutely sickening.

  41. Mexican Molly said:

    I’ve never eaten dog but have always been curious. I will admit, I have done some EXTREMELY inappropriate things with my boyfriend’s dog though when he isn’t home.

  42. Mexican Mark said:


    are you mexican too?

  43. Mexican Molly said:


    de donde vas? soy de Culiacán, es un ciudad en el norte. Culiacán es el mismo ciudad que juegador Oliver Perez.

  44. Mexican Mark said:

    Ayyyy yo se Culiacán! Y Oliver Perez es mi juegador besbol favorito! Yo soy de Mexico City. Yo tengo mucho hambre!!!!! donde esta los tacos?????????

  45. The NYC Food Guy said:

    2nd Avenue Deli,

    That’s a pretty good idea to compare the kosher style delis. I’ve eaten at all except 2nd avenue and the only ones that I enjoyed were Sarge’s and Katz’s. Carnegie’s is overrated. Stage is alright. It’s all about Katz’s, Sarge’s, and Ben’s Best in Queens.


    I’d take a free meal but I can’t guarantee a good review. Honesty is the policy.

    Mexican Molly & Mark,

    No intention of EVER trying dog or cat. You guys are sick.

  46. the BIG show said:

    NYCFG – no response for me?

  47. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Big Show-

    Sorry, with the wealth of comments, most of them nonsensical, I lost your request in the shuffle. As far as I can see from there are no Sizzler’s in the city. There is one in Rego Park, One in the Bronx, and another in Forest Hills. I’m not much of a buffet guy myself, i go for quality over quantity.

  48. Lil NYC Food Guy said:

    Isnt there a big sizzler’s in times square?

  49. Lil NYC Food Guy said:

    or is that red lobster

  50. The NYC Food Guy said:

    That’s red lobster

  51. Lil NYC Food Guy said:

    guess thats why im lil nyc food guy…

  52. betazen said:

    Went today and it was pretty damn good. It actually remained hot even with a walk to 3rd Ave. Thanks for the find.

  53. The NYC Food Guy said:


    From which place Oriental Noodle House?

  54. betazen said:

    General Tso from China Gourmet!!!!!


  55. A$$-Man said:

    Betazen, was the GT from China Gourmet as the Food Guy described it? Did you pay the $1.40 for the white meat? Was it “a ray of light from heaven”.

    haha oh man what a crock of elephant piss.

  56. Doctor Dyspepsia said:

    Hate to correct you (again), but the REAL General Tso’s chicken recipe calls for chicken thighs, not white meat that you claim makes the recipe “as it’s meant to be eaten.”

    And for the record (and a little off the topic), your fans should know that there was probably never a General Tso. Rather, this legendary figure is either a Betty Crocker, Uncle Ben or Aunt Jemima, a fiction of the food industry, or perhaps he is the result of bad translation. In “The Chinese Kitchen”, Eileen Yin-Fei Lo notes that the dish is an authentic Hunan classic named “chung tong gai,” or “ancestor meeting place chicken.” Lo believes that misspellings and incorrect translations may have eventually led to the dish being renamed to this mythical military mastermind.

    The Doctor

  57. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Doctor Dyspepsia,

    I respect your attachment to authenticity, especially when I apparantely get it wrong, but consider the fact that when I write “meant to be eaten”, I’m talking about the way NYC Food Guy wants it: Fresh, hot, delicious. Unfortunately, when you don’t order the white meat version of General Tso’s, most restaurants have a pre-cooked Tso’s just sitting out which they’ll throw back in the wok for a quick reheat. That means dry, twice cooked chicken for us. I’d rather have thighs over breasts when it comes to fried chicken, but if I by ordering white mean, I can assure myself freshly cooked General Tso’s, that’s the “meant to be eaten” I’m speaking of.

    Thanks for the history lesson btw, these are the kind of comments that truly enhance my site, all ass-kissing aside.

  58. Doctor Dyspepsia said:

    Noted, and thank you for the clarification. I was worried about you.

  59. Delicious Dahlia on LES said:

    hey lawrence — i dont love general tsaos, but where can i find some good mongolian beef or steamed dumplings? those are my 2 fave chinese foods and i would love to find some consistently good meals. I”m looking for delivery since i’m so lazy!

  60. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Hey Dahlia,

    Mongolian beef and Steamed Dumplings may be hard to find together because the beef isn’t Chinese food, it’s Mongolian. Your best bet is to look for some Mongolian BBQ in the city and I’m sure you can find some great places for dumplings in Chinatown if they’ll deliver.

  61. Midtown Lunch » Is China Gourmet the Best General Tso’s in Midtown? (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Thing That Hopitalized Me in 1996) said:

    […] in spicy, sweet, gooey sauce. So when I saw Lawrence (aka Superman, aka NYCFoodGuy) write that the best General Tso’s chicken in Midtown West is at China Gourmet on 8th Ave. btw. 52+53rd, I knew my mission was clear: use his post as an excuse to eat General […]

  62. BOS & Lucky Sunday: Worst General Tso’s I’ve Ever Had « NYC Food Guy said:

    […] favorite ends in disappointment at least 9 out of 10 times. After Zach at Midtown Lunch tested out China Gourmet’s General Tso’s on my recommendation, I decided to follow suit, trying one of his readers picks, BOS & Lucky […]

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