« Bloom Bake Shop | Main | Cilantro Bar and Grill »

China Cottage (cart)

China CottageIn a word: Something like a Chang Jiang cart.

The specs: #0564  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus.

JM ate the cashew chicken with a lemonade.
Darby and Nichole ate the hunan chicken.
Dave, Joshua, Darby, Nichole and JM split an order of crab rangoon.
The bill was $14.
JM gave China Cottage a B-; Nichole gave China Cottage a C; Dave gave China Cottage a C+/B- (see our grading rubric).

Latest China Cottage news and reviews

Cashew chicken and crab rangoonKung pao chicken

A sign on the China Cottage cart reads, "We serve the best Asian foods with reasonable prices." While we weren't wowed, we can't argue with that sentence since we can't tell whether "best" modifies "Asian foods" or "Asian foods with reasonable prices," and besides, "reasonable" is open to interpretation. Such are the problems with syntax in 21st century America.

The problem is that food cart competition is stiff; in summer, the world is your food court. If there's another option even slightly more appealing than what's in front of you, it's not much effort to walk a half block and get something to really love.

In other words, compared to mall food or even regular takeout, China Cottage is nice and cheap, but there are other carts we'd rather visit.

Our original game plan was to hit up Bonne Journee on MLK Dr., but according to his neighbor LMNO'Pies, he'd been absent from his spot from some time. Under our new, more flexible cart rules (basically: be there when we are or get skipped) that meant we could just move on. Fortunately China Cottage was next on the make-up list. While our little group waited for JM to find us, Dave and Darby got burritos from their go-to spot, El Burrito Loco, but shared in our meal, too.

A handful of standard stir fry options plus noodle dishes were on offer. We got some crab rangoon that were the very definition of "just OK," with some bites emanating an iffy citrus cleanser taste. The Hunan chicken was starred as hot but wasn't really. The dish was juicy but not moist, if that makes any sense - the sauce was there to help the dry meat along, and fresh vegetables (crinkle-cut carrot planks, broccoli, bamboo shoots, and onions) did their part. JM's cashew chicken was tender and tasty, with nice snap peas and water chestnuts, but the peas and uniformly diced carrots seemed to be from a frozen mix.

If Chinese is your choice, China Cottage certainly meets the necessary requirements, though you may find a different type of cuisine prepared better a few steps away.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The food tastes like cleanser and you give it a C? Grade inflation at its worst.

The Bonne Journee guy is very hit or miss as to him being there or not. The food is usually pretty good when he's there, although I had a kind of rice dish that was way too salty.

That's pretty cheap, looking at the amount of serving..and you had 3. Though I'd say there are some out there that's cheaper. But cheap doesn't really necessarily mean better food. To me, it always comes down to taste. But they look good in photos tho, so why not? I'm going to Chinatown later. lols.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.

NEWS

Listen to The Corner Table podcast "Remembering Restaurants," aired December 24, 2020, where Chris and Lindsay talk with us "about the menus and memories left behind when restaurants go away."

Madison Food coverInfo about our book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is here, or read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook.


SEARCH EATING IN MADISON A TO Z

BROWSE EATING IN MADISON A TO Z
OUR FAVORITES


About Follow madisonatoz on Twitter Contact
Blogroll Ad 
Free Blog
Read our book and food tour
Dish du jour Creative Commons License subscribe to RSS Subscribe
Memo to restaurants Bloggers' Rights at EFF Quizzes
Reflections BlogWithIntegrity.com Tip jar
Banner image by Kayla Morelli, Red Wheelbarrow Design