Chinatown, Restaurants

Excellent Pork Chop House – NYC

January 24, 2009 | 11 Comments
porkchop over rice from excellent pork chop house excellent pork chop house
pork bun from chatham restaurant pork bun innards from chatham restaurant

As I mentioned previously on several occasions, my boyfriend David does not like pork. He does not want to eat it or even smell it, which means my apartment has become a pig-free zone, and I have become an obsessive pork fiend. I crave it constantly. Every waking moment, fried strips of crunchy bacon cloud my thoughts. So last weekend, when David left town to go visit his mom, I knew where I was going: Excellent Pork Chop House.

excellent pork chop house

On Sunday, I set out around lunchtime with plans to grab a quick bite. When I got there though, it was packed. Also surprising, was that Excellent Pork Chop House was an actual restaurant. I assumed it was a small take-out place. Seeing the crowded tables, I decided to get my order to go. My stomach was growling and my brain was demanding immediate porcine satisfaction. So I ordered Pork Chop over Rice ($5.25) and I waited, and waited, and waited….. I think I may have waited about twenty minutes. The place was hopping and there were delivery orders coming in constantly. I was annoyed, but I was glad to see the place was busy; no one wants food that’s been sitting around. After innumerable minutes eavesdropping on the conversation at the table in front of me (nothing exciting, unfortunately), my order was finally ready and I was out the door. However, I was starving, and I didn’t think I would make the fifteen minute walk back to my apartment, so I turned the corner and went to Chatham Restaurant for a pre-lunch snack, a baked char-siu bao (roast pork bun).

pork bun from chatham restaurant pork bun innards from chatham restaurant

So far, I think Chatham Restaurant has the best char-siu bao in Chinatown. The buns are actually filled with pork, not just pork fat globules, and smothered in sweet caramelized onions. This was perfect on the walk back home.

porkchop over rice from excellent pork chop house

And finally, the pork chop. The pork chops at Excellent Pork Chop House are Taiwanese-style, fried with five spice and served on top of rice with pickled mustard greens and minced pork. Unfortunately, the pork chop fell slightly short of being excellent. The pork could have been less lean, and more juicy, but for the price, I can’t complain. You can even get the pork chop alone for $2.50, but I like the sauce of sour pickled vegetables and minced pork that comes with the rice.

On a side note, I found it interesting that the plastic bag they gave my order in said May Wah on it. May Wah on Hester used to be a hole-in-the-wall take-out place that served really good Taiwanese pork chops over rice similar to Excellent Pork Chop House for only $4.50. I would even venture to say the pork chops at May Wah were a bit better. They were more greasy, but also more juicy. Little more than a year ago, the place changed owners and it is now called Wah Mei. To add to the confusion, there is a vegetarian store across the street called May Wah. WTF! When my friend Eunice first started working near Chinatown I told her to go to May Wah for pork chops not knowing the owners changed and she ended up in the vegetarian store. Luckily, the people working there steered her across the street.

So considering the plastic bag, I have to assume Excellent Pork Chop House is either owned by the previous owners of May Wah, or they also own Wah Mei. I’ll have to cross-examine the waiters next time at Excellent Pork Chop House to be sure. However, the next time I’m planning to get my order to go, I’ll be heading to Wah Mei. It seems kinda useless to pay more at Excellent Pork Chop House unless I want to eat the other dishes on the menu or I go with a group.

In any case, that was my pork filled adventure while my boyfriend was away. I think I had my fill of pork for now. Especially since the day before my family and I had a xiaolongbao (soup dumplings made with crabmeat and pork) feast at Joe’s Shanghai. Although, really, can you ever have enough pork? BACON!!!

UPDATE (5/4/10) – Wah Mei is May Wah again, but when they answer the phone, they say, “Wah Mei.” Did I lose you yet?

Excellent Pork Chop House
3 Doyers St (betw Pell St and Bowery)
NYC 10013

Chatham Restaurant (CLOSED)
9 Chatham Square (betw Doyers St and Mott St)
NYC 10002

May Wah Fast Food (formerly Wah Mei & May Wah before that)
190 Hester St (betw Baxter St & Mulberry St)
NYC 10013

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11 Comments

  • bear, md at 9:42 pm on January 25, 2009

    mulberry and baxter?

  • bear, md at 9:43 pm on January 25, 2009

    (i mean cross streets of wah mei)

  • bionicgrrrl at 1:34 pm on January 26, 2009

    Just checked again and it is Baxter and Mulberry. Found the addy online and it listed it as betw Baxter and Mott which is weird now that I think about it, since they completely left out Mulberry! But, anyway, go there! Chicken leg over rice is good too. And if you think it’s not enough, you can ask for a boiled egg for fifty cents.

  • bear, md at 6:17 pm on January 26, 2009

    oh i will. i tried tonight, but lunar new year meant early closing. some time this week.

  • lunch at 11:01 am on February 3, 2009

    Excellent Pork Chop house’s chicken leg is quite a bit better than Wah Mei’s equivalent – and is definitely the thing to order there. You’re right, the pork chop isn’t all that despite it’s name…

  • bionicgrrrl at 3:38 pm on February 3, 2009

    @lunch I guess if you name your restaurant as such, you are bound to get criticism. Pork Chop House would’ve worked for me.

  • Danny at 7:34 pm on February 9, 2009

    Hmm.. never gotten take out from there before. But the ladies who serve are still the same so I wonder if they kept them even with new ownership.

    And Chatham Restaurant has the best ones, eh? I definitely have to swing by and try it. I never walk all the way down there. If you’re not into the fatty version at Mei Lai Wah, the ones at Sun say kai are less fatty and very good too.

  • Lawrence at 12:04 am on February 10, 2009

    From what I’ve heard, the owner of Mei Wah and the owner of the Excellent Pork Chop House are brother and sister.

  • bionicgrrrl at 10:46 am on February 10, 2009

    @Danny Yeah, I notice after Vanessa’s took over Dumpling House they retained the same women as well. I guess it’s easier than training new people. Also, I know a lot of businesses like to do that to give the illusion management hasn’t changed.

    And yes, try the Chatham roast pork buns. I love their caramelized onion flavor.

    @Lawrence That makes sense on why they are using the old May Wah bags. Thanks for the info!

  • Ricky at 10:46 pm on June 21, 2009

    If you want to fierce puerto rican pork chops go to casa Adela in lower east side. They lard fried but no Grady plus the fat part becomes soft in the inside and toasty on the out. Trust me go here you wll not regret it.

  • bionicgrrrl at 11:57 pm on June 21, 2009

    @Ricky – I’ll definitely check it out. Thanks!

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