You Decided: Good Portions Sucks

A little over a month ago I started a new category of post called “You Decide”.  The thinking was, sometimes I find places where the menu is just too long to try everything, and rather then give an incomplete write up (negative or positive), I would turn it over to you, the Midtown Luncher’s.  First to the chopping block party was Good Portions, an everything but the kitchen sink, Asian take out place on Lexington btw. 39+40th.  I had a pretty mediocre pad thai and order of pork buns, but with all of the great Asian food on their menu I assumed that there had to be something edible.

Well, clearly I was wrong.  After 20+ comments nobody had anything positive to say about Good Portions- and my “You Decide” experiment was a total failure.  My intention was to take one of the recommendations, try the dish, and report back to everyone.  But with nothing to recommend, there was nothing for me to try.  So much for that.  But then something unexpected happened.  Last Tuesday, as part of Jennifer Lee’s profile, I asked lunchers to comment with their favorite Chinese food dishes in Midtown- and this was posted by “Cait”:

Tie between the roast pork lo mein and pork buns at Chinese Noodle House (down the street from Manchenko-tei) and Scallop Wonderland w/brown rice at GoodPortions on Lex between 39th and 40th. The sweetness and crunchiness of the scallions goes perfectly with the soft scallops and the chewy brown rice, and the sauce is to die for.

Now wait a second.  That’s not a “this dish is pretty good”, that’s a “This is my favorite Chinese food dish in Midtown” comment.  So yesterday, I trekked over to Good Portions to eat scallops, for only $7, at a take out place loathed by most of the Midtown Lunch’ing community.  Another example of me sacrificing my body for the good of this site, after the jump…

I remember hating scallops when I was a kid.  I think it had something to do with that “scallopy” taste that all scallops had.  It wasn’t until recently, after trying good scallops at fancy NYC restaurants that I realized that “scallopy” taste is not the taste of scallops, it’s the taste of cheap scallops.  Good scallops don’t taste like that.  At $6.95, can you guess which taste these scallops had? 

That being said, they were still edible (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t finish them) and the sauce is perfect for anybody who has ever thought “Gee, I love that orange sweet and sour sauce you get at Americanized Chinese restaurants.  I just wish there was a version that was a little more watery.”  It wasn’t terrible, but I don’t think I would ever list it as “one of the best Chinese food dishes in Midtown”.  Probably not even in the top 50%.  Sorry commenter.  Although in fairness to you, I didn’t order the brown rice.


  • Good Portions is terrible. Really I get grossed out thinking about the Satay I had from there. How do you ruin satay?

  • How do you ruin Satay you say Vish? You let the “chefs” at GP make it!

  • Awww… Zach! I was one of your first profiled Midtown lunchers! (Caitlin’s my full name). Thanks for taking my recommendation, and sorry it disappointed you! I think Good Portions is the Asian version of Taco Bell. It’s not good because it’s anywhere near authentic or comparable to a certain “food genre”… i just sometimes get a craving for it and have to go. :)

    And yes, maybe i was being a little overly dramatic in a bid to garner some attention and get Jennifer’s book…

    I saw her on the Colbert Report the other night. I think you may have the transitive power of Huckabee!

  • Whats a bad scallop and a bad catholic priest got in common?

    They will both rip the arse outa ya.

  • I gotta tell ya, I like Good Portions. Not everything but enough to go again. I have had the following:

    1. Shrimp Tempura Box—Not enough shrimp for price but they were tasty
    2. Chicken Yakisoba— Really good, fresh tasting, great sauce.
    3. Pork Buns– Excellent– I prefer my Dim Sum from ladies with carts walking around in Flushing, but good for mid-town
    4. Chicken Buns– Blech. To reiterate, BLECH!
    5. Roti Canai–Loved it. Kind of a scallion pancake, with a side of yellow curry chicken potato thing.

    Anyways, thats my 2 cents.. Great? No. Terrible? No. I am kinda with Cait here— Like an Asian Taco Bell.

  • I’m not a big fan of scallops except the dried kind. Which is weird because (though I can’t recall having bad scallops in recent memory so I could be off) I’m pretty sure that dried scallops concentrates that fishy flavor of scallop into, well, wonderful goodness (I don’t like scallops because of the texture). Mmm, a handful of those babies – well, maybe just one or two, they’re expensive – in some congee, or ooh! if you throw them, dried, into a rice cooker at the beginning of the cycle… oofah. That’s some good eatin’.

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