For a Chinglish Alternative to SG, Try Evergreen on 38′s Beef Tenders
Even though Szechuan Gourmet is the ace-in-the-hole for spice loving ML eaters who work around 39th street, there are still other options in the area. And not just Zaiya and the rest of the Japanese food corridor on 41st street. I’m talking Chinese food options. We’ve already seen Lan Seng join the scene last year. But there’s actuallya restaurant on 38th street, just a block away, that’s been doing business for a while. I’ve always walked by Evergreen on 38 and dismissed it because it looked like just another Chinese take-out place. I think they used to have another branch of the restaurant by the NYU campus, but it’s been long gone. If the 38th street location can stay open, then maybe it’s half decent? Last week I thought it was good time to give Evergreen’s lunch specials menu a shot.
I started with the Szechuan Peppery Chicken ($6.95) and asked for it extra spicy. Most of the time restaurants take it easy on customers and I really wanted them to make it spicy. Maybe I should have asked for extra extra extra spicy because the chicken was mild. It offered only a tinge of spiciness. It comes with what most would call a generic brown sauce that you get at Chinese take-out places. As you can see, it comes with some green peppers, so at least this dish was healthy. I would go for this only if you’re really in the mood for Chicken. And it beats out some other take-out places because at least they don’t scrimp on the chicken pieces like some cheaper take-out joint.
Moving on from the chicken dish, I decided to get something that had Chinglish written all over it: Stewed Beef Tender ($6.95). The name of the dish suggests that the restaurant took some Beef Tenders, and stewed it Chinese style. I’m actually not sure there’s a part of the cow called Beef Tender, but I do like beef that’s been braised. Even with a funny name, this dish didn’t disappoint. In many ways, it’s kind of a perfect cold weather take-out dish. You get a generous helping of the beef with a soy-based sauce. It sits on top of some spinach. Evergreen really makes sure you get your roughage. But the beef was tender and the sauce was delicious enough to make me scoop rice nonstop into my mouth.
I think Evergreen 38 is a place to keep in mind for those of you who want to switch it up from Szechuan Gourmet. Some of their dishes are standard fare for Chinese take-out places. But if you steer clear of that and try something like the Stewed Beef Tender, you could be in for a nice lunch. I walked away from the meals very satiated and full. They lunch special also comes with a soda so that’s a plus.
Evergreen Shanghai Restaurant (Evergreen on 38) 10 E. 38th St. (btw. Mad+5th), 212-448-1199