On the day of our long awaited trip to The French Laundry, I awoke and ate two small bowls of cereal. The Gastronomer was intent on eating sparingly for the remainder of the day in preparation for our just shy of six o’clock dinner reservation. I was considering joining her, but by noon I was already getting hungry. I never want to go into a fancy meal with a full stomach, but it’s no good arriving ravishing either—the first few courses come far too slowly, and I am inclined to shovel them down rather than savoring each bite.
As we neared the town of Napa, we pulled into a crowded strip mall, and as luck would have it, there was a single parking space available in front of Peking Express. Even though I had been planning to pick up just a small snack, I couldn’t resist fate—I went inside and ordered a two-item combo for $4.50.
I love it how when you see a Chinese restaurant anywhere in America named “_____ Express”, you know exactly what you’re going to get—a plate of either fried rice or chow mein accompanied by several meat items chosen from a row of trays next to the cash register. Not very authentic or complex, but nearly always delicious. I went with my all-time favorite, sesame chicken, and some chow mein. In my experience, the noodles at these places are always better than the fried rice. The cashier asked me if I wanted my order “for here” or “to go,” which confused me since it was already in a Styrofoam container. I regained my composure and requested “for here,” which garnered me a tray on which to carry my Styrofoam.
The food was exactly what I was expecting—sweet, greasy, and enjoyable. Normally, I would have ordered a three-item combo, and The Gastronomer helped out a bit, so at the end of the meal I was satisfied but not overstuffed. By 5:45 PM, I was ready to roll.
What would you eat before a fancy shmancy dinner?
101 W American Canyon Road #510
American Canyon, CA 94503