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The Great Wall, Frederick, MD


Read nothing into the dog. Just saying.

This is a review of the Great Wall of Frederick, Maryland. I apologized to those who goggle-machined “Great Wall” and wound up here. I certainly don’t want you to feel that you’ve wasted your googling tokens. For those of you who are doing your fifth grade history report:


“Towards the end of the Ming Dynasty, the Great Wall helped defend the empire against the Manchu invasions that began around 1600. Even after the loss of all of Liaodong, the Ming army under the command of Yuan Chonghuan held off the Manchus at the heavily fortified Shanhaiguan pass, preventing the Manchus from entering the Chinese heartland. The Manchus were finally able to cross the Great Wall in 1644, after Beijing had fallen to Li Zicheng's rebels. I don’t think a football’s a very good Christmas present. ”

- Ripped straight from Wikipedia


You may thank me later.


Incidentally, the question was asked by me in the shower how I can call myself a chef. Though it may be hard to believe, I have never spent a day in culinary school. I did once stand in line at Wal-Mart after being offered a free paring knife. I watched it cut through a can and then a tomato with razor like precision. I now, truly, have five of them. So whilst not classically trained, I am Wal-Mart approved to pare things.


I digress. It’s well known that the culinary and military communities have a reciprocal naming memorandum of agreement. We bestow rank and privilege amongst the cooking elite: Captain Crunch, Colonel Sanders, and General Tso. They do the same for us. Hence, my “Chef” title. Look it up.


Oh, my review of the Great Wall in Frederick…


I had the Coconut Chicken. It hence contained little bite sized morsels of chicken deep fried and coated in a sugary syrup. It tasted like a glazed chicken donut. It was sticky, battered sweet and the sauce glued my fork to my best paper plate. I loved every bite of it. Though, I’m not sure where I’ve been the last three hours, and I have a post-it note on my forehead that reads in mirror image “we have your pants.”


I also tried the lo mein. It had noodles. When I was in high school, we had to go around the room and had to say something nice about everyone. The girl I was mad crushed on told me that I “smelled like soap.” Anyway, the lo mein had noodles.


I’ve also included a picture of said Coconut Chicken with my manly beast dog. Hank meet Coconut Chicken. Coconut Chicken meet Hank. Their ’s was a tragic long distance relationship and remained unconsumeted.


And yet, if someone asked, “hey Chef (honorary), would you eat there again?” I would absolutely say yes. I would eat the chicken again. I would eat the lo mein again. Here’s why. These are two dishes I have neither the temerity nor the skills to make. Some things you just don’t do yourself: change your own oil, bake, marry your sister, cook your own Chinese food. I mean, you can make stir fry and fried rice. The rest remains a culinary mystery to me. And that’s OK. No offense to people who have married their sister. I did say I shopped at Wal-Mart. That’s common ground.


Anyway, if you eat in, The Great Wall is your standard strip mall fast food Chinese. It’s nothing fancy. Yet, neither are we. There’s a lot that you may have to turn a blind eye towards to enjoy this place. I suppose, like any guilty pleasure, it’s probably worth it. My apologies to Oscar Wilde.