Food Porn: Pan’s Garden

Today’s post is written by guest contributor Alicia Greco, you can find her other work on BuffaBLOG and The Griffin (where this article was originally published). We look forward to posting future articles from Alicia.

_________________________________________________________

Since I was a child, my family and I have incorporated Chinese takeout and cuisine into many of our traditions. Growing up in the city of Syracuse, we were regulars at a restaurant called Genes. Each year our Sicilian family would celebrate Chinese New Year at Genes until its unfortunate closing around the year 2000. Continuing the tradition nevertheless, we would order from the next best place and make Oolong tea in our authentic decorative Chinese teapot.

In the Greco home, decorating the tree around Christmastime also meant laying out a plastic tablecloth and spreading out a takeout feast. My parents, two brothers and I would watch Seinfeld and dig in. We would giggle wildly after a sodium induced “itis” (that feeling of incapability to do anything after a meal because you are that full). Chinese buffets were a regular occurrence and each takeout menu of ours is starred with our favorites. I probably ate more crab rangoons than I should be proud of from 2007 to 2009 and my iPhone contacts include my favorite takeout restaurants to help quicken the ordering process. Upon coming to Buffalo for college, I slowly began to explore the various places around the area, searching for my new Chinese oasis. For the past few years I have been ordering takeout from Great Wall on Elmwood Avenue, until I found my new foodie haven this summer located right in the middle of the Canisius neighborhood.

Pan’s Garden, located at 1832 Main Street, is by far the best Chinese food I have had in Buffalo thus far, and definitely on my top favorites so far in my life. A bold statement indeed, but this can definitely be backed up by my indulgent and arguably obsessive love for the cuisine.

The fact that Pan’s Garden is a mere minute and a half walk from my apartment helps feed my fiending habit. Since this summer, the restaurant has transformed drastically. At first it was a quite empty space, with cramped tables and chairs, somewhat bare-walled with only a window in the wall to separate the cashier and kitchen from the dining area. After progressively stopping by an unspeakable and uncountable amount of times, I have seen its rapid evolution.

The lime-green walls of the area that was in the works of renovation is now finished and expanded with additional seating, including booths. The cash register is now its own island with a much nicer finesse. Not only are their prices incredible, but they provide both lunch and dinner buffets and also a takeout buffet where you pay per pound of food.

I am absolutely in love with their Singapore Mei Fun (pictured above), a meal that I used to get incessantly from our favorite place back in Syracuse. Since I discovered it I have ordered it from each place I’ve been to and rated it amongst the others. Similar to my buffalo chicken finger disposition, it is a life-long journey to find the ultimate version. I ordered Singapore Mei Fun from Great Wall once; after eating it I crossed it off my reference menu and scribbled the word “gross.”

Pan’s Garden’s Singapore Mei Fun is mouth-watering and absolutely the best I have ever had. The rice noodles are thin and copious. Mixed amongst the noodles are a variety of delectable pieces: pork, egg, chicken, shrimp, peppers, onions, and carrots. The seasonings make this dish spicy, but it’s a tolerable burn that hurts so good. There’s an urge to continue eating until the dish is empty, but it’s so jam-packed with food that you will find yourself in a heavenly coma afterwards if you decide to maul it down in one sitting. My usual tradition is to eat half, because I know that later in the night I’ll be craving more.

I am consistently reminded of how much of a regular I have become. I stopped by one day after classes, said hello to the owner as per usual and stood staring at the menu. Today I’m going to get something new, what to get, what to get? I thought to myself. “I think I’ll get…” and before I could finish the owner finished my sentence. “Singapore Mei Fun?” Oh yes, and it was as good as it always is. I now no longer have to specifically ask for chopsticks rather than a fork, because she knows that’s my usual plan of action.

Do I consider myself a Chinese takeout connoisseur? I’d like to think that if it were a job I was applying for, my hypothetical resume would be stellar. If you haven’t had Pan’s Garden, stop in. They have great hours, great prices and absolutely amazing quality food.

Pan's Garden on Urbanspoon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> 

This site's anti-spam requires Javascript; enable it and refresh this page to continue.

NoScript Users: Whitelist the domain services.wpspamhammer.com and refresh.