Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Far East Chinese Restaurant

Name: Far East Chinese Restaurant
Location: 117 N Main St., Vestal, NY 13850
Phone: (607) 785-8811
Cuisine: Chinese
Price: Most lunch entrees under $5, dinner entrees under $10

Today I was hungry for some Chinese food for lunch, but my usual Chinese place of choice, Moon Star, is not open on Tuesdays. I recalled a conversation I recently had with a colleague of mine, who commented that her favorite Chinese place in the area was Far East in Vestal. My immediate reaction was "Really?!?" After all, I used to live near the Four Corners location of Far East and I got take-out there once. Once, as it turned out, was enough for me to conclude that it was below-average. But I had not been there since they remodeled a couple of years ago, so I was willing to give it another chance.

Far East is located in the tiniest strip mall I've ever seen, with only two store-fronts. To the left lies Far East, to the right is a store under construction with a sign in the window promising an "Asian/Fusion Restaurant Coming Soon." Now we're talking...and that is something I will be keeping an eye on! But anyway, I arrived at Far East around 1:00 PM and ordered the Chicken with Garlic Sauce Lunch Special ($4.45). The "special" comes with your choice of fried rice or white rice and if you want, you can add Egg Drop or Wonton soup for $1. I wanted the Hot & Sour soup, which my colleague had recommended, so I ponied up an additional $1.99 for that.

As I said, this is a new building for Far East--and hence I was surprised by how dirty it was. The floor was filthy and in need of a major scrubbing. There was garbage (used napkins, straw wrappers, etc.) underneath some of the tables. I don't know if this was the result of falling behind after the lunch crowd hit, but I doubt it. Needless to say, I was left unimpressed by the ambiance. It didn't help that a foul-smelling obese woman came in right after I did and decided to hover in my general vicinity. I was left to hope the food would make up for this series of unfortunate events.

Upon arriving home I unpacked the goods and found healthy portions of both the entree and the soup. I decided to try the soup first and I thought it was quite good. This Hot & Sour soup was loaded with ingredients and definitely lived up to the "Hot" part of its name. It was a little heavier on the tofu and a little lighter on the pork than I prefer, but I liked it. As far as the Chicken with Garlic Sauce, I did not like it. At all. The chicken was rubbery and the sauce was bland. The rice did not help matters...it was the typical Chinese take-out rice and way inferior in quality and taste to the fried rice at both Foliage and Moon Star.

Overall, I was largely dissatisfied with Far East. The soup was a definite highlight, and the service was quick and friendly, but the cleanliness of the establishment was a bit bothersome and the entree was pretty much a failure. Skip this place...there are a couple places (namely Moon Star and Foliage) not too far to the east that are more worthy of your business.

Grade: C-

Far East Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. My husband and I LOVE, Far East. Next to Fraternity in Port Crane and New Panda on Robinson Street in Binghamton for us and several of our friends it ranks right up near the top of the line for local "Americanized" Chinese food. Service is always friendly and of the four years I have lived in Endicott I have never gone to Far East and seen a speck of dirt. It is small, and the tables and chairs are just of the fold up variety, but we usually just order take out. Please visit Far East for yourselves and see what you think.


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