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Posted by Donna_from_NYC on 08/31/2009
we were looking for a place where the locals go and asked a cable car operator who was beginning to give us the typical tourist-type reccomendation until we said we wanted to know where the locals went and he told us to go there and ask for Uncle Chuck at the bar. Hands down one of the best vacation experiences EVER and we travel the world and always look for the off the beaten path gems, and this was hysterical! Uncle Chuck pours a drink for you and a drink for himself, he gives you stuff you dont want, but if you want a good time and want to get blitzed....go there!!!
Posted by Fred Rugart, CSP on 07/09/2009
Waiters are extremely disturbed if you try such outlandish behaviour as ordering food or asking for drinks. When the food arrives, it may or may not be what you ordered, but, again, don't dare disturb the staff with such trivialities. It was once good about ten years ago, but in two visits in the past 5 years, the only thing they served me was a dish of cold indifference.
Posted by anonymous on 07/03/2009
First time in SF. Wife and I wanted to try authentic Chinese food in Chinatown. The waiter seemed less than interested in service. The food was very disappointing. We were sent here on recommendation from a tour guide, and immediately upon entering the restaurant I sensed that it was a mistake to visit. I wish I had followed my instincts on this one.
Posted by peanut on 10/26/2008
My daughter and I were in SF for first time and wanted to try an authentic Chinese Restaurant. The reviews on our Hotel bulletin board recommened Cathay House. We went a little early 4:p.m. and thought we would get good service. Not so. He offered no advice and was very quiet. Took a good 7-10 minutes to get our drinks even though there were only 3 other tables eating. We ordered a Chicken and Broccoli dish, a Scallop dish along with rice and chow mein. The scallop dish was not tasty and the scallops seems kinda mushy. The chicken and broccoli tasted just o.k. (bland) I thought I would fill up on chow mein but ended up leaving most of our food. Order something different if you go.
Posted by Al the C on 08/18/2008
The service is quite slow. The food was cold except for vegetables. They served us Almond Chicken with out the almonds. Had to ask for almonds. Would not eat here again.
Posted by Kyle on 07/29/2007
We were hungry, and saw this nice-looking place above Grant in Chinatown. White linens, above street-level, it seemed like a gem. My partner and I ordered familiar dishes to us, Paper-wrapped Chicken, Fried Quail, and entrees Kung Pao chicken and a Scallops with Snow Peas dish. I specifically asked if the scallop dish was a "brown," sauce, to which the waiter said, "Yes." I asked for something a little sweeter, a little more spicy, such as General's Chicken Sauce or something. He said, "We don't have that," and continued a broken, hasty reason why. I asked if there were any different sauces, even Szechuan, to which he said, "Yes, spicy yes, sweet no." He wrote something down and was suddenly gone. My quail came. It was great. Tiny, but it's a quail. I then received a brown sauce scallop dish with crushed red peppers in it. I sighed. I sent it back, with the waiter trying arguing with me, saying that's what I wanted. Refusing to argue, I simply asked for the menu again The Kung Pao chicken came out, loaded with mostly asparagus (which was fresh,) and the blandest sauce my parter had ever had. He was hungry and ate it anyway. I re-ordered something called Rockfish with Sweet Corn Sauce. Underfried fish came my way with what tasted and seemed like a cold can of cream of corn was dumped on top. I sent it back and asked for the manager with a more displeased waiter. The manager luckily was a very nice man that quicky took all problematic items off the bill, and I asked him to give waiter $5, since we were both being kind of a pain in the neck to each other. Fair trade. This restaurant seems geared towards elderly and international tour groups, since huge parties came and went like clockwork throughout our visit. A theory as to the bland, un-Chinese nature of the food: "Try and satisfy all."
Posted by Anonymous on 06/13/2007
I had a bad feeling when my companions wanted to go to Cathay House. Here's two tips on finding good food in Chinatown: 1 - don't go somewhere where there are no Chinese patrons. 2 - Avoid places on the main tourist drag of Grant street, especially those close to either end of the street. Cathay House failed both those tests. The food was poor, the Kung Pao is listed as spicy on the menu but wasn't at all, there was one sorry little slice of pepper in the whole dish. There was also a distinct shortage of chicken in the dish. The other dishes were bland and lifeless. The service was poor. We didn't have chopsticks so one of us picked them up from the empty table next to us. The waiter rushed over and berated us for taking them from a table that was set up for a "special event" that was "just about to arrive". When we were leaving that table was still empty, and the bus staff had actually removed the rest of the chopsticks from that table. When we were paying we got another angry berating for accidentally signing and leaving the "customer copy" of the credit slips. If you want good Chinese food in Chinatown walk a couple of blocks further and then dive off Grant around say Sacramento or Washington and explore a little. You'll see some of the less tourist-saturated part of Chinatown and will find better food with local clientele. Avoid Cathay House at all costs. If you want this kind of Chinese food, I suspect there's a guy in Dubuque running "Ed's House-O-Canton" that does it better.