Each week in 'Knockers' we order from a different delivery restaurant, assessing their efficiency and keeping a running score.
New Big Wong
2121 Greenville Ave
Promised delivery time: 30 minutes
Actual delivery time: 23 minutes
Food arrived on time, and even minutes early: 27
Years in business, according to the guy on the phone: 20
Years between Apollo 11's moon landing and New Big Wong's opening: 20
Included two plastic forks, not the chopsticks they'd promised: -5
Separate cup for sweet and sour sauce: 10
Sauce packets (soy, duck and hoisin): 10
Big portions, and enough leftovers to share... with all mankind: 30
(New Big Wong muscles i Fratelli Pizza out of the top ten.)
See complete 2009 standings here
Forty years ago today, people around the world gathered in their living rooms to celebrate man's first steps on the moon. It took nearly a decade, vast sums of money and teams of overworked engineers to make good on the promise of Kennedy's "We choose to go to the moon" speech.
Last night, in observance of the milestone, I chose to go nowhere at all, and it took just 23 minutes before I had all the Chinese delivery food I'd need to fuel a late-night geek-out with two of the finest astronaut movies ever made.
Since it was already late on a Sunday night, I knew my options were limited, but a midnight is nothing to the folks at New Big Wong, in the heart of Lower Greenville, open until the early hours of the morning all week long.
Leaving aside any jokes about the name, it is a bit of a misnomer--the guy who picked up the phone told me they've been open for about 20 years. It's a popular stop for folks leaving bars in need of a grease infusion, so I can't make a claim to discovering anything about the place.
The phone call went smoothly, and I was promised a half-hour delivery. I put on the excellent For All Mankind, a collection of footage shot by astronauts on the moon, and got down to work on photos I'd shot earlier. In just 23 minutes, though, my doorbell rang. The sweet and sour chicken had landed--along with steamed dumplings and Szechuan beef.
There were seven small steamed chicken dumplings with sauce in a Styrofoam clamshell, and paper take-out cartons for the rest. The chicken was still crispy, with fresh-looking cooked vegetables in its carton, and sweet and sour sauce in a separate cup--proof it hadn't been sitting for hours, Panda Express-style, mixed together under a heat lamp.
I tore into the chicken and the dumplings first, then let them settle through the end of the movie. Once it was time for Armageddon, though--doubly appropriate after catching the Aerosmith concert earlier in the evening--the Szechuan beef came out.
This one you can eat straight from the box, as it's already sauce-soaked and ready to go. The beef itself was buried way down at the bottom (like a yogurt cup waiting to be stirred) and with the carton full to the top, I couldn't help launching a few projectile vegetables across the room. Little meteor fragments were tearing holes in downtown Manhattan and ripping Hong Kong apart, and in my living room there were vegetables and sauce flying everywhere. It wasn't as spicy as I'd guessed it might be, but the dish worked well once I'd gotten it mixed evenly.
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For coping with the late-night rush of take-out orders, I was impressed by how well New Big Wong also plays the delivery game too, and after having plenty of bad Chinese delivery in East Dallas, I've found my go-to delivery spot.
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