#59 NW Panda Express

pandaAs I write this, I can hear all my Asians friends in Portland (more like Beaverton/Gresham) screaming a big “I TOLD YOU SO!” But no matter how many times I’ve been told not to eat there, I still go. Where else in town can I get Black Pepper Chicken, Orange Chicken and Chow Mein in five minutes! Ultimately, I never thought it would happen to me. After my intense loyalty and defense of Panda Express food quality, I became a victim of food poisoning.

Let us hark back to the first time I ever tasted Panda Express’ Orange Chicken. It was back in college and probably, like many of us, began with a wicked hangover. A dorm mate suggested we try this light remedy he heard that others had enjoyed before him… it involved a thick, sweet, chicken-battered dumpling. One hit and I knew I found not only the best hangover cure, but the single best chicken food item ever. I became addicted. Since that point, I would never order anything other than chow mein, black pepper chicken and orange chicken. For ten years, spanning most of Oregon, Idaho, Washington and California, I would enjoy this rare combination of awesome.

On Sunday, November 16th at 5:30 pm, I decided to pick-up my favorite cuisine at 1933 W Burnside. My precious tasted the same, and I savored every piece. Life was perfect. Within two and a half hours my stomach started to churn… and… well… we know what happened after that. I felt like death.

Panda Express has always delivered to me a quality product. This last experience, I realized why their plastic To-go-bag is so sturdy. It was a terrible lesson in how a customer’s experience can turn from love to hate so quickly. So to all my Asian friends, yes, you told me so.

7 thoughts on “#59 NW Panda Express

  1. I got food poisoned at Panda Express, La Canada, CA. Pretty bad low quality cheap food even though they try to promote healthy, no MSG food! Very misleading!!

  2. It’s likely you got the food poisoning from something else, because it usually does take 12 hours or so before you feel the effects. However, there may be different kinds of food poisoning. It can be caused by different kinds of organisms and different kinds of toxins, so however likely it may be that you got the food poisoning from somewhere else, it may still be that particular Panda Express took a crap on your digestive system.

    I’ve only had serious food poisoning only once, and I got it in Portland, oddly enough ( odd because I don’t live in Portland). I didn’t feel the effects until the morning after my dinner, then it took days to completely get over.

    For a couple years I associated garlic hummous with bad times, even though I’m sure what I got the food poisoning from was something else… moldy edamame. I saw some white mold on this edamame I was eating, and because I’m a badass, threw out the moldy one I found and kept eating the rest.

    Because the garlic flavor from the hummous was so strong, and because the garlic is what I recalled in more ways than one while vomiting. Garlic hummous became a psychosomatic trigger for nausea, in spite of surely not being the real cause of the uncomfortable hours I’d spent making offerings to the porcelain god.

    Anyway, good luck finding orange chicken that doesn’t trigger your gag reflex in the next couple years – eventually it won’t. The calorie-rich ambrosia that is orange chicken is truly one of the delicacies of our decadent modern time. It’s a pity for it to elicit memories or nausea, legitimately or otherwise.

  3. Looking for affordable lunchtime cuisine close to my old job, I tried this place– horrible. Never again. I got a couple scoops of tasteless, greasy noodle-carb-stuff on a styrofoam plate– and that was after I practically had to beg the chatty counter staff for attention. The “meal” was only 5 or 6 bucks, but a drink added another $2 to my order, and pretty soon I was wishing I’d eaten at any number of places where $8 would have bought me a great lunch. This place was just luke warm noodle grease on rice. Awful.

  4. I’ve eaten here several times and think the food is tasty. And I’ve never been sick. Never even had a touch of the farts. The service is great- they will not blink an eye at cooking up a fresh batch of veggies for you. This location and the one off 205 does the trick everytime! Tip: Order the orange chicken, mixed veggies, vegetale fried rice and the spring rolls.
    DNNYDIRTY

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