Most Wheaton students can relate to feeling a strong yearning for a nice plate of General Tso’s chicken. Luckily, if Chinese cuisine is what you seek, you do not have to roam far to satisfy your craving. In fact, the array of options for Chinese food in Norton can be overwhelming. Jade City, Tsang’s Chinese Restaurant and Great Woods Mandarin are all right in town. In fact, both Jade City and Mandarin deliver. But how do you choose between the three?
The closest place is Jade City, which is located next door on 63 East Main St. near the Norton Public Library. In addition, the price range of Jade’s menu is low; lunch plates start at four dollars and combination plates, which come with two appetizers, start at around six or seven dollars. You can order a combination plate consisting solely of appetizers, making the menu at Jade more versatile than at other restaurants where single servings of such foods are often anchored to an entrée. If money and distance are the factors that leave you feeling stranded at the dining halls, then Jade City may be worth a try; after all, an adventurous and ambitious Wheaton College student like you should seize every opportunity that comes your way even if you desire to save some cash! However, you should be aware that cheaper Chinese food usually runs the risk of only being worth what you paid for – seize this opportunity with caution.
Tsang’s restaurant is a bit farther from campus on 113 Mansfield Ave., a short drive away. The price range is also a bit steeper. For example, an egg roll here costs $2.50, about a dollar more than it would at Jade City. I can honestly say that I do not remember my stomach feeling particularly queasy after eating here. On the other hand, I also do not really remember much about the experience at all save the price of my egg roll, which I found a tad expensive. The menu is also difficult to find online so overall the extra effort and expense might not be worth it.
The restaurant that is farthest away is Great Woods Mandarin on 175 Mansfield Ave, and like Tsang’s, it costs some extra money. Lunch plates start at around six dollars; combination plates start at around nine dollars, and one of the two appetizers has to be rice. Despite the distance and price, Mandarin seems to have the best reputation with students. When asked about the local selection of Chinese takeout, Ashley Sullivan ’13 stated, “Mandarin is the best.”
Sam Hammond ’15 mentions that “Mandarin has a buffet, and that’s always fun.”
Brent Landry ’14 has been to all three restaurants and says, “I have to say I have a preference for Mandarin. Tsang’s was a little too pricey. I can see going back to Jade City with its convenient location, but Mandarin seems to have a slightly better value.”
Mandarin may be worth the hype after all. I would suggest splitting a combo plate with a friend so you can try the food without spending too much.