Good Chinese food is almost impossible to find in the state of Michigan.

There are many good Thai restaurants in Michigan, but only a few quality Chinese ones. The problem is especially apparent (or appalling) in the city of Detroit. What we have is known as Michigan Chinese Food.

Michigan Chinese food is a food served in a Chinese restaurant and prepared by Chinese staff, but lacking all the best flavors, ingredients, and spices. It tends to be bland and is served in small establishments and usually only available for takeouts. The dishes tend to include Chop Suey and Sub Gum, plus Sweet & Sour stuff. If the restaurant is a big one, it’s a good bet that the food is served buffet style-- not Dim Sum mind you, but in little metal trays. It is quite a phenomenon that these places last for long, but apparently this is what a good sized part of the public wants.

There are some exceptions.
Outside of Detroit, some quality establishments exist. There is one in Ann Arbor which is quite nice, but has resorted to camouflaging itself-- it looks like a big red barn. On the inside it is like a cave, with waterfalls, white plaster walls, and good food. I have also heard that due to a large Asian population, there is also good Chinese food in Lansing. Here is the real secret: If you want good Chinese food near Detroit, you have to cross an international border. Yes, despite its close proximity Canada is still considered another country. The city of Windsor has some great restaurants. The best is known as the Wah Court Inn, but there are others. With the exchange rate, the food is very reasonably priced.

The other alternative is to take your chances. You might get something good, but it will have to be in a classy place, and expensive. Give Canada a try.

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