Better late than never on this one, since we’ve been fans of Hong Kong Deli for a while now. And I promise you that if you find the place, you shouldn’t get nervous. It doesn’t look like a bright and shiny chain restaurant because it isn’t. It’s an old building painted a color I like to call “My Retinas are Screaming” yellow.
Let’s be honest. Whoever you are, however much of a food snob you have pushed yourself to being, you get a craving for Chinese take-out once in a while. I grew up completely devoid of Chinese take-out and I now know what that persistent hankering was all of those years.
So why settle for –let’s be honest—shitty food? Most of the Chinese places I’ve eaten at were highly suspect when it comes to food quality and source. I always imagine stuff coming out of 50 gallon drums and giant tubs, thrown into the hot buffet trays, and left to simmer for hours in chemical-enhanced gunk. Well, yum!
Several friends had ranted (maybe a little spit flying in their excitement) about Hong Kong Deli for a while before we took the hint and tried them out. This is an odd Chinese and American couple who run the show. This is one of those places that are funky as hell, a family business, and a source of odd stories. I’m not going to lie to you.
But please overlook the cosmetic issues and focus on the food. This is definitely one of those places where you place your order and they turn around and start cutting the veggies fresh. You can’t walk in and walk out with your order. It’s going to take them 20 minutes to actually cook your real food.
We usually order some variation of a veggie and tofu stir-fry, but if they have it, always always always get the fried green beans with tofu. We haven’t explored the entire menu yet (mostly because I am a giant baby when it comes to spicy things), but overall, the food is always delish. The usual white rice, and sauce packets are included. Spring rolls, dumplings, etc. are always tasty.
Our carnivore friends swear by the duck and the pork. I have actually seen someone check themselves for drool when talking about the duck. No comment.
I cannot put enough stars next to the statement that you should try out Hong Kong Deli. It’s in a funny location, and it’s a funky building (behind the Indian store on north 13th, near Adam’s Rib). Go there. Except Tuesdays. They’re closed Tuesdays.
Hong Kong Deli & Market
1236 NW 21 Ave,
Gainesville, FL 32609