No one defines the term “foodie” as well as David R. Chan does. As a third-generation American who doesn’t know how to use chopsticks or speak Mandarin, he sure knows his Chinese food well after eating at 6,090 Chinese restaurants in America.
Chan’s goal to try out every authentic Chinese restaurant began in the 1970′s with the rise of Chinese food in North America. His quest started in Los Angeles, but over time he’s ventured out to New York, San Francisco, Canada, and even Springfield, Missouri (apparently the cashew chicken there is on his must-try list).
Not only does he eat, but he’s also a very organized eater. Chan keeps a stack of several thousand business cards, menus and credit card receipts. On top of that, he has spreadsheets organized by name, street and year visited. According to him, “If you sort the Excel schedule by year you can see the progression of Chinese food inLos Angeles.”
While it’s probably hard for him to pick a single favorite restaurant out of the 6000+ establishments he’s tried, the restaurant extraordinaire says his top three are: Seafood Village, Qingdao Bread Food and Xi Guan Noodle. Coming from a man who’s tried more Chinese eateries than I probably ever will in my lifetime, I’m going to have to take his word on that.