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Posted by Luigi on 04/02/2008
Yes, they may be rude. Don't take offense and play along and your life and enjoyment of this place will be long indeed. I have been coming here for years and have and continue to bring large groups of friends with me. Every single person I have brought along loves it as much as I do. Perhaps because I have become something of a regular and I bring over 10 people along every time I come I have gotten on their good side, but since the beginning I have accepted their " rudeness" as part of their idiosincracies, just like I have accepted everyone's quirks all over the world. Go with it, give some attitude back and you'll have a blast.
Posted by ASL on 02/01/2008
I have lived next to Phoenix Garden for over 5 years and have gone there a bunch of times. Starting in 2007 I have refused to go again because of the terrible attitude of the owners combined with the fact that my last meal their was aweful. If you are not Chinese they typically treat you poorly. Here are two quick highlights. One time we asked to order dungeness crab and were told none left. Then some Chinese people sat down 20 minutes after us and when their dinner came out it included the crab. Another time they brought my wife's meal out but not my peking duck. After 15 minutes they told me it would be out soon. The waitstaff all decided to sit down and eat while I sat dumbfounded. Finally, i had to ask again and it finally came out after another 15 minutes while my wife didn't eat her dish. The duck was bad, very little meat and cold. I love the salt and pepper shrimp here, so far the best in the city that I have tried. I like the lo mein here as well. It is light and not greasy. Shrimp dumplings have nice pieces of meat in them. I tolerated the owners because I enjoyed the food and BYOB policy. When the food isn't great though this place is intolerable. I can only hope the management changes its attitude so I can get my S&P shrimp!
Posted by Paul on 10/13/2007
I have visited Phonix garden 5 times over the last year and can't wait to go back. This is definately the most authentic chinese you will find outside of chinatown, and for midtown the prices are reasonable. The cash only policy is definately a drawback, but this place is worth it. The staff is very attentive and if you's like something you don't see on the menu just ask and they will accomodate you if at all possible. Although it definately helps to have a chinese speaking member of your party.
Posted by mike zapts on 09/09/2007
Here is why this place is overrated: Cash only, No brown rice, No healthy menu, Rude waiters, poor quality. I don't know why people like this place.
Posted by anonymous regular on 03/25/2007
On the plus side: There is no better Cantonese food in Manhattan. Therefore, I have been a regular here for nearly 10 years. Two of the owners are very kind to me. On the minus side: One of the owners is still rude to me. Other reviewers have written about this owner and it is all true. I do not think this is a problem, because if this place gets higher service or decor ratings, it will become a scene, and prices will increase. I go, I eat, and I try to ignore this owner, who is missing out on the peace of mind that comes with being a nice person. Too bad for him. I still always have a good meal, and the waiters are reasonably responsive. I took two friends recently and paid only $41 with tax and tip for more delicious food than we could eat.
Posted by Joe on 01/28/2007
The food still rocks! No american-chinese sloppyness here..fresh veg, meat, fish etc. Great delivery..The woman at the resturant is rude, once you get to know her shes ok. Combat it by giving her a little NYC attitude back ..I think she likes it!
Posted by Anonymous on 01/08/2007
I started going to this place with the late Seymour Britchky over 20 years ago when it was in the pedestrian arcade between Bowery and Elizabeth. He said then that it was the best in NYC and this year's Zagat also placed it first. I'm a BYOB fan and this place has good wine service-decent glasses and ice buckets which are a rarity in BYOB restaurants. The quality of the food is constant. Start with Corn and Crabmeat Soup and follow with their famous Pepper and Salty Shrimp. The dipping sauces are great condiments and the servers will give you extra if you ask. Just don't ask the owner for anything under any circumstances! I have been watching his and his mother's act for decades and I can tell now when he is about to go off, threatening customers and cursing in Chinese. The mother is even worse but I haven't seen her lately. Next try the Sauteed Conch and finally the remarkable Roasted Squab. Bring a crisp Chablis and a Beaujolais as they go well with this cuisine.