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Posted by brasscupcakes on 02/06/2012
I live directly across the street from Unicorn, and from the day I ever moved in, before I even thought about eating there, Sandy behind the counter called out as I was walking the dogs to ask me how the move went. She is amazingly nice. The food is better than average Harlem takeout, so long as you stick to the Chinese food. And she's the only one in the neighborhood that serves decent duck, a half, roasted, with broccoli florets and white rice, for $11. I like her green veggies too. They're not overcooked or overly crunchy -- one of the best green jade delights ever. Like every other East Harlem takeout, Unicorn sells fried chicken wings, fried fish, spare rib tips, french fries, fried plantains, etc. The plantains are thin and crunchy, chip-style ($2 for a portion big enough to make a meal). But in general, if I'm sticking with Sandy, I'm staying away from the the deep fried side of the menu, as a couple of times the food I've ordered obviously shared cooking oil with the fish. I like fatter plantains myself and I like my food fried in oil that hasn't been used to cook fish, which isn't always a given at Unicorn, so if I want the fried side of the menu I go to Wok Express on Third and 116th street, which gets much more traffic and has the chunkier fried green bananas I adore (amazing ... better cheaper and in bigger portions than at the cuchifrito places) Wok Express also makes better ribs and rib tips. And fastastic garlic eggplant. But .. . the duck is god-awful and the service isn't nearly as friendly or quick. Basically, get to know both places and order according to what each one does better. The food will be quite decent at both -- delicious sometimes -- but don't expect Chinese authenticity, these are Chinese-American joints. (if you find an authentic homestyle Chinese restaurant in Harlem, do tell us where it's hiding.)
Posted by Ish the Dish on 03/20/2011
when i first started ordering from this place, I was happy about the good service and the cheap prices. The food is just ok.
Posted by TheTakeOutJunkie on 07/05/2010
The lady who takes your order on the phone is friendly, patient, and easy to understand. Broccoli is always well cooked, never tortured with hot oil or steamed into flaccid submission. Sauces are flavorful, breading and oil are applied in reasonable (rather than criminally negligent) amounts, and portions are fair for the price. 'Tis my favorite favorite place. I order once a week and tip like a rock star. You should do the same, fair stranger.