Budget Bites: China Max

Budget+Bites%3A+China+Max

Tired of eating cafeteria food yet?

Me too, and so is everyone else.

Luckily there’s a lot of spots around the Moon area to get a change of pace. Robert Morris University’s campus is surrounded by some of the best restaurants in the state, but unfortunately the majority aren’t affordable. That’s where Budget Bites comes in. Each week, I’ll be reviewing a new spot around campus (including Moon, Coraopolis, Sewickley and Robinson) that’s affordable for students while still (hopefully) decent tasting.

To get started, I decided it would be best to search for a dish that is not easily obtained in the University’s dining facilities. I’ve always been a big fan of gourmet Chinese food, so my search for cheap Chinese cuisine was a hard one.

On University Boulevard lies Kiyoshi Bistro, which I highly recommend going to at least once during your stay at Robert Morris; however, its expensive prices don’t exactly match up to the empty wallets of college students. I suggest saving it for a special occasion.

My search for the cheap landed me in the Mall at Robinson, where following an hour or so of shopping, I went to the food court in search of some inexpensive grub after spending copious amounts of money on t-shirts and shoes.

I stumbled upon China Max–a criminally underrated spot for food in the Robinson area. There was no line at all. When compared to the large amount of people waiting for their Charley’s Grilled Subs or Auntie Anne’s pretzels, it made me a little nervous because I assumed other shoppers had already determined that the quality of China Max was not good.

I went for it anyway and decided on the two-entree platter, which consists of your choice of two main entrees plus a side of rice. I surveyed the options and chose the honey chicken and the orange chicken.

The orange chicken was pretty sub-par, but the sauce covering the honey chicken was incredible. It’s sweet taste complimented the crispiness of the chicken so perfectly that I now get it almost every time I’m in the mall. They are generous with the sauce, so I recommend mixing some of the extra into your rice to get every bit of extra flavor. The staff is very friendly and provides quick service, which is always an added bonus. It took less than a minute for them to get my order and ring me up. If you’re looking for something quick, so you can just get back home, this is a great option. It even comes in a to-go container, so you are ready to take away any leftovers.

Do yourself a favor, and the next time you make a trip to the mall make a stop at China Max. Save yourself the extra cash and just get the honey chicken in a one-entree platter. If you add in rice and a 16-ounce fountain drink, you’ll spend a total of eight dollars exactly after taxes.

Affordability: 8/10

Quality: 9/10

Location: 6/10

OVERALL: 7.7/10