There's a big banner strung in front of Lao Chen Ji (Old Chen's), my favorite restaurant on Kuangfu Road. It reads:
LAO BAN FA FONG LUH
CHUAN MING BAN JIA
Translated into English:
MANAGER HAS FALLEN MENTALLY ILL
HALF PRICE FOR EVERYONE
Everybody go eat there! The food is great. (Just don't mind the manager.)
Bleh. Lao Chen Ji wasn't open today..guess the manager was having a particularly bad spell. It's a shame they couldn't stay open. Today was Dragon Boat Festival and the profits they could have made could've helped them stay afloat.
Chen Ji (their similarly-named competitor down the street), however, was busier than ever today. I got the last seat on the second floor (which is usually empty) and long after 8:00 people were still streaming in. Sat there for twenty minutes and nobody took my order--very unusual, since Chen Ji has a reputation for absurdly fast service. Gave up and ate at Subway instead.
Poor Lao Chen Ji...if their lack of profits doesn't shut them down, their inability to compete with Chen Ji certainly will. Which absolutely, totally sucks. Chen Ji has been around much longer than the five years I've been here. So many memories of that place...I think it was actually the first Hsinchu restaurant I ever liked. It's the standard to which I compare every other ghetto restaurant in Taiwan. And they have the best juen bing in Hsinchu...if they close, the only alternative will be the soggy, greasy kind they sell at Chen Ji...