Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

You should keep driving

Chinese-takeout fail at Mr. Spicy’s

These onion pancakes will be great for late-night snacking
These onion pancakes will be great for late-night snacking
Place

Mr. Spicy

6618 Mission Gorge Road, San Diego

There’s a downside to trying to appeal to the masses, and Mr. Spicy is a good example. It’s quick, easy, cheap, and the customer service and space are pleasant enough, but the food has the flavor and quality you expect to find at a mall food court, wedged somewhere between a Cinnabon and a Hot Dog on a Stick. By which I mean kind of greasy and not very fresh tasting.

Inside Mr. Spicy

On a recent evening David and I both had a hankering for Chinese, but neither of us wanted to drive all the way to the Asian-food-centric Convoy District (home to some of our favorite Chinese food purveyors, including Emerald and Dumpling Inn). We opted to try something new and closer to home. During one of his excursions running errands, David noticed Mr. Spicy tucked away at the back of a little strip mall and made a mental note to give it a try.

The table with a big pile of green beans

The interior was nicer than I expected for an “order at the counter” kind of place. Everything was clean and new looking, from the red tablecloths to the minimalist Chinese décor. On one table was huge pile of green beans. The sight of fresh produce made me smile and bumped up my expectations.

A disappointing beef-and-broccoli dish

As we always do when getting takeout, we ordered enough to ensure there’d be leftovers for another meal. The woman at the counter was all smiles, but her poor English and our non-existent Chinese made it impossible for us to ask any questions. We opted for a few easy standards, just to get a feel for the place. We got the Onion Pancake ($2.99), Combination Wonton Soup ($7.99), General’s Chicken ($9.99), and Broccoli Beef ($11.99). Then we sat and played with our phones for about ten minutes until the friendly woman at the counter a few feet away nodded in our direction and then handed over our bags.

General Tso chicken, mostly breading

When we got home, we unwrapped everything. The moment I saw the food, my expectations, which had been lifted by the sight of the fresh green beans, immediately crashed — particularly at the sight of the meat dishes. The beef had a sad, pale tone, and the texture was as disappointing as the look. The sauce was plenty tasty, mostly due to the heavy use of salt, so I ended up eating all of the broccoli. But after a few bites of the chewy, slimy meat, David and I agreed to just toss it in the trash.

The wonton soup wasn’t bad

General Tso is not something I usually order. I was looking for some sweet-and-spicy notes, so David recommended it. Usually if I’m going for fried and saucy I opt for citrus, like an orange or lemon chicken. At Dumpling Inn, the chicken is unmistakable — tender chunks with a light breading, flash fried. Here, the chicken was hard to find, as these were mostly breading and of a gelatinous texture. The sauce wasn’t really sweet or spicy but more of a salty flavor.

An old, stale fortune cookie

The meal’s high point was the soup. The wontons were fresh and packaged separately so that they did not turn to mush. The broth was flavorful, not too salty or bland. Other than that, pretty much your standard wonton soup. The Onion Pancake makes for a satisfying snack, though we’d have preferred it a bit less greasy. It reminded me of a cheese quesadilla.

The dehydrated cherry on top of this mud pie of a meal were the fortune cookies. Instead of cracking open, these stale, old cookies kind of pulled apart. David had a nibble and confirmed that they were long gone. The next time we’re craving Chinese, we’ll drive a little further than Mr. Spicy.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Alcaeus: Greek poet from the island of Lesbos

One of the Nine Lyric Poets of Greece
Next Article

Cop defunding advocate gets $10,000 in Tony Atkins campaign cash

Democrat's reelection committee awash in Sempra, union, and insurance money
These onion pancakes will be great for late-night snacking
These onion pancakes will be great for late-night snacking
Place

Mr. Spicy

6618 Mission Gorge Road, San Diego

There’s a downside to trying to appeal to the masses, and Mr. Spicy is a good example. It’s quick, easy, cheap, and the customer service and space are pleasant enough, but the food has the flavor and quality you expect to find at a mall food court, wedged somewhere between a Cinnabon and a Hot Dog on a Stick. By which I mean kind of greasy and not very fresh tasting.

Inside Mr. Spicy

On a recent evening David and I both had a hankering for Chinese, but neither of us wanted to drive all the way to the Asian-food-centric Convoy District (home to some of our favorite Chinese food purveyors, including Emerald and Dumpling Inn). We opted to try something new and closer to home. During one of his excursions running errands, David noticed Mr. Spicy tucked away at the back of a little strip mall and made a mental note to give it a try.

The table with a big pile of green beans

The interior was nicer than I expected for an “order at the counter” kind of place. Everything was clean and new looking, from the red tablecloths to the minimalist Chinese décor. On one table was huge pile of green beans. The sight of fresh produce made me smile and bumped up my expectations.

A disappointing beef-and-broccoli dish

As we always do when getting takeout, we ordered enough to ensure there’d be leftovers for another meal. The woman at the counter was all smiles, but her poor English and our non-existent Chinese made it impossible for us to ask any questions. We opted for a few easy standards, just to get a feel for the place. We got the Onion Pancake ($2.99), Combination Wonton Soup ($7.99), General’s Chicken ($9.99), and Broccoli Beef ($11.99). Then we sat and played with our phones for about ten minutes until the friendly woman at the counter a few feet away nodded in our direction and then handed over our bags.

General Tso chicken, mostly breading

When we got home, we unwrapped everything. The moment I saw the food, my expectations, which had been lifted by the sight of the fresh green beans, immediately crashed — particularly at the sight of the meat dishes. The beef had a sad, pale tone, and the texture was as disappointing as the look. The sauce was plenty tasty, mostly due to the heavy use of salt, so I ended up eating all of the broccoli. But after a few bites of the chewy, slimy meat, David and I agreed to just toss it in the trash.

The wonton soup wasn’t bad

General Tso is not something I usually order. I was looking for some sweet-and-spicy notes, so David recommended it. Usually if I’m going for fried and saucy I opt for citrus, like an orange or lemon chicken. At Dumpling Inn, the chicken is unmistakable — tender chunks with a light breading, flash fried. Here, the chicken was hard to find, as these were mostly breading and of a gelatinous texture. The sauce wasn’t really sweet or spicy but more of a salty flavor.

An old, stale fortune cookie

The meal’s high point was the soup. The wontons were fresh and packaged separately so that they did not turn to mush. The broth was flavorful, not too salty or bland. Other than that, pretty much your standard wonton soup. The Onion Pancake makes for a satisfying snack, though we’d have preferred it a bit less greasy. It reminded me of a cheese quesadilla.

The dehydrated cherry on top of this mud pie of a meal were the fortune cookies. Instead of cracking open, these stale, old cookies kind of pulled apart. David had a nibble and confirmed that they were long gone. The next time we’re craving Chinese, we’ll drive a little further than Mr. Spicy.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Giovanni Sgambati – an Italian Liszt

Wagner pushed for publication of Sgambati’s two piano quintets.
Next Article

Dennis Caco's Mission Valley missing Midori

Max Boost creator finds car near Sweetwater Road
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close