Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on December 3, 2020.
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Whenever conversations pop up about where to get Chinese takeaway in Pittsburgh, there is one spot that is sure to come up within just a few moments- Chinatown Inn.
This spot is a staple Chinese restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh just steps away from Point Park University, Duquesne University, the courthouse, and more. But going further, this one is one of the last remaining businesses from Pittsburgh's historic Chinatown, and features a beautifully themed facade that is simply hard to miss.
For our first visit, we opted for our standard order of Chinese takeaway- General Tso's chicken, sweet and sour chicken, and crab rangoon. While solid, the star of the show was what came with it- the egg roll!
Don't Skip the Egg Roll at Chinatown Inn
Much like other Chinese restaurants, the portion sizes at Chinatown Inn are, in a word, massive. The lunch-sized portions were more than enough for two meals generous each, and the only item we didn't have trouble polishing off in a single sitting was the side of crab rangoon (six to an order and, admittedly, were on the smaller end both on the size and the amount of filling).
Both of the chicken dishes had a nice, thick batter which you come to expect from these staples and we especially appreciated that the sweet and sour chicken had the sauce served on the side in our takeaway order to prevent the chicken from becoming soggy too quickly. That being said, after just about 10 minutes driving the batter for the sweet and sour chicken did lose some firmness which would've likely been avoided had we ordered in-house (the General Tso's, on the other hand, was a fair bit crispier for quite some time).
Ignoring this, the two dishes were true to the style and solid all-around when considering the price point, flavors, and size. In fact, we would even give a special shoutout to the sauce on the sweet and sour chicken as it was not the conventional bright red sauce but rather was light, not overly sweet, and had pieces of onion, carrot, and pineapple for an added flavor kick.
The real winner of the meal; however, was the egg roll. This one can come filled with shrimp, chicken, or as a vegetarian option. It is one of the largest egg rolls we've had in the city and had a perfect friend exterior that had a solid crunch while not being chewy in the slightest- truly impressive considering how thick the wrapper is.
The flavors continued on the inside as there was a wealth of meat that was well distributed throughout the entire roll. It is the kind of thing that we will order a few extra of every time we visit here, and likely eat them all right away while leaving most of our entree for leftovers.
So when you visit Chinatown Inn, you may go for one of your favorite Chinese dishes (be it authentic Chinese or an American classic) but you'll do well to pick up an egg roll no matter what you do. This one really was the star.
Chinatown Inn is located at 520 Third Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh.