Eat & DrinkSan Francisco

Big Lantern — Cheap Lunch Specials and Quick Delivery!

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MSG -- it does a body good.

Let’s talk about Chinese food.   I’m pretty sure I could eat it every day for the rest of my life and still want more.  But I run into a big problem at a lot of Chinese eateries, and the problem is called gross, rubbery chicken.  I know I should be more accepting of what my friend calls “dirty Chinese,” but I just can’t do it.

That’s where Big Lantern comes in.

It sounds very douchey to order Mongolian chicken with “all white meat,” but whatever.  Unfortunately, “all white meat” at some restaurants doesn’t always mean “all white meat.”  At Big Lantern, though, any chicken dish I order comes with big, tender chunks of chicken breast — no questionable dark meat here!  The other stuff I’ve ordered is also really good — BBQ pork fried rice, won-ton soup, fried prawns, and any of the dim sum options.  They also offer a bunch of meatless dishes, like Hunan meatless ham, which my veggie friends swear by.

Now let’s talk about the price.  It’s definitely right.  The lunch specials are the best deal, ranging from $5.25 to $6.50, and include an entree (HEFTY PORTIONS.  TRUST), egg drop soup, a small salad, and rice (white or brown.  CHOICES!).  Bonus:  the lunch special goes til 4pm, which is prime “linner” territory.  After that, the prices are standard — not super cheap, but not super expensive either.  The good thing is that the entrees do include a lot of food, so you can plan on getting two meals out of them.

Big Lantern’s also really efficient when it comes to delivery (FREE delivery, btw, to anywhere in SF with a $10 order).  Their time estimate is always 45 minutes, but nine times out of ten the food is at my doorstep in under half an hour.  Seriously, sometimes it even comes too soon for me to drink up a sufficient buzz!  But who’s complaining?

Big Lantern 3170 16th St. (at Albion) [The Mission]

Photo by Yelper Hiroshi K.

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Christy Jovanelly - Cheapskate Commentator

Christy Jovanelly - Cheapskate Commentator

When Christy announced she was leaving her family's Southern California home and moving to San Francisco, her mom said, "Have fun in that den of sin." This is the only (however sarcastic) advice Christy has ever taken from her mom, who also told her to join eharmony.com and cover her eyes during sex scenes in movies. Christy puts her creative writing degree to good use by locating the typos on Chinese food menus and spends most of her time challenging friends to all-you-can-eat contests and trying to get that one bartender at Zeitgeist to smile.