Chinese fast food: What's taking so long?

The brand-new Park Blvd Express is all dressed up and ready. So when can we break chopsticks?

It's not open yet, but it's yea close. You swear you can smell the pork fried rice already. And you can see: everyone at the Park and Market trolley stop is kinda on tenterhooks.

This is Park Blvd Express (1219 Market Street, at Park Boulevard, at the Park & Market Orange and Blue Line trolley stop, 619-546-6377). It's the town's newest Chinese to-go place, in the style of traditional Chinese fast-food places you grew up with, but one of the rare ones in East Village.

And they promise to deliver healthier platefuls, using only vegetable oils, with low fat, low sodium, no MSG, and "new style cooking" with dishes like steamed chicken with mixed vegetables ($6.99), or the same thing but with steamed shrimp ($7.99), or just plain steamed mixed veggies for $5.99.

Best-looking deal though, which I spot scanning the wall menu: combo plates. Rice or chow mein with one item is $4.99, two items, $5.99, and three, $6.99.

But when? I come in to the new space where Sluggers, the old hot dog/boiger joint used to be. Sitting at one of the tables is a young Chinese-American couple. Across from them this lady is pointing to plans, and up to the kitchen, looks like.

The husband's English isn't that good when I ask about opening dates, and the poor guy is totally preoccupied with what the lady's telling them. Bet this is the health inspection, and they've got several things to do.

Whatever, can't wait. Big money condoland hasn't quite made it up here yet. And for me this would be an ideal quick stop for supplies on the way home. Specially as they promise to stay open from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day.

But when? I decide to put in a call, see what the latest is. A male recorded voice answers "Hey! Thanks for calling Sluggers, San Diego's finest Chicago-style hot dog and gourmet hamburger stop..."

Sigh. Don't they know we're hungry out here?

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