Was Susie China originally a funeral home, or did "Frank Schmidt & Sons" work in another line of business? Either way, the charming, vintage facade of this Chinese restaurant gives this place an intriguing mystique. The little green canopy over the entranceway makes you feel like you’re stepping into an old lady's dusty home, and Susie C's has a particularly well-worn feeling across the threshold, too. The dark, low-lit interior, green carpet criss-crossed with yellow lines and the stacks of Chinese almond cookies make it feel more like an old Chinese lady's living room than a bustling business. Still, the enormous selection of Chinese cuisine, as well as the impeccable service, will surely impress the connoisseur and the average Joe alike. Diners should expect to spend no more than $10 on any entree, and less than $5 on most appetizers.
The text used on the restaurant's signs looks straight out of an early "oriental" film such as the lesser-known "The World of Suzie Wong" (1960), in which American office worker Robert Lomax moves to China to "be an artist" and becomes instantly enchanted by the elusive Suzie Wong. Here, the owners seem to play off of that "exotic East" idea, when Americans first discovered the pleasures found "over there." But whether or not you're a '60s Chinese film buff, the moo shu pork (shredded pork, veggies and eggs served wrapped in Mandarin pancakes with scallions and hoisin sauce) or the beef chow fun (rice noodles pan-fried and stir-fried with onions, bean sprouts and beef) are sure to satisfy that greasy food craving.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Alicia Eler