Written by Lizzie Ferguson
After visiting Everyday Authentic Chinese Restaurant in East Lansing for the first time on Saturday for a sumptuous feast with friends, I was tasked with bringing takeout to my dad’s house for dinner the following Wednesday, so I had to go eat there again. I had to. This restaurant is located on the site of a (Americanized) Chinese buffet that my father used to take me and my brother to when we were kids, so I thought it would be a good fit. But what’s not quite right is that it took so long to find a new resident for the place.
The menu is huge and full of dishes that may be unfamiliar to the uninitiated, but there’s no need to be intimidated. Everything is in English and the staff will be happy to help. My friend and I shared a three-course Peking duck dish that included crispy duck breast, duck fried rice, and heavenly duck bone broth, but it was a little too much for a 5pm take-out order I thought and chose it. Beef brisket casserole with daikon radish, Chinese broccoli with garlic sauce, and rice noodle rolls with shrimp and chives.
The word “casserole” here does not mean a typical Midwestern casserole, but simply a dish in which food is cooked. In this case, tender chunks of beef and earthy, melt-in-your-mouth radish. These are coated with a luscious gravy, smoothed by gelatinous beef tallow and flavored with star anise, ginger, cloves, soy sauce, and more. The dish is rich and comforting, reminding Western palates of a particularly thoughtful homemade beef stew.
The perfect combination to balance all this weight is Chinese broccoli. This is quite different from the first broccoli that may come to mind, and more similar to broccoli rabe. The long stalks, a thinner version of the typical broccoli stalk, are cooked al dente, and the accompanying leafy greens are perfectly wilted in a very light gravy of garlic, soy sauce, and (presumably) oyster sauce. Don’t try to cut the broccoli with a fork. We recommend slurping it up like noodles.
To save the best for last, here we come to the elegant shrimp rice noodle rolls, known in Cantonese as “ha chun.” Although a classic dim sum, one can only imagine the complexity of preparing this wonderful variation of dumplings. If you can imagine two very wide and thick rice noodles stuffed with shrimp and chives and then slowly steamed, you’ve probably accomplished at least that part. The texture is luxurious and silky, and you won’t know until you taste it.
I may not go there every day, but Everyday definitely has a place in my regular eating out rotation.