Butte’s Pekin Noodle Parlor deserves a visit for the simple fact that it’s been in continuous operation since 1911. The interior design is essentially unchanged in these last 100+ years. Gone are the days when smugglers used adjacent tunnels and whores lived downstairs but you can visit and enjoy the private, curtained booths just the same. Waiters pop in and out from behind an orange curtain to serve. I wanted to ask for a Do Not Disturb sign to see what we could get away with inside our tangerine dream womb.
The food on the other hand must be approached with the right frame of mind. The wontons and egg rolls were just as I remembered eating at Chinese joints in the 1970s. The noodles were tender and spike with a mere morsel of pork. The egg rolls were stuffed, hot, and crispy. On the other hand the wonton broth was flavorless. It was the epitome of dishwater. I added soy sauce, salt and sweet and sour sauce to try and enhance it. My entree of chicken chow mein featured pressed chicken (cold cut style) served over a soggy celery stew. It tasted like Chun King from the can. The chicken was cold and draped in strips over the pale green gelatinous celery. That said, I liked it. Think elementary school hot lunch ala 1973 and you’ll see why I ordered the tuna sandwich every day. Burt had a mixed plate with pork, egg foo young and rice. The egg foo young was tasty. I would gladly order an egg foo young entree if we get a chance to go back. There’s a full bar and prices are very reasonable. I’m willing to take my chances and come again to find the dish that delights me.
You can read more about the history of this place HERE.