FTU: Capital One Venture loses round 2 (a.k.a. the Sichuan throwdown) and Million Mile Sweethearts

342 Grove Street , Jersey City, NJ 07302.

Restaurant: Grand Sichuan

Time: 18:35

“Mai dan!” (check please!)

Stefan throws out Capital One Venture. Daraius throws out Ink Bold.

The waiter smiles and takes Ink Bold. Had he slipped over to FTU?

Million Mile Secrets NY 1

The Rapid Traveler had the great delight to dine with the Million Mile Sweethearts, Daraius and Emily, at the best restaurant between the Meadowlands and Newark (EWR), actually one of the best Sichuan restaurants in the Greater NYC area. Suanla tang, huiguo rou, shuizhu niu, ziran yangrou, oh my.

Never having seen a couple so in love, The Rapid Traveler was mush as he listened to stories of Million Mile Secrets readers who have had travel dreams realized and crises overcome, such as hotel points that housed a family after a devastating flood.

On the way back to the airport in the state where you cannot pump your own gas, the lovebirds stopped for photos of the iconic Manhattan skyline, steps away from some of the best hotel views of Manhattan.

Million Mile Secrets NY 2

A bubble tea each for the gents (lychee for MMS, blueberry for RTC), two (peach and strawberry) for the lady, and the darling duo was off to fly and blog.

Million Mile Secrets NY 6

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  • Michael

    I still don’t understand why you write in the 3rd person. It’s really strange…

  • @Michael – thanks for your feedback, I will take it into consideration. I personally prefer reading third-person works rather than first-person, and try to make the posts more narrative than the typical “I, I, I, me, me, me,” but readers are king and I will explore what the majority would like. Thank for you reading despite it being off-putting to you.


    +1 on not a fan of third person…it is your blog, you can do whatever you want…it just makes me skip your posts.

  • @ORD-TGU – ok, the motion is seconded. May Day will be in the first person.

  • Kar69

    I, on the contrary, like the 3rd person..
    “strange” is good..!
    It made me notice your blog in the first place, you writing is witty and enjoyable, makes me chuckle often ..don’t give up your style on popular demand..

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  • ‘gifts hyderabad’ has voted with “Did I already tell you that I really like every articles on your website ?” Ah, the SPAM comments folder, there is always mellifluous praise to be found.

  • LarryInNYC

    The Flushing incarnation of that restaurant, Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan, has provided several of the best meals I’ve eaten. So much so that I wound up taking a friend from the high-end food industry there with a party that snowballed to about eight foodies. So I started out worried. Then, they handed me the menu and said “You’ve been here, you order for all of us”!

    I kept ordering about three dishes beyond when the waiter got a worried look on his face and said “Okay, okay, I think you have enough”. Every scrap of food was finished.

    The restaurant itself is nothing special — a storefront with fifteen or so tables. By the food is amazing, quite different from most Chinese food (they have a small box on the last page of their menu labelled “Chinese Food”), quite spicy but not impossible to eat. Oh, and at prices comparable to other storefront restaurants, an amazing value given the quality.

    Has Rapid Travel Chai tried the “in-town” branches? How do they compare to the NJ branch?

  • LarryInNYC

    Oh, and I have come to enjoy the third person form, which gives the blog (to me, anyway) something of an international flavor.

  • @LarryInNYC – I think a Grand Sichuan post is in order, there are a number of claimants to the name, several different owners in competition, but seemingly all are good. My wife swears by the Lex Ave one near Grand Central, which is a different group than the Jersey City/Flushing group.


    Interesting, there are fans of both first person and third person. If you do it in third person, you need to hire a narrator with a deep baritone voice like james earl jones, aka, Darth Vader to make it more potent!

  • aptraveler

    I too will cast my vote for the 3rd person narrative. I believe is truly part of your unique writing style, besides being witty and informative, that makes your writing more interesting, in my view, within the travel blogosphere. There are plenty of me, me, me, out there; so don’t surrender to pressure. The ones who like it will continue following you, the ones who don’t, they may learn still!

  • LarryInNYC

    With fans of both first and third person form, I suggest you split difference and write in the second person.

  • LarryInNYC

    @RTC: Indeed, I think a post about an afternoon spent along Main Street in Flushing would qualify as a travel-related post on its own merits.

  • It was such a treat to hang out with you on Sunday! And thanks for linking to the names of the food we ate. I’ll be scouring the menus of Chinese restaurants in Kansas City in hopes of finding them.

    And please don’t write in first person – I LOVE the witty, succinct posts in 3rd person.

  • What a lovely post about three of my favorite people I have not had the pleasure to meet in person yet! All three of you seemed genuinely happy and content. Thanks for sharing it with us, Stefan.

  • @LarryInNYC – good one!

    @Million Mile Secrets – you have the links, I have the leftovers, looks like I came out ahead short-term but now you are fully armed.

    @all who commented – I appreciate your readership and will play with the format to see what works best for you all. I said May Day will be first person and tonight it will, with a little FT Q&A, but no promises for the future, probably try to mix things up.

  • colleen

    yikes – I clicked on the link for the second menu item and ended up with porn.

  • @colleen – I just retested all the links in the post, everything is what was intended and certainly porn was not the intention. I am not sure what happened.

  • Dan

    Dan says that the writer of this blog will see the real New York on BRT 12 (in Brooklyn).
    Dan also says that Darius and Emily are missing out on a good time talking miles and points + pizza and bakery.

    Dan also liked the Seinfeld episode where George kept referring to himself as… George. <loves 3rd person

  • @Dan – The Rapid Traveler will be honored!

  • Emily

    Hi Rapid Travel Chai! What a great post! We had so much fun with you and appreciate you taking us around. I was also very impressed with your Mandarin! 🙂

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