I recently started doing some volunteer work for a well-respected international non-governmental organization. Their office is located in one of the many gated diplomatic communities in central Beijing.
I was warned that there aren't many Chinese restaurants nearby but I didn't really believe it. Today at lunch time I asked someone sitting near me to recommend a place for me to get food. I was directed towards a nearby 7-11. On my way there I passed a Haagen Daz ice cream shop and a Sizzler. There was a T.G.I.Friday's next door. In the 7-11 there was the usual selection of sodas, single serve ice cream-like products, instant ramen noodles, sweetened flavored yogurt and white bread sandwiches overflowing with mayonnaise. Ick. I avoid those places when I'm in the U.S. and see no reason to eat in them while I'm here.
I was hungry so I finally selected a cold noodle salad, with japanese buckwheat noodles, shredded cucumbers and an oil-based dressing. Next time I go in I'll take lunch with me.