The experience

photoWe’re getting down to the nitty gritty, just a few short days and we’ll have eaten at 365 different restaurants over the last 365 days.  There are a couple of places that we’ve had recommended to us that we want to squeeze in, one of them being a Chinese Joint in Dallas.  We’ve never even heard of this place, and as you know, we like a good Chinese joint any day!  So we made the cross-metroplex journey to Howard Wang’s China Grill.

We were seated right away.  Benji was particularly anxious to get seated attempting to just sit at the first booth he saw.   We all cozied in and I sat by Benji, which I would later find to be plus/minus.

The kids colored on their kids’ Chinese zodiac placemats while we (or I guess, Ogre) picked out dinner.  I was having a booming headache and was not in the mood to read and figure out what to try.  We did know that we wanted pot stickers so we went ahead and put that request in.

Those came out lightning fast.  We put in our dinner order and read our signs.  This zodiac chart was a little different than what we were used to…it said that Mina was a rabbit, when we were pretty sure  she was a sheep.  Ogre looked it up on his phone and I think she is a sheep.  Who knows.  Anyway, we all laughed at our “descriptions” and how they fit or did not fit with our personalities.  Ogre was amused to find that it made me sound totally superficial and he to be so humanitarian.  Eyes roll.  The kids’ description also seemed opposite of how we see them.

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Anyway, the kids’ BBQ pork came out and we doled that out with some rice to the two of them and they dug right in.  Well, Benji wanted to (and forced his way) onto my lap to eat.  “I SIT IN MOMMY LAP!”  Uh, okay, then. 

When our food came out, I tried to get Benji to not sit on my lap anymore, which was, put nicely, a challenge.  Luckily, they pour the sauce for the Beef and Scallop, which made a tremendous sizzle and steamed up, so Benji was enthralled with that and after she put it on the table, he wanted to “blow” Papa’s food to cool it for him.  Ha ha!

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We ate the rest of dinner without too much of an issue.  After awhile, Benji wanted to hug me and tell me that he loved me, sweet right? Yes, but that hug led to a leg being shoved over mine and somehow he was sitting in my lap again.

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Ogre was giving me evil eye for not trying the lychees in the Sweet and Sour Chicken.  So, I finally appeased him and they were tasty. 

Mina required a reprimand or two for standing up in the booth and Benji snuck out of the booth and had to be threatened with a time out to come back over to our table. 

We opened our fortunes and I got up to use the restroom.  When I returned my cookie was gone.  I asked Benji where my cookie went and he guiltily turned his hand over (as if to say i don’t know).  I asked him again and same response.   Then I asked him if Benji ate it and he guilitily nodded his head ever so slightly.  I told him it was okay and we hugged and Mina offered him the rest of hers and he was happy.

So we happily headed home.

 

The food

Americanized Chinese with hints of more traditional dishes here and there and some more upscale dishes also.

photoWe ordered the pot stickers (fried) as an appetizer.  These were pretty good.  More meaty than anything else.  The kids loved them.

 

photoWe ordered two dishes to share.  The first was their version of Sweet and Sour Chicken, which admittedly was better than most other Chinese joints.  The sauce was not as red, but was still red, but it’s served with fresh mangoes, pineapples, kiwis and lychees (these were probably canned, but I’m not positive).  The chicken was lightly breaded and very tender.

photoWe also ordered a Beef and Scallop Dish with Oyster sauce.  Also very good.  The beef was very tender and cooked to a medium rare, which is unusual (the only other place I’ve seen them do this right is at May Dragon).  The scallops were overcooked, much to my liking!  It is served with snow peas and asparagus. 

photoThe kids forewent the kids menu in favor of ordering Sliced BBQ Pork off the appetizer menu and a side of rice.  They both liked this.  The pork was very tender.  Their sauce was less sweet than some other places and more spiceful (there was a strong anise flavor) to the meat, but not overwhelmingly so.  Tasted good.

 

The service

Pretty good.  Maybe a little bit of a language barrier with some requests, but we always got it straigtened out.  Food comes out a nice tempo.

 

The kids

This was actually a more kid friendly than usual Chinese Restaurant.  They have their kids menu on the Chinese Zodiac placemats, but it’s more cartoonish (if they can read though, watch out or you might get questions about what a “passionate lover” is) and they give the kids crayons to color with.

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We enjoyed this restaurant quite a bit. A little more upscale Chinese restaurant with more than just the usual suspects of Americanized Chinese entrees.  We like May Dragon a little bit more, but it was a definitely a good place to eat Chinese.

The total: ~$55

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