The experience

We had family picture night at Mina’s school so we headed off in search of a new fiasco right afterwards. Mommy was suffering a migraine once more so I was looking for somewhere close.  Mina asked about Pizza then changed her mind to Chinese.  I was suggesting one nearby when Grace recalled we had wanted to try First Chinese Barbecue.  Mina loves the pork spare ribs at most asian restaurants so she was excited.  So off we went after checking with the navigation on where exactly it was.

First Chinese BBQ

We walked in past the roast meat display with some tasty looking ducks and chickens ready for carving. Looking good so far.  Mina was impressed.  We were seated immediately and got to work reviewing the menu.  Mina wanted ribs but they only had barbecue pork.  She seemed OK with that.  Mommy was eyeballing the duck.  I looked for some veggies and a starch.  Our drinks arrived and I went ahead and placed our order.  It would be family style tonight with Roast Duck and Barbecue Pork, Eggplant with Schezuan Pork and Barbecue Pork Soft Noodles.

Roast Ducks

As we waited for our food, I went out to the car to bring back Mina a pen to draw on the Chinese Zodiac with.  I also brought in her homework which she busied herself with.  Benji was in a good mood for not having napped and being sick.  He was busy looking around the restaurant and playing with chopsticks.  It wasn’t long before our food arrived.

Mina doing her homework

Benji was happy to see the food.  That’s good because he doesn’t eat well when he’s sick.  We got busy fixing up the kids plates.  Benji immediately started stuffing his face with noodles.  They were hanging out his mouth and falling into the seat.  Big mess but he was happy.  Mina was busy on her pork which she was raving about.  Grace cut her up some of the eggplant and she even said yum to that and asked for more! Way to go Mina.

Munching on noodles

We discussed how we could go here when Jeng Chi was closed as this place as open 7 days a week.  Boba Latte is next door which is a plus too.  Mina was still the last to eat tonight with Benji close behind.  But this time it was because they were going for extra helpings!  Benji got super excited every time I added more noodles to his plate.

Yum! Noodles!

Mina snuck in a few extra pieces of pork when I asked for boxes.  She even made sure I agreed we’d be taking it home for leftovers.

Yum! Pork!

While we waited on the check, Benji got enthralled watching the little girl from another table spin the large lazy susan.  Lots of “wows”.  Then he had to stop and ham it up for the camera.  His cheese is a bit crazy but its a start.  We could hardly get him to make any face at all when we went for family photos.  You might remember this face he made from our outing as The Justice League  to Gloria’s.  It was time to get Mommy home to nurse her headache.  So we packed up the food and the kids and I went up to pay.  Bad news: cash only.  Time for a little side trip before leaving (see The Rest).


The food

Eggplant and Pork SchezuanThe food was above average to excellent.  The Eggplant with Schezuan Pork was perfectly cooked.  It hadn’t been cooked to the point of mush as is a problem with some eggplant dishes.  The sauce was very flavorful and wasn’t spicy at all even though it claimed to be Schezuan.  Even Mina loved it!  Now that’s saying something!

Barbecue Pork Soft NoodlesThe Barbecue Pork Soft Noodles were also outstanding.  It was loaded with the barbecue pork and the noodles were nicely cooked with a hint of sesame oil to enhance the flavor.  Benjamin couldn’t get enough of the noodles.

Roast Duck and Barbecue PorkThe Roast Duck and Barbecue Pork was cooked to perfection.  The duck had a crispy skin and was mildly salty with a ton of 5 spice flavor.  The pork was extra juicy with 5 spice flavor as well.  Mina devoured more pork than anyone.

The service

The service is typical of your authentic Chinese restaurant.  I’d call it “humble” service.  They skip the small talk and niceties American diners usually expect and you do have to wave them down as necessary.  I think they maybe they feel like they are bothering you if you didn’t request something?  Either way, its neither great nor terrible, just fine.

The kids

Though I wouldn’t put this at the top of a list for kid friendly restaurants, it does have some food our kids loved.  Mina is a big pork eater and the sweet Chinese pork is right up her alley.  Benjamin, when he’s sick, doesn’t eat much.  Not the case with these noodles.  He wouldn’t stop eating them even though he could barely breathe through his nose.  There are no crayons or activities, though your kids may find the Chinese Zodiac place mats entertaining for a short while.  The food did come out pretty quickly and the staff and clientele did not seem to mind our loud children either.

The rest

If you’ve read our Ranch House Barbecue fiasco, you’d have seen that I had to stroll across the street for cash since it was cash only.  Same thing today. So that turned into a little fiasco.  At the Ranch House, it took me about 5 minutes to get the ATM to read my card.  For some reason, my current wallet likes to render the magnetic strip on all my cards useless within a month.  So today, it took at least 5 minutes.  I finally resorted to the old trick of plastic over the card.  A bit hard to swipe but it worked like a charm.  I wonder how it does that? Be warned.  No credit cards or check.

Total: $28.85 (and $1.75 ATM fee)

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