Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chen Garden

We love everything about Chen Garden!  The cool doorway, the dark 60s interior with deep red naugahyde banquettes, the Chinese astrology placemats, the delicious food, the fact that we always run into someone we know, the proximity to home ... so much so that we're even willing to put up with the inevitably impossible parking in the teeny Chen's lot.

We went to Chen's a couple weeks ago for a quick after lessons dinner, and to no surprise ran into neighbors.  I love that it is such a Brighton go-to place :)  We seized the prime banquette by the entrance, which allowed us to people watch and see the tv in the small bar--and immediately set upon the fried noodles and sweet sauce!

For dinner, we had some of our usual favs:  hot and sour soup, paper chicken and pork fried dumplings for appetizers; chicken with broccoli and General Tso's chicken w/ white meat only for dinner.  And, we added a new dish, Sizzling Beef with Chinese Satay Sauce.  

The hot and sour soup is thick and tangy--great to warm one up the first week in December.  The paper chicken always arrives insanely hot, and we burn our fingers opening the tin papers to get at the deliciously moist chicken inside, which has a teriyaki-like flavor.  The dumplings are always yummy and prized by the kids, and the soy ginger sauce that comes with them is fantastic on anything at the table.  

Chen's chicken with broccoli is in a light clear gravy, which makes it a favorite with my kids.  I skip the chicken and go for the broccoli--always cooked just right.  The General Tso's is made fresh when you request white meat only, so it arrives crispy and light in a deep brown sauce with the right amount of heat.

The whole table rated the Sizzling Beef a bust.  It wasn't horrible, it just tasted a lot like chicken fried steak--not really what we were looking for.  We typically order Beef with Ginger and Scallions in a Clay Pot, which is a real winner every time!  

What can I say about Chen's?  Since we moved here, it's become a family staple: the kind of place where when my husband or I say, "What about Chen's?"; the kids immediate response is, "Yes!"  And, in the summer, you can head right over to Abbott's for dessert :)

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