Let’s say you’ve just walked out of a good movie at the Casa Linda Theater, and you’re feeling a little hungry. Perhaps you have a taste for some good Chinese food, but you don’t feel like driving all the way to Greenville Avenue.
Just drive across the street to Szechwan Pavilion, 1152 N. Buckner. It’s a surprise in a strip shopping center. The green-and-white awning with the restaurant’s name across the top gives the impression that one is entering into Chinese royalty, but the interior is simple and comfortable.
The menu is vast, and there’s a buffet at lunch and dinner for $6.99 per person. Buffets are great if you’re in a hurry, but if you really want a true taste of Chinese food, order from the menu. The food tastes fresh and is hot out of the wok.
The appetizer list includes the usual suspects, such as egg rolls and fried wonton. It also introduces some newcomers, such as Bon Bon chicken, a spicy dish with shredded chicken in a sesame paste with chili peppers.
The rest of the menu has everything you could want, need or expect at a Chinese restaurant. The chef’s suggestions include such delicacies as lamb Szechwan-style ($10.95), thinly sliced and sauteed in hot pepper sauce.
The poultry section offers the well-known sesame chicken, which lives up to expectations. It’s served steaming hot with that sweet and sour sauce marinated into the meat.
All dishes can be ordered separately or as a complete dinner. Beer and wine are available with a minimum club fee.
Szechwan Pavilion, 1152 N. Buckner, #128, 321-7599, is open daily for lunch (11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.). Dinner is served from 4:30-10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and from 4:30-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
OK, now the movie is over but you live near Lower Greenville and want to stop somewhere a little closer to home. Try a familiar name – the New Big Wong, 2121 S. Greenville.
If it’s a late movie, you’re in luck: The restaurant stays open until 4 a.m.
The New Big Wong replaces the original Big Wong, which burned down almost 10 years ago at its original location at Fitzhugh and Capitol.
This restaurant offers an even larger menu than Szechwan Pavilion. You can start with a crispy jumbo shrimp on toast for $3.95, or indulge in their wonderful crab meat corn soup. A large tureen full of soup, enough for four people, is $3.50.
Diners always seem to overlook noodle dishes at Chinese restaurants because they prefer to order familiar items. The New Big Wong’s pan-fried shrimp noodles is a dish you won’t forget – the huge portion is well worth the $7.95 price. You might even have enough for lunch the next day.
The New Big Wong is my mother’s favorite Chinese restaurant in Dallas, and regular readers of this column all know how picky my mother is.
The New Big Wong, 2121 S. Greenville, 821-4198, is open daily from 11 a.m.-4 a.m.
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