Steppin’ Out – Grand China, Chinese Cuisine

A couple of weeks ago I received a call telling me that Vince Hoang, one of the owners of Grand China, Chinese Cuisine, wanted me to grab a friend and drop by. Well, not one to turn down a great invitation like that, my walking buddy, Mike Long, and I did just that.

Grand China is located at 4340 Golden Center Drive, #D, across from WalMart and behind McDonald’s, and it is a beautiful place. I first visited it in 2006 when it had been open just a few weeks and it had already become a popular restaurant for both lunch and dinner.

The 3500 square foot restaurant has both booths and open table seating, along with a nice banquet room perfect for a holiday event or any other kind of gathering.

I can’t write about this restaurant without mentioning the two huge crystal chandeliers, one over the main dining room and one in the banquet room. Vince told that they were good luck, so I looked it up and found this interesting information: “A faceted crystal ball or crystal chandelier over the center of the dining table will help to balance chi in the room, and also helps people with eating disorders embrace healthier habits.”

Mike and I arrived about 11:30 and were immediately seated by Vince himself at a booth he had prepared for us. He brought us water and some hot tea. Then he asked if we wanted to order or have him pick the food. Before I could answer, Mike spoke up, “Yes, you pick” to Vince. I always agree to that.

In a few minutes a plate of delicious pot stickers arrived at our table, along with a great dipping sauce. While we were enjoying them, I looked around and noticed two of the employees sitting at a table sorting and preparing fresh green beans for one of their seasonal specialities, Chicken and Fresh Green Beans. I mentioned it to Vince who told me they do their best to feature fresh produce even during the Winter months when it costs more. “It is worth it for our customers,” he said.

Next to arrive for our meal were two bowls of Wonton Soup. “Most restaurants only serve Egg Flower or Hot and Sour soup,” Vince said, “Wonton is harder to make and many restaurants won’t even try it, but we do. Only the best for our customers.”

Both the broth and the wontons in the soup were very good and soon both bowls were empty.

Two dishes arrived next, the Chicken and Fresh Green Beans and Walnut Shrimp.

The green beans were crisp and the chicken nicely cooked. I put some on my plate along with a scoop of steamed rice from the covered bowl that accompanied the dishes. Of course I added a couple of the shrimp, which were delicious and not too sweet. Everybody loves Walnut Shrimp and neither Mike nor I are exceptions. By this time we were filling up and there was still a lot of food left.

Our final dish was Singapore Rice Noodles with Barbecued Pork, something I had never tried before. This dish, which contains rice vermicelli, vegetables, pork and curry, is cooked dry, a process that is a bit difficult. It is delicious and different and, I found out later, reheats really well.

As we were enjoying our delightful meal the restaurant began to fill with diners and was about two-thirds full, and still adding people, when we left after about an hour of delightful dining.

While we were dining, I said to Mike, who was busy enjoying the food and not saying much, “This is a happy restaurant, just listen to the people talking and laughing. That is a good sign that they are enjoying themselves.”

He stopped eating for a moment, listened and then said, “You’re right, it is.” Think about that the next time you dine out.

As always I enjoyed reading through the menu at Grand China, which is several pages long. There are a wide variety of dishes categorized by Appetizers, Soup and Noodles, Chef’s Specials, Seafood Beef and Lamb, Vegetable and Bean Curd, Pork, Fowl, Noodles and Rice. And, yes, they have Lunch Specials and Family Style Dinners. I am absolutely sure there is something there to delight everyone.

Although this restaurant is a special place to dine, and very popular with the seniors who live nearby and the many people working in the area, a lot of people order the food for take-out.

They prepare everything when the order is called in but don’t start cooking it until you arrive. It only takes a few minutes and then, if you happen to be delayed, you still get it fresh and it is fresh when you get home.

Grand China is open daily from 11 a.m until 8 p.m., with the lunch special served every day from 11 until 3. It features combinations of Wonton soup, egg roll, steamed or fried rice and your choice from 29 different reasonably priced entrees. Several people ordered the luncheon special when we were there and it was a very full plate of food,

Stop by and give them a try. I am sure you will like the food and service. We did.

For more information or to call in a take-out order, call (530) 621-1882.

A little note about Vince Hoang. Originally he was the general manager of this wonderful restaurant and often helped the staff when things got busy. Now, as the owner for the past five years, he is everything. He cooks, he serves, he busses, he runs the cash register and seats diners. I am sure after hours he probably leads the clean-up. When you own a restaurant, that is the only way you make it work.

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