Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A few savory Chinese treats at Double Dragon Buffet

This will probably be a short blog but I thought since I mentioned Double Dragon Buffet in my last post I should probably give them their own review. Now I am not much of a true fan there but I do sometimes crave a few things from there and I will run in and either order a fresh container of something or grab a box and head to the buffet and fill it with a few of my favorites. Depending on how much the box weighs reflects on how much you might pay. Maybe it's around 4 bucks a pound of food or something like that but don't quote me on it.

I like a few things from there but I usually don't go there to eat Chinese Food. I order my Chinese Food from China Jade in Parma. But when I have a mad craving for crab rangoons, chicken teriyaki skewers or those sugared donuts, which I will post a recipe for the sugared donuts at the end of this post.

They by far have the best crab rangoons I ever did see or eat. They are filled so much and are perfectly fried up. Maybe not so healthy but they are yummy. Another delish staple they have is the Chicken Teriyaki Skewers, they are juicy pieces of meat deeply marinated in teriyaki and roasted or something. My daughter even loves them and she loves that Sakkio Japan's Chicken Teriyaki with Soba Noodles instead of rice. Then finally Double Dragon has some awesome sugared donuts. Now I don't know how these little sugary treats ever ended up on a Chinese menu but they are good especially fresh.

Double Dragon does offer a few arrangement of Chinese food and available to eat as much as you like. But really I could pass it up. It's all just too much for me and not the best quality. Though Chinese Buffets are popular and the idea of all you can eat is what a lot of people like about these buffets. Since I know of better quality Chinese, it's really hard for me to eat at this buffet. On top of it all I can't imagine why I would eat American food at a Chinese Restaurant. Sometimes I see Garlic Bread, pizza, some kind of meat...what???? Even if it was good I think the fact that eating American food at a Chinese Restaurant is kind of off for me. I don't know if I ever knew a person to order American food at a Chinese Restaurant, if you have I'd love to hear your experience.

One thing I will suggest that is awesome about Double Dragon Buffet is when I have a party they offer catering. I will get the Crab Rangoons and Chicken Teriyaki Sticks/Skewers for my party as an app or as some filler foods for some kind of get together. It's great to bring to a party. They put them in those big silver containers covered and ready to be picked up. Very reasonably priced too.

Now I know they have crab legs and you can have all you can eat but sometimes I've seen those lines and just think those particular crab legs are worth fighting the line. One time I literally watched people watch each other and watch the door for the cook to come out of the kitchen. I feel like people were being tortured by the wait. I wonder if the people that work there secretly laugh at the crazy Americans run up to the crab legs. It is kinda funny. I think it's cruel too because you would think that these places that are all you can eat and offer crab legs and know they are going to run out in minutes would provide a few more sections so that people could have more and not run out of them before they have to wait in line again.

All you can eat crab legs is a rarity here in Cleveland and I've never heard of any places around here that offer it as much as a Chinese Buffet does. Many people think it's worth it at a Chinese Restaurant for the crab legs because really you can pay about $11 to have all you can eat crab legs. But the hassle I think is not worth it and it's really not the best crab legs on the market. To also see them in that water bath is just gross too. A big put off.

So you may like Double Dragon's buffet and think the crab legs are worth it then good for you. But I'll pass. Plus I always feel so sick after eating there in the past that I just thought to myself it's really not worth it. So just eat better Chinese food and get some of the savory treats I mentioned. You'll appreciate what they have that is good a lot more.

So like I said, their crab rangoons are pockets of goodness like this, if you wonder if they have been sitting on those hot lights for a while and taste a little stale you can always order a fresh batch to go or ask them to make a fresh batch for you.

*Photo off the internet, unknown source.

Then on to the Chicken Teriyaki Sticks/Skewers. They're a great piece of meat and marinated thoroughly. Again you can order a fresh batch and also have them for your next party or get together. My daughter loves them and she's only 7. They are also great reheated.

*Photo off the internet, source unknown

Lastly those scrumptious sugared donuts, which may I add are just fried biscuits rolled around in sugar. Yes they are that simple. I know this because when I ate at another Chinese restaurant the waitress told me how they made them because I was baffled at how they are served at a Chinese Restaurant and so she thought it was funny if she told me how they were actually made. I was baffled, just baffled. I would like to know the story as how they ended up in Chinese Restaurants. Although sadly China Jade does not offer them on their menu, maybe that's a good So here is the pic of the sugared treats....

*Photo off the internet, source unknown.

As promised here is a recipe of those pillowy sugared delicious treats. Hope you make them and let me know if you like them as much as I do and everyone else I know too.

Now that I think of it, these are like the Americanized or Chinese Buffet version of the Italian Zeppoles. That's another blog....

Chinese Sugared Donuts
-A tube of your favorite Buttermilk Refrigerated Donuts (more if serving a crowd)
-Oil for Frying
-Granulated Sugar for rolling fried donut in.

1. Place vegetable oil in a frying pan and heat it til it's hot hot hot.
2. Fill a bowl with sugar to coat donuts when they come out of the oil.
3. Remove biscuits from tube and set aside until oil has reached hotness.
4. When oil is hot enough (you can tell by snipping a small piece of dough and see if oil sizzles and bubbles around dough)
5. Gently place a few biscuits in oil and fry until golden brown on each side, you'll have to flip them to get golden brown on each side.
6. Shake access oil or drain oil off donut on a plate lined with paper towels.
7. Toss hot donuts into sugar and roll around until completely covered.
8. Place in serving dish and serve donuts still warm.

*They are great served with vanilla ice cream and caramel ice cream topping.


Double Dragon Buffet on Urbanspoon

Double Dragon Buffet info:
Double Dragon
6276 Pearl Road
Parma, Ohio 44130
(440) 888-8179
(440) 888-8177

Mon-Thu,Sun 11am-9:30pm
Fri-Sat 11am-10:30pm

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Best Local Chinese Restaurant

I can't believe I haven't done this blog sooner. I ate Chinese takeout for dinner last night. It was yummy as always. I always and I mean always get the same Chinese takeout or eat in at China Jade. I have eaten at many places and one other place that I ever really loved was Kim Wah's Cantonese Restaurant. It's long gone and really went down hill after a fire and a new owner. Kim Wah's was a Brooklyn staple. Funny thing is, one of the waitresses from Kim Wah's now works at China Jade. That's a great sign right? Well it was for me. I can't remember the first time I ever ate at China Jade. It was a very long time ago, probably in my 20's. Wow, I just can't believe I said that. 20's are gone.... =(

Okay back to the Chinese food.... I have to say though I haven't had anything from China Jade that I didn't like. Also when I am confused about what to get, I always ask for advice. I am not afraid to ask what a dish is like as much as the staff is not put off explaining it to you. This restaurant is far from those Chinese wall menu places where pretty much everything tastes like it was frozen bulk because every one of these places pretty much taste the same. China Jade on the other hand tastes fresh. The chicken....oh my gosh is it good! I've had it Sweet and Sour, Empress, Govenors, General Tsaos, Hong Kong, Teriyaki, Sesame, Chow Mein and the list goes on. Not once was I disappointed. Now one thing I am not a fan of and that's bamboo shoots and bok choy. Whenever a dinner uses either, I always ask it without. They are more than happy to take it out. As for my husband, well he always can do without bok choy, mushrooms and peppers. In many cases we've asked to add vegetables, like baby corn, water chestnuts, broccoli and carrots.

Takeout is always hot even to the ride home which isn't far but I think they cook scalding hot because it's always really hot when I get home to eat it. I love eating in as well. Yes it's your typical overboard red color with Chinese style lanterns and dragons (which I love anyway and to mention that when I was a child and still today, I have a fascination with the Asian culture and have collected many Asian Dragons, to which one was my very first tattoo at the age of 18), and you feel as if you may be stuck in the 1950's or 60's. But that's cool with me baby because I think it's all about the food baby! When I've eaten in, the one thing I love to order is the yummy Sweet and Sour Chicken. It's so hot when they bring it to you, you better let it cool. I love the Won Ton soup, shrimp chips and hot tea or ice tea. My lunch or dinner wouldn't be complete though if I didn't order the Pot Stickers that are filled to the max! Oh my gosh people, I think they are the best! Probably in the world! I've had many pot stickers from different places but I am telling you they are the best at China Jade along up there is the egg rolls and fried rice. Now the fried Rice actually is not that unflavored yellow stuff you get from other places sometimes, it's brown, like it's been pan fried, with pieces of pork, veggies and egg. The sweet and sour sauce isn't that ikky red stuff, it's orange with pieces of carrots and pineapple. The batter on the sweet and sour chicken is amazing, it's perfect for the sauce. Sometimes I could eat them without the sauce. Well you could actually if you order their appetizer named Gold Fingers! Same batter only they are well....finger shaped and fried golden, hence GOLD FINGA, lol! I like dipping them in sweet and sour sauce that is like the dinner sauce or egg foo young gravy! Oh yummy!

The staff is awesome, I haven't encountered them yet on a bad day. It's kid friendly and may I add my 7 year old daughter and 2 year old son love the food too. Among many of my friends and family. I've met my friends up there for lunch and dinner. I think one week I must of ordered pot stickers everyday. It was a craving so I'm allowed! What is really funny is that the one guy knows it's us when we call because our orders pretty much have the same consistency. My husband and I can never share just one order of pot stickers. We pretty much just order our own, they are that good that you don't want to share.

Pot Stickers (yes I took a photo for you) $4.50:

And... As much as you might think I ordered the Sweet & Sour Chicken, I actually order Governor's Chicken made spicy... (I love my chili heat). So this is the best pic that I could get considering my camera was not at all being corporative with me to take yummy pics.... Maybe some day I will switch it out or add new ones as I eat more of the yummy food there.
This is my combination dinner, it features the fried rice and egg roll along with the meal. Governor's Chicken comes with broccoli and sometimes I ask for extra broccoli. I didn't finish it either, leftovers for tomorrow! This collaboration of food in the pic below only cost me $8.00. Crazy huh? And I got some left for tomorrow! So that's like a $4.00 dinner! HELLO!

To add to the list of things we've had is the soups, egg rolls, spring rolls (which remind me more of a Japanese or Cambodian flavor), gold fingers, and the fried rice every which way as well as the egg foo young. The egg foo young patties are huge and filling. Now I can never eat everything so I always have left overs the next day. It's great reheated.

I know this blog is probably unorganized and all over the place but I can't tell you enough how great the food is. I love it that much. It's your typical Chinese Restaurant atmosphere, great Chinese American Staples and the staff is just so nice! I feel very welcomed and yes that may have to do with my repeat business but hey, the food's great and I appreciate it! I also think that they probably have bionic cooks in the back because the food is always so quick. It's fresh, quick and beyond delish!

If I could change just one thing it would be the crab ragoons. They make them the flowerette style and I like mine pocket style where all the creamy cream cheese goodness is jam packed inside. With the flowerettes, I think in frying some of the filling evaporates. I have had the the envelope style and that has to be my favorite. The best place to get crab ragoons is the Double Dragon Buffet in Parma. That's the only thing I eat there besides the chicken teriyaki sticks! So when I have a mad craving for the crab ragoons, that's where I get them and they are worth just going in to get those and my daughter also loves the chicken teriyaki sticks. Great tender flavorful chicken on a skewer. But if I want some good Chinese food, China Jade is the way to go.

Come to Parma, eat at China Jade. I highly recommend the Sweet and Sour Chicken, Pot Stickers, Egg Rolls and Fried Rice, but then again I can pretty much recommend a lot. If you are in doubt and want to try something new, ask the server or the person on the phone. They are all very clear to understand as I know sometimes the hype is that it's hard to understand someone with an Asian accent, but honestly that goes for every culture. My dad barely spoke English and Italian was his fluent language and let me tell you as his daughter sometimes I thought it was better to nod than to figure out what he was saying.... Okay that's a joke but you know what I mean. Rest In Peace Daddy!

So fortunately for you, if you've never eaten there and wonder what the menu is like, well they have one posted on the internet... Click Here... MENU There you can find most of what they have to offer until you can read a hard copy of it or get a takeout menu.

Now we go for price. It's amazing prices hands down and they have daily Lunch and Dinner Specials that seem to stay the same every week. So once you get it down, you'll know what day is what special or you could ask. You can order everything in large amounts in quarts but I always get combinations that feature the main dish and fried rice and an egg roll. Now remember, it's enough food that lasts me 2 days. So I get 2 meals for 1 price. It usually costs less than $9.00 a dinner combo unless you start ordering the more fancy stuff or order in quarts. Everything is in large amounts and big. The biggest pieces of chicken in Chinese food I have ever seen, nice white meat chicken never dry! They have pretty late hours but don't wait until 15 minutes before they close because they might not answer the phone. Hey they gotta go, they bust their butt everyday and you shouldn't be eating that late anyway! LOL! Okay, I lied, I've ordered that late and we've picked up our food as most of the employees are walking out. Weekends they're open even later. Now I've talked alot about their chicken. We mainly eat chicken in our home, but we have had the pepper steak and sweet and sour pork. Both yummy.

Just a special note about the egg rolls: I love their egg rolls and I was so happy when I first tried them because when I was a teenager, I use to get really good Chinese food at the food court at Parmatown Mall. It was called Dragon City. It closed and hasn't been there since the year 2000. (I hear Conan O'Brien skit chant "In the year 2000"). Anyway, they had the best egg rolls and the best dipping sauce for them, but since I couldn't ever find the same taste in that dipping sauce I found a pretty darn close if not the egg roll that tastes just like Dragon City. Let's just say, I was very happy because a lot of Chinese Restaurants have some ikky egg rolls that usually have a funky pink coloring inside them...eeewwwww

So tonight I give a shout out to my dinner, chicken you were yummy, sorry I couldn't eat all of you, pot stickers, I wish I could of eaten all of you and your dumplings friends but you're way filling and Mr. Big Egg Roll, I had to take a bite off your head but didn't want to be left without you tomorrow as I eat the rest of you and your little friends too!

So stop wasting your time with mediocre Chinese food and go to China Jade, I guarantee you'll love it as much as I do and many people I know do as well!

Did I mention I have China Jade on Speed Dial? LOL!

*If they offered delivery, I would be in big trouble but I think it's a great idea!

China Jade Info:

China Jade -located in the shopping center by Brookpark and Broadview
2190 Brookpark Rd
Cleveland, OH 44134
(I think it's actually Parma, but I could be mistaken)

Online Menu:

China Jade on Urbanspoon
Sihk Faahn!
(How to say Buon Appetito in Cantonese)

Happy Eating!