Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Summer's Bounty

Heirloom tomatoes are in and they are spectacular! Here's our "haul" from our recent visit to the Baltimore Farmer's Market. These beauties need nothing more than a couple of slices and a plate.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Chinese Perfection: Grace Garden

Ladies and Gentleman, we have hit the motherload! After reading the small blurb about Grace Garden in the Washington Post, Steven and I decided to give it a go. We did our research before going and consulted the Skillet Doux blog for information on what to order. Highly recommended.

Grace Garden has two menus, the first, their authentic Chinese menu and the second their American Chinese menu, which is really a holdover from days past, when they only considered themselves a carryout location. The carryout customers are still there, but they are completely missing the boat.

The Chinese menu is extensive with a large representation of seafood dishes and at least 10 different preparations of shrimp. We ordered the spicy wontons as an appetizer. A typical dish, but done so expertly that I don't know how to describe it. Like someone turned the volume up on a something you've heard a thousand times.

For entrees, I had the Mixed Seafood in XO sauce and Steven had the Tofu Hak-Ka. The seafood dish was expertly prepared and presented. The XO sauce having a gentle kick and tons of flavor. Shrimp, large scallpos and squid all cooked to perfection. The tofu dish was a real surprise. Large bites of silken tofu, flash fried then stuffed with a mixture of ground shrimp, pork and fish, then stir-fried with chinese sausage, mushroom and eggplant in a brown sauce. Heaven! My only regret is that we didn't bring more people here so we could try more dishes.

We carried on extensive conversations with the other diners in the restaurant and compared notes on what had been ordered. The Eggplant in plum sauce is on the list for another visit. There are also a number of dishes which require advanced ordering, such as Tea Smoked Duck (3 Days) Smoked Tea Chicken (2 Days) and Cantonese Sea Treasure (2 Days).
The place is small. Only 7 tables, two of which are large rounds with lazy susans, so this could be a challenge if Grace Garden gets too popular.

The entire family came over and introduced themselves, including the Chef/owner Chun Keung Li (adorable!). They are unbelievably hospitable and welcoming. They are very proud of what they are doing here and they should be. This ranks as one of top Chinese restaurants I've ever been to in my life, and I have been to many many Chinese restaurants in my time.
1690 Annapolis Rd Odenton, MD 21113
Hours of Operation
Monday - Thursdays 11:00am - 10:00pm
Friday - Saturday 11:00am - 10:30pm
Sunday closed.
Phone 410-672-3581 Fax 410-672-3580