Fried Rice & Pork Lo Mein: Chinese Food in the D

By: Toni Cunningham | February 28, 2014
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In a perfect world, my diet would more often than not consist of Chinese food takeout and beer. However, the world is an imperfect place and I suppose sometimes you have to throw a (non-stir fried) veggie or two into the works to stave off obesity.

However, Chinese food is perfect for those nights where you’re running home from work and have no time to cook, or when you’re kickin’ it at home with your honey on a Saturday night, or simply when it just sounds pretty dang good.

Chinese food can be either hit or miss, and I don’t know about you, but what I’m looking for is authenticity. Out of this world flavors, cheap prices and, if at all possible, large portions for a day’s worth of leftovers are some good criteria to go with. The following Chinese restaurants in the Metro Detroit area suit all of those requirements and then some:

Sze Chuan Restaurant, 45188 Ford Rd., Canton, is a family owned and operated establishment that has been around for over 30 years. The menu includes over a dozen house specialties, including Peking Duck (which requires a full two days’ notice!), Hunan Beef Strips (with red peppers and baby corn in brown sauce), and Chili Pepper Trio (beef, chicken and shrimp with onions, mushrooms, baby corn, snow peas, cabbage, water chestnuts and sweet peppers in a chili pepper sauce).

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The entire menu is available for dine in and carry out, and if you choose to eat there, you’re going to want to order one of Sze Chuan’s specialty drinks. The menu includes 13 unique cocktails, like the Asian Romance (plum wine, pineapple juice, lime juice and grenadine) and Sake Martini (sake with Vermouth).

Trizest Restaurant, 33170 Dequindre Rd., Sterling Heights, has more dinner choices than one could possibly know what to do with, and you can order whatever your heart (and palate) desires online. It may be the epitome of laziness, but if I can order my Sweet & Sour Chicken online, run and pick it up and be back in time for the latest episode of Chicago Fire, I’m a happy gal.

Popular menu items are noted with a star and include Sichuan Chicken, Beef with Broccoli, Shrimp with Vegetables, Beef Shrimp Fried Rice and Chicken Lo Mein. It would be a shame to forget an appetizer, like a Vegetable Spring Roll or Crabmeat Cheese Wonton, as well.

Shangri-La, 4710 Cass Ave., Detroit, is located right in Midtown, and the restaurant specializes in Dim Sum and Cantonese dishes. Since there are so many dim sum options, there’s a completely separate menu with items like Baked BBQ Pork Bun, Curry Chicken Pastry and Pan-Fried Vegetable Bun. Since these bite-sized babies are so small, you don’t need to feel any guilt ordering several.

The main menu consists of even more authentic dishes, including chef specials like Ginger and Scallion Beef, Fried Jumbo Shrimp with Spicy Salt, Eggplant Stuffed with Shrimp Paste in Black Bean Sauce, and Mango Shrimp.

New Peking Restaurant, 29105 Ford Rd., Garden City, serves seriously good Chinese food that highlights Mandarin and Szechuan flavors. Lunch specials are served between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and each entrée is served with egg drop soup, an egg roll, fried rice and tea. With the most expensive dish costing a mere $7.55, it’s a pretty good deal if you ask me.

House specialties include Dry Garlic Sauce Shrimp (a dozen breaded jumbo shrimp, stir fried with garlic sauce), Chow Ma Mein (homemade noodles with spicy seafood soup), Ja-Jang Mein (homemade noodles with shrimp, onion and Chinese black bean sauce), and Spicy Pork Chop. If you’re serving a crowd, New Peking has dinner packages for two to six people that include everything from appetizers to a selection of entrees.

Lucky Dragon, 430 Eureka Rd., Wyandotte, is another Chinese restaurant that allows you to order your meal online. And everyone thinks technology is going too far! Dishes like Malasian Chicken, Roast Pork Lo Mein, Shrimp with Lobster Sauce and Moo Shu Vegetable are standout choices.

Dinner specials are served all day long, and each order comes with fried rice and an egg roll or soup. So you mean I can order Sesame Chicken with two sides and it costs less than a ticket to the latest blockbuster, which I will likely fall asleep in anyways? I’m sold.

With so many great Chinese restaurants in the Metro Detroit area, several of which prepare food specific to a certain region, you should seriously consider taking the time to try each of them. That won’t be a problem for me—I don’t need a fortune cookie to tell me that there’s a Chinese food meal in my immediate future.