A Chinese Restaurant in East Peoria is Eric Shangraw's new favorite spot for carry–out.
However Eric is dining in at "Jade Garden" in this week's You Gotta Eat.
If you prefer Americanized Chinese food in a buffet line, don't bother taking your brother to Jade Garden.
This is for the purist. –For the eater looking to run the big flavors of Beijing across the palate.
It's all prepared fresh to order.
The main cook, who doesn't speak a lick of English, has flames licking around his multiple woks.
Look how he's working two hands at once!
I asked the husband and wife owners for a rundown of the most popular items on the menu.
"General Tso's Chicken. Crab Rangoon. And Mongolian Beef. It is very good," said Jenny Chen.
"We make the taste very authentic. It is a real taste from China," said Tony Lin.
"It is really the flavor and the way they cook the food. I mean you can tell they put real effort into it. Other places, the Chinese almost seem to taste like fast food," said customer Jon Donley.
Jade Garden is a real family affair. At nigh the owners' kids are usually working on homework and eager to read to customers.
Photographer Larry Foulk and I ordered Mongolian Beef and the House Special Fried Rice.
The Mongolian Beef is prepared with onions, beef and a Chinese red pepper sauce... like a chili pepper.
The House Special Fried Rice comes with chicken, pork and shrimp.
One of the great deals here is that if you order more than ten dollars worth of Chinese food, you get a free order of Crab Rangoon. It comes with Duck Sauce. It's great!
Larry and I put away our order like it was a last meal before entering the Forbidden City. –Although we had enough leftovers to eat again another day.
Our bill $18.64.
Even though the restaurant is small and most of the business is carry out, the, taste is tops here, at home, or at your desk at work.
Jade Garden is in Fondulac Plaza in East Peoria. 2450 E. Washington St.
They are open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, and they deliver. 309-699-1288.