Sunday, March 22, 2009

here a lee, there a lee

After seven years in Knoxville, I have still not found a satisfactory neighborhood Chinese restaurant. Sure, P.F. Chang's is great for special occasions. The last time I was there, the place was so packed that a server brought out free samples to those of us enduring the long wait for tables. I have been meaning to try a place called Hong Kong House that I read about in the News Sentinel. Supposedly they have a world-class chef from the Chinese embassy. As many times as I've been on Kingston Pike, I've never actually see the place. All I know is that it's somewhere near Toys R Us. Unfortunately, the Chinese restaurant closest to my house is the troubled China Star Buffet.

On the way to church this morning, I spotted a sign for a new Chinese restaurant called China Lee, which is probably not affiliated with an actress named China Lee. Unlike PF Chang's and Hong Kong House, I will drive past this place at least once a week. It's on Middlebrook Pike, in the same strip mall as Clean Sh, er Smart.

There's no indication of exactly when China Lee will open, just that it is coming soon. They still have some work to do on the inside. An unidentified Bama fan was parked in front, probably as anxious as my wife and me for some moo shu.

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Blogger overtly trite said...

China Pearl out in front of the super Kroger in Farragut is very good

Anonymous LissaKay said...

PF Chang's is where Rich and I went for our very first date, just a hair over 2 years ago, on Feb 17. (I can tell you what I wore, what he wore, what we both ordered, the movie we saw afterward ... yes, it's a girl thing!)

Today, we are 5 days away from our wedding!

I am SO happy you guys will be there! It just wouldn't be the same without you!

Now, if we could just do something about the darned weather report!

Anonymous LissaKay said...

Ohmigoodness ... I completely forgot the real point of posting a comment! For whatever reason, my brains are not fully in gear. Gee, I wonder why? Anyway, you do know that PF Chang's takes reservations, right? It's best to call the day before for special occasions, a few hours ahead will get you a table reserved on most regular weekend nights.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

New China on Clinton Highway is hands down THE best Chinese food in Knoxville. It's a little hole in the wall place that you might miss if you didn't know it was there but it is for sure worth checking out.

Blogger Gandeida said...

I totally agree with the anonymous person who wrote that New China on Clinton Highway is the BEST Chinese restaurant in Knoxville. They are definitely my first choice if I am dining in or ordering carry-out.

Coolest thing, though. Two nights ago, I saw the commercial for Southwest Airlines where the guy sets off the sprinkler system by microwaving his Chinese take-out box with a big fat metal fork sticking out of it. Now, even if he hadn't left the fork in there, the metal handle on the box would have been sufficient...I guess that just didn't have the same visual impact.

Anyway, it is on my list of 50 things to do before I die to have Chinese food delivered. I have, all of my life, watched folks on TV sitting around at home or at work eating Chinese out of take-out boxes with chopsticks, and I have ALWAYS wanted to have Chinese delivered. Problem was that I never lived close enough to a Chinese restaurant that delivered, and I didn't want to pay the Take-out Taxi fee.

Well, I had an overwhelming urge for Chinese food after seeing that commercial, so I went on a hunt for Chinese restaurants that deliver...finally having come to the point where my desire was great enough to go ahead and pay the exhorbitant delivery fee. Lo and behold, I found Full House Chinese Restaurant less than 3 miles from my house right here in Powell. Boy, has Powell come up in the world :-)

I didn't have a menu, and they didn't have one online...but if you eat Chinese food fairly often...who needs a menu?

I placed my order, and was told that it would be 30-40 minutes for the food to arrive. Well, the young lady arrived with the food in less than 25 minutes, and she actually bowed to me before leaving! The food was STEAMING HOT, and extremely good.

Now, Full House isn't the House of Woo in Canton, MI (Best Chinese Restaurant anywhere...except maybe in China), but considering what passes for good Chinese in this area...Full House has the cards stacked in their favor :-) (still hasn't beat New China overall for me, but darned close).

I don't know what the delivery area is, but the meal was reasonably priced with only a $2 delivery charge...well worth a try!

Until then

Blogger Gandeida said...

Oh...I completely forgot the little Chinese restaurant next to Kroger in Oak Ridge. They have the BEST Moo Goo Gai Pan anywhere (well, except, of course, the House of Woo in Canton, MI).

If you are up that way, and have a hankerin' for Chinese, it is well worth a try. Really big pieces of chicken...HUGE fresh whole mushrooms...just yummy!!!

Blogger Gandeida said...

And a final sad note...the House of Woo is no longer. I have searched high and low, but they are no longer open.

Luckily, Xochimilco, the BEST Mexican restaurant on the planet in Detroit is still hopping...whew...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We tried China Lee on Wed. night, and we liked it quite well, for inexpensive, quick take-out Chinese. My call-in order was taken by a very pleasant lady, and I was told it would be ready in 10 minutes. It actually was.

Ten minutes later, my family was heartily digging in and enjoying it. The chicken in my husband's Japanese chicken was lean and fresh. The shrimp in my Hot & Spicy shrimp were much larger than the shrimp you typically get from Chinese restaurants. The beef lo mein was very tasty and contained lots of shredded veggies, which my kids ate without too much fuss.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to know I wasn't the only one awaiting their opening. For the past 2-3 years I've been hoping a Chinese restaurant would open up nearby, and, if it wasn't too much to ask, that it be good too.

I, too, ate there the day it opened and have been back a few times since.

Easily the best Chinese food I've found so far (and believe me, I've tried a LOT) in Knoxville.

You also can't beat the price. Add in the fact that it's like 5 minutes from my house and I couldn't be happier.


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