This particular post is inspired by a client of Roger's. I'd been asked for advice on where to find good Chinese food in the area, and before I knew it, I'd sent Roger something like fifteen texts full of recommendations. After that, I figured, hey, if I can do it on a phone, I can do it on a fancy blog-ma-jig. That's some right technical terms, just so y'know.
First off, Panda Garden (713-667-0880, www.pandagarden.com). Panda Garden's been a staple of mine for several years now. Located at 5534 Weslayan Houston, TX just north of West University Place, Panda Garden is best for a nice sit-down, dine in meal. The food's quite nice, the staff is prompt, and the restaurant is, for lack of a better word, soothing. It is quiet, the lighting is usually fairly unobtrusive, and they have those comfy booth-table-chair things.
My personal recommendations on the food can pretty much be summed up as 'anything on the menu', but my old standby is the #4 Combo, which is Sesame Chicken, White Rice, Wonton Soup, and a Spring Roll. It's quite a nice amount of food, and usually what I go for when I want a dinner meal. If aiming for something a bit different, their House Wonton Soup is basically a meal in its own right, as the 'small' is made for being split between two people and comes in its own cast iron bowl. Very tasty. I often supplement it with an order of dumplings, and I really can't choose on my favorite type of dumpling at Panda Garden. They come in the standard steamed and fried 'large' dumplings (Six per order), or you can get an order of spicy Schezuan dumplings, which are the small ones you find in their soup and come in an order of twelve.
I also have enjoyed the Mongolian Beef, General Tso Chicken, Lettuce Wraps, and the Mushu Pork. Problem is that I generally don't think to order anything other than my usual, because I enjoy it so much it has become a reflex to sit down and cheerily order 'a #4 white rice wonton soup spring roll and a pot of tea' before letting the ol' brain contemplate something different.
Somehow, I can live with that.
Combo Meals run from $8.50 to $10.50 for the lunch specials, or $9.50 to $12.25 for the dinner combos, with the seafood and beef combos being a bit pricier than the chicken ones, as a rule of thumb. 'Small' House Wonton soup is $5, while all the dumplings cost $5.25. On average, expect to pay about $13ish per person plus tip. That includes everyone getting a beverage of some sort instead of sticking to water, of course, and also can vary depending on what folks are getting. My father is quite content with splitting some soup and a single appetizer for a meal, for instance. We both agree that Panda Garden is our #1 Favorite Asian Restaurant.
Roger Martin Properties