Saturday, February 09, 2008

Eastern Lights - Gimme Potstickers

Yesterday afternoon, I was recommending Eastern Lights's potstickers and it dawned on me that I hadn't eaten any of them in a while in an "Mmm.. Potstickers..." sort of way.

They make them from scratch at Eastern Lights and are the best ones I've had anywhere. I don't usually have to even order them. This proved to be difficult during my brief stint as a vegetarian, four years ago.

This is the Shrimp with Lobster Sauce, which we order almost every time, because it's one of my Second Most Faithful Reader's favorite dishes. They do a fabulous job on the shrimp. He also always orders hot and sour soup and thinks they make the very best, even better than Mary Chung's, in Cambridge. I forgot to photograph it, because I was too busy stealing multiple spoonfuls. They give you a huge vat and it's way more than I could possibly eat in addition to a meal.

This is the Roast Pork with Green Onions, which is one of my favorites. We used to order Mongolian Beef regularly, because it was my brother's favorite. Now that I don't eat beef, this is a good substitute, since it has the same green onions and crispy rice noodles. I actually like the sweet barbecued pork better anyway.

My family has been going to Frank and Lily Chao's restaurant since they first opened the Mandarin House in South Square mall, around 1980. Around 1990, the Mandarin House moved across Chapel Hill Blvd. to where the Mayflower is today. Eventually, they sold the restaurant and moved to the west coast for a time, around 1998. This made it difficult for us to find the same quality of Chinese food in this area and it felt like a tragedy. When they moved back to this area, they opened their current location, Eastern Lights, on University Drive. There was much rejoicing. When you've been going to the same family's restaurant for about 28 years, you've built up a wealth of memories of not only delicious food, but of family celebrations and even grief.

(One time we went to the Mandarin House, sobbing, after thinking that the cat had accidentally been taken away in an old couch, by Goodwill, but we were wrong. She was fine.)

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