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January 1, 2009

If you're looking for a great Chinese restaurant...


For a restaurant critic, the best way to start off a new year is with a four-star review. It doesn't happen very often, but it did for Richard today, who ate at Grace Garden in Odenton.

Not only will you be glad to discover this Chinese restaurant if you haven't already, but his review has some excellent suggestions in it, such as planning your meal in advance by using Grace Garden's Web site.

Just his descriptions of the food are making me crave Chinese.

Lovely review, Richard. And a very happy new year to you! 

(Gene Sweeney Jr./Sun photographer) 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 7:45 PM | | Comments (10)


And, he mentioned the Sandbox.

I'm jealous. I've been wanting to get to Grace Gardens for months, but it isn't in a public transit friendly location. They've been all over the foodie blogs for awhile, and it sounds like he isn't coasting on reputation at all.

Ewww! I looked at one of the pictures of a chicken dish, and like they say, the head was on. Ewwww!
I definitely want to go there. I remember when this place was mentioned months ago, and it sounds great.
Except for the chicken head.

I never read reviews because I refuse to accept another person's subjectivity. It is a form of self-destruction and abuse. It is like eating death with a teaspoon. Or giving birth by ox proxy. Or making macaroni and cheese with potatoes.

That is why I could never write a review of my experience at Salt which the Sun graciously paid for the first $100. I felt that writing about it would be a weird combination of slavery and masturbation.

If you accept another's subjectivity then you can never experience that movie, restaurant, or event yourself for the first time. Reading reviews is a form of infantilism. Critics are the bane of free thought. Boycott and ignore them. Stone them (only in your mind).

And that's how we start off the new year. (There's no way this is going to get published.)

I've been intrigued by Grace Gardens for a while now, too. It consistently receives dynamite reviews from everyone who's gone there.

Owl, you seem to be in a weird consipracy ridden paranoia. Was your New Years Eve celebrated a la Hunter S. Thompson?

What happened with Chinese food? Good Chinese food almost seems like an oxymoron now. It seems like such a rich source of flavors, but it's been relegated to the margins in the US (everywhere?).

One of the problems with Chinese food is that it, like Indian food, doesn't exist. Or, rather, it is such a meta term that it is useless.

Then you get US-style Chinese food, which was designed to be palatable to people who were afraid of eating non-American food.

The possibilities for real Chinese food are staggering.

I used to visit Indian restaurants with a colleague who is Indian. He could explain to me what the various dishes were and speak with the staff (Usually they knew each other) so we got real Indian food, not what they served the tourists. Even in Arizona.

If you want real Thai or Indian or Chinese food you can get it at the righht restaurant. In all cases, people in the know have told me to go to such and such place and ask them to make you something that they would eat. If you go to the right place they actually love doing it. Think about it. If you have real Chinese people running a place, they make Chinese food for themselves every day. Bingo. I also suspect that there is a special menu whether written or not for natives.

I was at Grace Garden again for the umpteenth time on Friday. What's being said about it is not hype. It really is as good as everyone says.

Must haves: The Sichuan pork belly. Fish noodles. Golden shrimp. Everything else.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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