Nobody likes a sad, skinny baby...nobody!
Whether I’m ordering a meal at a restaurant or cooking up something at home, enjoying what I eat brings me immense satisfaction. On the other hand, being disappointed in a meal sends me into tantrum mode.
I expect certain things out of a dining experience. I’m realistic about the standards I hold for each place, from the local taco bar to the five star steak house. What I've decided is that it's about a perfect balance between service, food quality, ambiance and price. That may seem like a lot to juggle, but Houston is a big city with a plethora of restaurants to choose from. There’s no reason to expect anything less than the best.
If you strip my needs down to the bare essentials, you'll find I'm very much like a baby; I love tasty food and I love to be happy. If an experience doesn't generate a sense of fulfillment for those two basic needs...you're gonna hear me cry.
Nobody likes a sad, skinny baby...nobody!
Montrose Chinese Restaurant - Give it a Try
The Skinny: Skip a trip to Houston's Chinatown for the same meal, same deal...but with better bathrooms.
The Fat: Overall, I'm not a huge fan of Chinese food. Like the common pizza, if Chinese food is not made extraordinarily well, it becomes a diluted, US influenced version of its original form.
While we are one of the largest cities in the country, let's face it, our Chinatown (tucked between 59 and Beltway 8)is vastly different from those of our bustling counterparts partly because it can't be reached with the same fluidity. That being said, if you're up for an outer loop adventure it's not half bad. There are some pretty neat shops, bakeries and restaurants.
On the other hand, if you're an inner loop homebody looking for some inexpensive Chinese with FREE delivery, then Montrose Chinese Restaurant will satisfy your urge.
They offer what you might expect from a Chinese joint - anything from a simple Wonton soup to flavorful Crispy Orange Flavored Beef to a Club Seafood Delight which includes all the seafood gems like prawns to lobster.
Vegetarians and meat lovers alike can choose from a considerable number of entrees, appetizers, and soup selections which is one of the things that makes Chinese food such a great option. Their entrees - all with tender meat and/or crisp veggies and rich sauces in the $8 to $13 range - make this place an anchor of the fast food variety.
Forget the Pork and Vegetable Dumplings. The first time we went my friend and I had just finished a lazy day of bike riding. I had seen some dumplings at the local grocery the day before and simply couldn't get them out of my head. This hole-in-the-wall place right by my house came to mind, so we made our way there and ordered the Vegetable Dumplings.
The sweet lady working the counter became very anxious when I ordered them, telling me it would take at least 10 minutes. I assured her that I could wait.
The loveliness of a well steamed dumpling is how translucent, slippery and delicate it becomes when it's had enough time to cook. When these dumplings arrived, however, the dough was - for lack of a better description - al dente. The filling was ideal, but each bite exposed bits of the tough, white dough that had remained untouched by the essential steam.
I've been three times now and each time since, I've asked them to steam the dumplings thoroughly. I politely express to them that time is not an issue and that I like my dumplings "well done". Nonetheless, I get the same outcome.
They're so concerned with getting your order to you in a flash that they sacrifice the necessary steaming time. While a "fast food" mentality is invaluable for a place with only four tables, it takes vital a toll on this one dish.
Everything else is hot, well cooked and bursting with flavor. They serve up everything you love about Chinese; tender meat, fluffy rice, rich sauces and spicy accents.
The dining area is adequate, bathrooms are clean, service is great and restaurant is tidy - but the small space looks not unlike the inside of a hospital waiting room, so if you love going out to eat this is not an ideal destination.
I give this place a thumbs up mostly because they're fast, they deliver for free and the food's not half bad for the price. Take out and delivery is when Montrose Chinese Restaurant really shines. Your to-go bag will be filled with chopsticks, all the necessary sauces and fortune cookies, without question.
Location: 1952 Montrose Blvd. - 713.529.5288
P.S. If you want extraordinary dumplings, but don't mind the drive to Chinatown, try Lai Lai Dumpling House. They serve yummy, yummy dumplings in an yucky, yucky place. There are dusty silk flowers everywhere and it looks like an ideal spot for making drug deals, but I'm not a scaredy cat. I live for good food...so why not die for it?