Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Cute, Curry and Cheap Cuisine

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Cute, Curry and Cheap Cuisine

Article excerpt

It's Thursday, dusk, and Eating Companion (EC) and I are trying to navigate the Nokomis Village plaza's parking lot, headed to New China, a restaurant my own Pops swears by. I'm convinced some cruel genius designed all the parking lots in this part of town, some sick, sinister individual laughing his way to the bank, putting one- ways and angled spaces, odd entrances with no northbound access, exits that send you into foreign neighborhoods instead of depositing you back on the highway from which you came. And don't even get me started on the pedestrians.We're inside, trying to - as my Moms would say - "decompress." We forget the entire parking episode the second our waiter and waitress appear, two adorable grade-schoolers named Joseph and Winnie on spring break helping their parents run the family business. They seat diners, take drink orders, wipe down tables with great stoicism and a a bemused sophistication. EC is very entertained. "Look at them," he says. "They're like miniature adults."We start with some ice-cold Tsingtao, an order of crab Rangoon ($4.50), and some barbecue spare ribs ($7.50). Joseph takes the order, nods, dashes back to the kitchen, hands the order to proud mom May. Minnie is taking a to-go order over the phone, says, "It will be 15 minutes. Thank you."The crab Rangoon is fluffy and smooth, vaguely sweet. The ribs are thick and fatty, tender and smoky. We're off to a good start.The menu is pretty standard Chinese, with all the staples. Usually I would go for some General Tso's, since that's what everyone orders (like pad Thai at Thai joints, teriyaki chicken at Japanese), but I've actually had it before and it is quite good, the sauce not as syrupy-sweet as most, not as goopy. We instead go for boneless chicken w/ mixed veggies (a chef's recommendation, $9. …

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