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February 24, 2008 / Tony

Lunch at Jade Dragon

Why don’t I just get to the point:  Jade Dragon has seriously good Vietnamese and Chinese food.  I was there for lunch today and I was supremely satisfied with my entire dining experience.  The service was quick and attentive, the food was excellently prepared and generously portioned, and the bill was very inexpensive.  I really can’t wait to back again.

My sister Jessy and I ordered 3 dishes:  Steamed Pork Dumplings, Sesame Chicken, and Phở.  Let’s start with the dumplings.  Here’s a picture:

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The dumplings were perfectly steamed, by which I mean the wonton skins were not cooked to the point where there was any gumminess on the surface.  That was very pleasant.  The filling was a mixture of pork, cabbage, and spices.  It was served with a slightly spicy soy-based dipping sauce that had a hint of citrus.  It was excellent.  The filling was meaty and flavorful.  The sauce accentuated all of the flavors in the dumpling.  It was elegantly done. 

I also ate the Phở.  (My sister Jessy ordered the Sesame Chicken.  It tasted and it was very good-crispy with a slightly spicy, orange flavored sauce.)  Here’s a picture:

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I ordered the Phở with meatballs, brisket, and (I think) round steak.  It was #23 on the menu and, unbeknownst to me, it was the specialty Phở of the kitchen.  Phở, of course, is bánh phở noodles in a spiced beef broth.  And that is precisely what I got:  A very flavorful broth with tender noodles surrounded by substantial bits of beef.  It was garnished with green onions and cilantro.  On the side, there was bean sprouts, a lime wedge, Sriracha, and hoisin sauce.  It was unbelievably good and unbelievably large.  I think there was about 1 1/2 quarts of Phở in my serving. 

The broth was wonderful.  There was deep beefiness with notes of cinnamon.  The beef was tender and flavorful.  It was perfect by itself but was also good when dipped in the Sriracha and hoisin sauce.  The green onions and cilantro added a lightness and brightness to the dish.  The bean sprouts added a nice crunch.  And the noodles were simply satisfying.  They were a perfect base for all of the other flavors. 

As you can tell, I really enjoyed my dining experience at Jade Dragon.  I hope you can find time to enjoy it as well.

Jade Dragon can be found at:  1015 Main Ave., Fargo.  The phone number is:  (701) 293-0152

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4 Comments

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  1. Casey / Feb 25 2008 1:22 pm

    Tony, I’ve been telling you for years to go to Jade Dragon. It’s nice to see that you finally checked it out. My buddy Delray and I once ate there five times in one workweek (five days). We each got the sesame chicken lunch special every time – it comes with sesame chicken, an egg roll, fried rice and a cup of soup.

    Best week of my life.

    The Pho is also very good and authentic Vietnamese.

  2. Elliah Finckleton / Feb 25 2008 7:23 pm

    HI,
    A well-run restaurant is like a winning baseball team. It makes the most of every crew member’s talent and takes advantage of every
    split-second opportunity to speed up service.

  3. DocMara / Feb 26 2008 8:41 am

    I totally agree. I love the Pho Rau Cai. The only gripe I have is that they went from napa cabbage to iceberg lettuce in their Vietnamese noodle dish (the one that comes with veggies, noodles, and fish sauce).

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