|Mrs. HowChow photographs Noodles Corner|
A new cell phone has made the wife unembarrassed about snapping dinners in restaurants, but Red Pearl's closing has left us without a favorite place for Chinese food in Howard County.
The dim sum hole will need to be filled by Asian Court in Ellicott City. For the rest of the menu, I'm staring the nominations with Noodles Corner in Columbia. The bright, casual spot off Dobbin Road has a second menu with "authentic" Chinese, and we have eaten bright, fresh dishes that just feel different than most Chinese joints.
Fish in XO sauce. Mixed seafood with crisp vegetables, shrimp, mock crab, and squid. An eggplant cooked in a sauce that was all flavor, no grease or clump. We tend to order three dishes with the plan to take home at least two extra meals. The "authentic" menu is in English, so you can order with confidence -- especially if you check Yelp for advice from people like Yaka H. who go into details.
Is Noodles Corner as spectacular as Grace Garden in Odenton? No. That's one of my favorite places. But it's closer, and dishes range from the zesty hot pots to a simple, earthy bok choy and mushrooms. This looks like our takeout spot on cold winter nights.
Who else has nominations? What Chinese kitchen do you like best? What do you order there?
I have posted many times about Chinese food, including the Chinese food of Korea like Tian Chinese Cuisine. I even wrote a 2010 overview of Chinese restaurants. Give me new suggestions, and I'll work through them.