|Fish noodles at Grace Garden|
Grace Garden serves hands-down the best Chinese food in the area. So good that we had our best Chinese meal in years even though we ordered in part by just pointing at the dish that just happened to be served to the only other guy in the restaurant.
Of course, our table included some great favorites. The fish noodles are a perfect dish -- actual noodles made from a paste of firm, white fish and flavored with an incredible mix of mushrooms, green onions and slivers of pork. The sauce provides a warm richness, but there is no oiliness or grease.
You can't go wrong at Grace Garden. It's a one-chef operation in a forlorn part of Rte 32 just across from Fort Meade. But the "authentic" menu has an array of amazing dishes from simple vegetable platters to complex whole poultry that need to be ordered two or three days in advance.
The bottom line is that every single dish that we have eat at Grace Garden would be on the table of the best Chinese in Howard County. We really like places like Noodles Corner in Columbia, but Grace Garden's dishes are simultaneously more subtle and more flavorful.
|Cantonese braised chicken|
The braised chicken is an absolute winner, even for Mrs. HowChow who doesn't normally want to nibble meat off a bone. It was a random win for us, although I later realized that it is repeated rave on the Chowhound thread that first introduced me to Grace Garden.
Seriously, read that thread or my old posts about Grace Garden. Pick a few dishes that interest you. Tofu pockets? Eggplant with plum sauce? Pork and squid stir fry? Then just drive to Odenton. It's a basic place -- maybe a half-dozen tables and photos on the wall that I think were provided by diners who love the restaurant. You go for the food.
This is part of a Worth Repeating series highlighting dishes and places that you should hear about even though they aren't new. I'm suggesting sandwiches, Cuban pork chops, ground chuck and other items that have been HowChow favorites for years.
I think Grace Garden is incredibly kid-friendly. There is no atmosphere to the place except for the friendliness of the chef and his family. That's a great atmosphere for kids. No one is going to be disturbed by children at your table.