Tess on the Town: Nov. 25
We were driving home from a round at Chipeta Golf Course this week when we passed a golden banner announcing “Grand Opening.”
“Swing back around,” I said, “I want to grab a menu.”
A U-turn later, my husband and I were in New Asia Garden and decided we deserved lunch after a long walk on the links.
Turns out, the restaurant has been open for a couple of months. But that’s OK, the “grand opening” sign served to get my attention.
We immediately were greeted and seated in the storefront Chinese and Thai restaurant with minimal décor but a clean, new-digs feel.
We decided to give the place the General Tao test. It’s said that in American cooking, if the chef can’t roast a decent chicken, the rest of the menu isn’t going to pass muster. In a Chinese restaurant, at least according to my husband, the same test can be applied to General Tao chicken.
The General arrived fresh, hot and gooey with a great balance of sweet, spicy and just enough chili oil to give it verve. It wasn’t overly loaded with filler vegetables and my other half pronounced that it had passed the General Tao test, and then some.
On the Thai side, we sampled pad krapraw. The chicken and vegetable dish had loads of licorice-flavored basil and Thai peppers for an authentic taste of Siam.
You’ll find all the usual suspects on the menu at New Asia Garden. It’s not ground-breaking in that respect, but just a good Chinese/Thai restaurant.
We were impressed by the prompt, friendly service from the owner, John, and his mother.
He previously owned a restaurant called Fruita Tea House. The competition in Fruita was fierce and he started looking for a location on Orchard Mesa.
There were too many restaurants in Fruita, he said, including two other Chinese joints.
John is quick with a big grin and good at joshing around. When we pestered him about when he’d start delivering on Redlands Mesa, he said, “Oh, you live in Redlands? You must be rich man.”
RING-DING-A-DING: The season of giving has started, and many food banks are asking donors to check the label before dropping off items such as ramen noodles and frosted cereals in the donation bin, The Associated Press reported.
Many donated foods are high in salt, sugar or calories, making them poor choices for needy recipients, especially the elderly or those with health issues.
So, what foods are healthy and inexpensive enough not to bust a gracious donor’s budget?
Food bank operators recommend non-perishables such as:
Low-sugar cereal, Cheerios or Chex, for example.
100 percent juice.
Bags of dried pinto or black beans.
Canned vegetables marked lite or low sodium.
Canned tuna fish.
Powdered milk fortified with vitamin D.
Whole wheat pasta.
OPEN HOUSES: Two wineries have open houses coming up. Friday through Sunday, Nov. 25–27, Palisade’s Carlson Vineyards, 461 35 Road, will pour award-winning gewurztraminer and riesling. Hot peach cobbler in a mug and cherry and chocolate are the featured holiday drinks.
On Dec. 2, Graystone Winery, 3352 F Road, invites the public for hors d’oeuvres and wine from 6–9 p.m. The first 25 guests receive a surprise gift.
QUOTE: “Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants.” — Kevin James, comedian
Send tips and ideas to Tess.Furey@gj sentinel.com.