China Town has that nice strip to walk around, but across Archer Avenue there's one restaurant with an orange awning called Phoenix. Depending on when you go it gets really packed, especially on Christmas day. We were lucky to get a reservation. The big thing there seems to be dim sum, but they don't have it at dinner times on the weekends.
The serving was a big team effort, and I never really figured out who our waiter was. Still, our drinks stayed full and almost all of our food made it without us asking. The portions of the food were nice and large. The prices had a huge range. You can get the typical family plate for $13 or you can go for some more expensive whole fish or duck options running for as much as $38. I think our bill came out around $20 per person.
We started with a bunch of appetizers including Regular and Veggie Egg Rolls, and Veggie Dumplings. We also got a "small" bowl of Hot and Sour Soup. I use quotation marks because we all got servings, and then I had some to take home.
The Veggie Dumplings
The Regular Egg Rolls
The Veggie Egg Rolls
The Hot and Sour Soup
For our main dishes we shared the Moo Shu Beef, Walnut Shrimp, Mongolian Chicken, and Combination Fried Rice. The Moo Shu Beef was pretty much as expected with a really rich and tangy sauce in the filling. The Walnut Shrimp had way too much mayonnaise based sauce on it, but the candied walnuts were delicious. The Mongolian Chicken was good in that it wasn't just another Americanized deep fried Chinese dish. The fried rice was a bit dry but was loaded with shrimp, beef, and chicken.
The Walnut Shrimp
The Moo Shu Beef
The Mongolian Chicken
The Combination Fried Rice
When I go to China Town I kind of expect a lot out of my meal. At the same time, I'm not always adventurous enough to try some of the super authentic items on the menu. If you're looking for authentic choices, Phoenix definitely has them though. They also have some pretty solid typical Chinese dishes that you may recognize a bit more if you grew up in Chicago. I don't think this would end Schneider's search for the best fried rice or anything, but it's still very good. I'll have to come back sometime and try the dim sum, but for now I'm giving Phoenix 3 out of 5 Pearls.