Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Great Beijing

Location: 6717 N Lincoln Ave.
Cost: About $15 per person

In order to keep a nice balance to JEC, I've realized that it's best to post about every three days. The benefit to this pattern is that it gives everyone a chance to read a post before throwing up something new, and on my end it prevents posting droughts. The one negative is that sometimes I get a huge backup of posts, and this is the largest one so far. Today I will tell you about my Christmas day Chinese dinner.

Like I've explained before, my family, like many members of our tribe, likes to get Chinese food on Christmas. In the past we've typically gone to Phoenix. This year though we had a big crew including my family, the Ockrims, the Levinsons, and Jodi, and the decision was made that Chinatown was too far away. The plan was to hit up Pekin House on Devon Avenue. The word was that they had the best egg rolls in town, but the second we stepped into the place, the general stench was so overpowering that we had to leave. It was now getting late, and we were in a mad scramble to find a place that could take a party of 12. We tried a bunch of places, but everywhere was either too full or already closed. Finally we ended up at Great Beijing.

The setup is pretty simple at Great Beijing. They've got one pretty large dining room with plenty of seating. We had one lengthy table that they slapped together last minute for us. Obviously Christmas day is an exception to a typical night out, but I think you can probably get by without a reservation most of the time. Also, they have plenty of parking.

The service was great considering we had such a large group who had no idea what to order. The waiter gave us plenty of guidance, and our food came out quickly. The cost was exactly what you'd expect at a suburban Chinese restaurant. Entrees were near $10 with appetizers around $6. They had a really good deal on this appetizer combo for $12 that was enough to serve five people or so.

The Food
The first thing we got was some soup. Some people had the Sizzling Rice Soup while others went for the Hot and Sour. Both soups were well done but the broth was a little too thick. We then got the appetizer combo platters which included Short Ribs, Egg Rolls, Pot Stickers, Crab Rangoon, Chicken Wings, and Beef Skewers. It was a great deal with a ton of food. My favorites were the rangoon and the skewers. I thought the other items were relatively average.

The Sizzling Rice Soup

The Hot and Sour Soup

 The Appetizer Combo

From there we got a smorgasbord of items for the whole table to share including the Kung Pao Shrimp, the Vegetable Fried Rice, the Mongolian Beef, the Crispy Beef, the Combo Lo Mein, and the Three Flavored Chaing Mein (not sure on the spelling here). The Shrimp was the first thing I tried and was not spicy enough for the name Kung Pao. The fried rice was really heavy on veggies in a good way, and it had a nice crisp to the rice. Both beef dishes were average in flavor with very savory sauces and nice textures, but it was a big plus that they weren't too greasy. This Chaing Mein was homemade noodles with scallop, shrimp, and zucchini in a black bean curd sauce. The waiter gave me props on ordering his childhood favorite dish, but I don't know if everyone liked it as much as I did. The seafood was well prepared, and the sauce had a nice texture that complimented the tender homemade noodles well.

The Kung Pao Shrimp

The Vegetable Fried Rice

The Mongolian Beef

The Crispy Beef

The Combo Lo Mein

 The Three Flavored Chaing Mein

I've got to give them some mad props for taking our large party on Christmas day at the last minute. In all, I'd say that the food was slightly above average. It's probably too long of a trip to get there for some of you city folk, and I wouldn't necessarily suggest getting a zip car to check it out anytime soon. I'm giving Great Beijing 3 out of 5 Pearls.

Great Beijing on Urbanspoon


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