restaurant

Chinese Restaurant in Page, Arizona

You’ll find several hot and spicy Szechuan specialties as well as traditional Mandarin Chinese food at the Mandarin Gourmet in Page, Arizona. Located just off of Highway 89 on South Lake Powell Blvd, this restaurant has become a popular stop for visitors en route from the Grand Canyon to Zion National Park. Marked with chili icons to indicate the degree of ‘hotness,’ many Szechuan favorites are featured; including General Chow Chicken, Szechuan Scallop and Shrimp, and Kung Pao Szechuan.

Kung pao chicken

Today chili peppers are an indispensable feature of Chinese cuisine along with peppercorn, bean paste and garlic — giving Szechuan food it’s intense flavors. Of course, hot and spicy food is treasured throughout the Southwest, where green and red chili sauces are household items. It’s no wonder that South Westerners also like their Chinese food piquante (Spanish for hot and spicy). Red chili sauce is also a must on top of fry bread and beans — a staple in Navajo and Apache cultures.

9605671-woman-eating-chinese-food-with-chopsticksIt is unclear precisely how chili peppers were introduced to Szechuan, a mountain strewn region in western China. Indian missionaries could have brought chilies with them during their travels along China’s famous Silk Route, or they could have been brought in by Chinese merchants trading with Portuguese and Spanish sailors at various seaports.

If you are tasting Szechuan food for the first time, let me give you a simple hint: drinking water does not make the hotness go away. Eat rice instead – it absorbs the hot chili oil. Or try some Tsing Tao or Kirin Beer. Cold Coca-Cola and milk also known to sooth the hot and spicy sensation.

If you can’t tolerate hot and spicy, there are many delicious Cantonese Chinese entres on the menu — from Chow Mein to Beef with Broccoli. For real comfort food without the hot and spicy, try their Moo Shu choices and wrap your shredded veggies and meat (or tofu) in soft, warm potato pancakes. Enjoy.

–Kerry K is an enchilada and apple pie foodie who has a fascination with small town restaurants in the Southwest.

The Mandarin Gourmet: Best Kept Secret

The Mandarin Gourmet is a Page, Arizona best kept secret. You won’t want to miss this Chinese restaurant, located on South Lake Powell Blvd near the intersection of Highway 89. Tucked in the Plaza next to Page Lumber, you’ll see the signature yellow Mandarin Gourmet sign. This restaurant accommodates a variety of groups in table seating as well as private booths. The waiters are courteous and the environment is bright. This a family restaurant with a children’s buffet price — a local favorite.

usingchopsticks

Don’t forget to ask for chopsticks

Best Buffet in Town for Less than a Burger and Fries

For lunch and dinner, you have the option of serving yourself to the Mandarin Gourmet’s huge buffet of Chinese dishes and fruit salad. In a hurry? Get a healthy lunch at the best buffet in town for less than a burger and fries. How do they offer so much while keeping their prices so low?  You will find owner George Hsu overlooking every aspect of the operation along with his wife and son. As a family, they run a tight ship.

Hunan, Szechwan and Mandarine Chinese Cuisine

In addition to their grande buffet, you may also choose from a menu of traditional Hunan, Szechwan and Mandarin combinations. Many sumptuous vegetable and tofu selections are available and prepared without MSG upon request. Some of their most popular dishes are Kung Pao Szechwan, Sesame Chicken or Beef, and Moo Shu Chicken. Dishes arrive steaming hot with fresh, al dente vegetables, flavored sauces with meat and white rice.

Imported beer–Tsing Tao, Kirin, and Corona–are on the menu along with domestic Bud, Coors and light. Wine by the glass and bottle are offered at reasonable prices as well as Sake. Traditional tea is available hot or cold as well as refreshing raspberry iced tea.

My recommendation is to go with a few friends, order a variety of dishes, and have a feast! Don’t forget to ask for chopsticks.

Keep your fortune in your wallet.

–Kerry K is an enchilada and apple pie foodie who has a fascination with small town restaurants in the Southwest.