The Red Pearl restaurant in Homewood seems to be responding to the competition from Hoover newcomer Chen's Authentic Chinese Cuisine. (The Chens, coincidentially, once ran Red Pearl).
Red Pearl has greatly expanded its menu, adding more authentic Chinese dishes and taking advantage of the fresh produce, pork , duck and especially seafood they sell in the adjoining market.
A few items you may recognize from Chen's -- cold plates of beef flank and beef tender, crispy baby fish with peanuts. But they've also added seafood dishes from the live red snapper, tilapia and dungeness crab the merket sells, some interesting pork dishes and various fried rice cakes (the one with Manila clams is my next order there).
If you want to get exotic, they have stir-fries with conch, snail, the aforementioned Manlia clams -- all from the live shellfish they sell in the market.
This is the kind of menu that calls for a bunch of people to go in, order like crazy and pass them around.
For those who haven't been, it's on West Valley Avenue, on a hill to the left as you drive from Green Springs. The restuarant is closed on Mondays.
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