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Cleveland Report Part I: Bo Loong

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Cleveland Report Part I: Bo Loong

BarbaraF | Feb 5, 2004 05:18 PM

I am sure most Cleveland area chowhounds have been to Bo Loong, and reported on it, but I figured I would give my impressions.

First of all, thanks to all the Chowhounds out there who gave suggestions for where to eat in Cleveland while I was there with my Mom at the Cleveland Clinic. Because the weather was so crappy and we were tired most of the time, we didn't eat out as much as I would have liked, nor did we get to travel as widely, but we are planning on a visit back there in the summer some weekend. (Mom is doing great, btw--and is being released from the hospital tomorrow.)

Back to the topic--Bo Loong. I had heard that they had the best dim sum in Cleveland, something that I find to be exciting, since generally, if I want dim sum, I make it myself. But the first time we ate at Bo Loong, we showed up at ten pm, and wanted something other than dim sum. We looked at the extensive menue and were pleased to see a lot of good stuff like clams cooked with black beans and a casserole of tofu with black mushrooms and choy sum. They even served hot pot.

But, when we saw the noodle soups, all thoughts of dim sum and hot pot went dancing out of our heads. My husband ordered his perennial favorite: roast pork noodle soup, and I ordered shredded pork with preserved vegetable noodle soup.

They both were very good--with excellent rich, clear pork and chicken broth--his had egg noodles, choy sum, carrots, scallions and lots of thin slices of very good roast pork. Mine was piled high with extremely tender fresh pork, bean sprouts, preserved mustard greens, scallions, and thinly sliced black mushroom, all stir fried together with some wine and served over a scary huge pile of rice noodles.

We both put some chili oil on our soups and went to town with the spoon and chopsticks, and I have to say, in my case, I have had no better soup, even in San Francisco. Zak said his soup was very good, but not the best he has ever had--that honor goes to a tiny place that used to be in Columbia, Maryland.

We went back the next day for dim sum. I have to admit to not being as impressed as I hoped I would be with the dim sum offerings. It was good, but I have had better--often from my own kitchen. The beef meatballs were overly sweet, and the shu mai were good, but not phenominal. Some of the shrimp in the various fillings was on the fishy-tasting side, and that wasn't helpful. The turnip cake was on the greasy and limp side, but the lotus seed filled sesame balls were quite good.

All in all, it was a good place--and when we go back to Cleveland, we will eat there again. If nothing else, it will get me my shredded pork and preserved vegetable soup fix, though I am curious to try the hot pot. While we were there a pair of young Chinese American men ordered it and it looked and smelled wonderful.

All in all, it was a good restaurant with quite reasonable prices. The decor is great, if you like that Hong Kong movie look--I kept expecting to have Chow Yun Fat in a trenchcoat with a toothpick in his mouth come up shooting from behind a plant or something, but that only added to the experience. Oh, and they played soundtracks from Hong Kong movies, including some of the themes from "The East is Red" on the stereo system. I am sure that helped the surreality of the environment.

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