I had a great multicourse lunch at Qingdao Garden a couple of weekends ago.
Order from the Qingdao specialties on the pink side of the menu. Three dishes -- shredded pork with dried bean curd, spiced conch, and a Peking-style eggplant -- were especially good. Seaweed and pickle dishes were good. A cold sliced beef side dish was bland and needed rescue from a neighboring entree's hot peppers. I liked the pork-and-pickled-cabbage soup, but I seemed to be in the minority there. We ate more but I didn't keep notes, so I lost track. After we all felt we were too bloated to have anything more, most of us still loved the final course, the "home style fish": the meat was tender, the sauce was succulent, and we left nothing but bones and the head.
I hadn't had high hopes for the place, since it was (a) located out in the middle of nowhere across from a trolley yard, and (b) recommended by family who were friends of the new owners. But I graze through NYC's Chinatown often enough to know what's good, and this place was great.
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