+
Restaurants & Bars

Grace Garden - Chinese in Odenton

crackers | May 17, 200806:10 PM     316

Wow!
I should probably stop right there. Once word gets out about this place I may never be able to just stroll in again like I did tonight with a posse of Charmcity chowhounds. Grace Garden, with Chef Chun manning the woks is one of those places you want to keep to yourself, and yet you know you just can’t.

Thanks to a tip off here on chowhound, I put out a call to fellow hounds and four of them graciously indulged my whim and drove to Odenton to join me tonight. The five of us sat down to some of the best Chinese food I have ever had around Baltimore.

It’s hard to fault a hole in the wall place (though not without some nice touches such as very pretty artwork on the walls), with a skilled chef – round tables with lazy susans, byo with a package store next door, plenty of free parking, credit cards welcome, gracious and helpful service and the food. The food!

For our first meal here (though certainly not the last) we chose five dishes – one off-menu offered by our waitress, and four from the Chinese menu. We started with the special – bright green chive blossoms sautéed in ginger and speckled with bits of salted dried fish. A real winner! Next up – fish noodles. Not like any I had had before. Long (very long) fat strands of soft noodle, with bits of ham, minced fish and scallons. Incredible. Then came a plate of gently braised minced shrimp stuffed tofu on a mild sauce with mushrooms – soft comforting goodness. Cantonese braised chicken was small bone-in chunks of dark meat chicken, and loads of soft garlic cloves in a garlic and scallion oyster sauce. It was mild and fun to nibble around the bones, though it didn’t pack the flavor punch of some of the other dishes. Finally, we were brought an amazing platter of sliced pork belly stir fried with leeks, bell peppers and Szechwan bean paste. A-mazing.

We were delighted to meet a fellow chowhound there – and got some good tips for future ordering. In particular, for you fans of ma la, there are several dishes, such as the Szechwan [their spelling, not mine] braised beef and Szechwan fish filets that I probably will go back for before the week is out. Chef Chun also has more ambitious items on the menu that he will do with three or four days’ advance requests, and even other off-menu dishes that, with a week’s notice he will assemble the ingredients for.

We were so happy to meet the chef and the staff - he's been there three years and I hope stays a long, long time.

Don’t tell anybody, ok?

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

Anthony Bourdain's Chef's Knife, Records & Other Belongings to Be Auctioned
Food Trends

Anthony Bourdain's Chef's Knife, Records & Other Belongings to Be Auctioned

by David Watsky | Nearly 200 items personally accrued by the late Anthony Bourdain will go to auction next month including...

The Trader Joe's Lunchbox Staple This Cookbook Author & Mom Keeps on Hand
Food Trends

The Trader Joe's Lunchbox Staple This Cookbook Author & Mom Keeps on Hand

by David Watsky | School lunches for young ones can start to feel like mission impossible after a while. On the one...

Get Cozy with These 15 Creamy Mushroom Recipes (No Can Opener Required)
Recipe Round-Ups

Get Cozy with These 15 Creamy Mushroom Recipes (No Can Opener Required)

by Chowhound Editors | Cream and mushrooms are a magical combo, and these creamy mushroom recipes celebrate it in all its...

A Guide to Sage, Our Favorite Fall Herb
Guides

A Guide to Sage, Our Favorite Fall Herb

by Jen Wheeler | Here's everything you need to know about sage, our favorite fall herb. When it comes to the savory...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.