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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Harbor

This restaurant has been in Spokane for 16 years...and so have we. Having driven past it hundreds of times we have never stopped to consider eating there. Part of the reason being that we had already found the places we liked the best and go there, but since we began trying new things, "New" Harbor came into view. Tonight we decided to drop anchor and see what the Chinese/America food this establishment offered was all about.

We began with an appetizer of "spring rolls," which when they came, were looking more like "egg rolls". When I commented on this to Geo, the waitress she said their egg roll and spring rolls are the same. That was odd to me. Spring rolls are usually smaller and fluffier, at least that hs been my experience. The eggroll/spring rolls came with a sauce that looked a little the the sauce our local Zips hamberger stop makes to go with their fries, only it had a horseradish, or hot mustard "kick" in it's flavor. (We affectionately called it, Chinese Zip dip.) Geo liked the sauce, and the rolls, which I thought were rather greasy. They were also really, really, really hot; like just-out- of-the-fryer hot.

It's a pretty restaurant with pretty Chinese lantern looking decorations over the tables, which reminded me of chandeliers. The menu choices looked good; all of our favorite Chinese eats were advertised there. The menu was even translated into Vietnamese, so they obviously have a lot of oriental patrons.

The service was great and the dinner items, like the egg rolls that came before them, were served hot. It tasted good, but it was a little different than we were used to when we order the same items elsewhere. Maybe it's because it was "Hong Kong " style food or maybe just different family recipe...or technique... I don't know. Anyhow...the dishes were prepared differently than how I have seen them served other places. I will explain:

Geo ordered Mu Shu Pork. I would have liked to order Chow Mein, but I am still learning about it, and do not want to oder something I do not want to eat, so I went with my old standby, Kung Pao Chicken. (We also figured that ordering this way was good for comparison.) I realize that all restaurants and cooks will have their variations, but there were no Kung Pao peppers in the Kung Pao Chicken.

Even without peppers, the Kung Pao was spicy enough. It also had water chestnuts which I like, as did our soup which started the meal. (The teeny tiny slivers of chestnut were a very nice variation I might add....) The Mu Shu Geo ordered, did not have a lot of gravy and it had a lot of Tofu. The pork was more like thin sliced pork chops as opposed to ground pork. So you see, things were different than we expected, not bad, just different. We ate it happily just the same.

Will we ever come back?

With so many places to try, and some places we really like, I doubt we would make a special trip back to this place, but I didn't really plan on going there tonight either... and did anyhow. So, I will just say, if it's the right time the right season and who knows what the reason...we might end up here again. I wouldn't mind, but It would not be my first choice. Instead, I look forward to either going back to one of our old favs or another someplace "new" next time.

I might try the American food one day.. just for fun. Somehow, I just never thought of ordering "American" at a Chinese place. Besides eating Chinese food seems like quite the American thing to do...

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