Sunday, October 25, 2009

Autumn In The Northwest Trip - Day Three, Part Two

After lunch, we headed into Centralia for a bit, cruising around their downtown and industrial section. Chevalis and Centralia are interesting little towns, Centralia is clearly the larger population, but Chevalis has most of the bigger box stores and retail sections. Both are pleasant though, and Centralia has some gorgeous older houses in the number street area.

When we felt that we'd seen most of what there was to see, we retired back to the hotel, where we spent a few hours napping and goofing around. I read some of my book and wrote a blog post, then we looked up ratings of restaurants online.

One we found was rated very highly overall, with just a few dissenters, most of which complained more about the restaurant's exterior and appearance than anything. So we decided to hit the Golden Palace for dinner.

Man, what a great choice. Their exterior is a bit crummy, just a simple building with a plain looking sign, but inside, the decor was nice enough, and it was pretty crowded. Their prices were comparable to pretty much any Chinese restaurant, and they have a few unique dishes, some that we'd never seen before.

After a bit of debate, we chose the Peking Dinner For Two. What I like about this place is that unlike many Asian food places, when you choose the meal for two, instead of getting one assigned meal, just in varying quantities, these guys let you choose a different meal from the list for each diner. It adds a great amount of flexibility to them and makes them a lot more appealing to me. We went with the Garlic Beef and Mushrooms and the General Tseng's chicken.

The meal also came with a dumpling soup and some assorted starters, paper wrapped chicken, egg
roll, pork, a different kind of pork, a won-ton, all of them hot and quite good. The soup blew us away too, instead of two small bowls of it, they bring you a large dish of it that you can ladle into your bowls. There was easily enough for each of us to have three bowls of it.

The main entrees were generous to an almost ridiculous extreme and full of fresh, unusual choices of vegetables, including at least four different kinds of mushrooms between the two dishes. The Garlic Beef was very garlicky, with a slightly oily feel, but not in a bad way, it just made the dish seem rich and it had really big chunks of a black mushroom. The General Tseng's was similar in sauce to General Tsao's, a typical dish in Chinese places, but in addition to the spicy sauce and battered chicken, it was loaded with veggies; Corn, peas, a couple of different mushrooms, bamboo, water chestnuts, celery, broccoli... a little bit of everything.

Overall, the meal was spectacular, an A+. We also got a couple of interesting fortunes.

"Traveling to the south will bring you unexpected happiness."

"You will attend an unusual party and meet someone important."

We were heading south the next morning and that fortune proved surprisingly accurate, and we have our Sixth Annual Brain Eaters Party hitting in a week, so we'll see how that plays out...


FrecklesandDeb said...

Just got caught up on your trip. Sounds like you're having a good adventure and doing some good eating!

La Chamuca said...

Heck yeah, traveling south will bring you happiness! Get outta Washington! ;)

Steve at Random said...

No fortune cookies that said "Head east 800 miles and visit Uncle Steve and family? Well, the Chinese aren't as smart as we give them credit for....also, I'm a big fan of General Tsao's chicken, although I haven't had it for a while. Keep up the blogging. Always interesting.

randymeiss said...

Yes, I'm quite enjoying sharing meals with you. That looked like an unbelievable amount of food. Hopefully they gave you some carry-out boxes.

General Tso's is probably my favorite Chinese entree after the make your own stir fry some places have.