My husband finally went back to work today for the first time since his surgery on Sept. 27th, and I got him to ride along with me on a couple of errands once I picked him up. Among other things, the new WinCo grocery store opened in Everett while I was away touring, and I wanted to take advantage of one of their grand opening sales: bananas for $0.18/pound! It was too good a deal to pass up–but it was a bit of a drive to get there–so we decided we were going to grab some quick dinner while we were out running somewhere between hither and yon
We chose a place we already knew … one right down the street from the new WinCo: Silver Dragon Chinese in Everett, WA.
There’s more information available on their website, but if you’re just looking for the address, it’s:
We already knew Silver Dragon because we have friends who live in that same neighborhood, friends who introduced us to SD via numerous Saturday night card games … made even better with yummy Chinese food delivery
We’d never eaten in the actual restaurant before, but we know the menu well. I don’t know why we even looked at them … but we did. Then we ordered the exact same things we always order
My husband added their special $4.50 Extra Complete Dinner to his entree, which adds soup, steamed rice, and appetizers to any entree. It came with a choice of soup, and he opted for Egg Flower over Hot & Sour … which was an excellent choice! Hot, salty, and–unlike a lot of Seattle Egg Flower (aka: Egg Drop) Soup—Silver Dragon’s offering isn’t littered with all sorts of things that don’t really belong in Egg Flower Soup. No peas and carrots! Who needs the green and orange invaders anyway? No rice! No mushrooms! No water chestnuts! It was just plain and simple: slightly thickened chicken broth with just a hit of garlic … and beaten eggs … period. That’s what made it perfect: its simplicity.
His Extra dinner also included an appetizer trio: a vegetable egg roll, a deep-fried prawn, and a slice of BBQ pork.
That appetizer plate was attractive overall … but it was also the weakest part of the meal. For example, the BBQ pork came straight off of a refrigerated, mass-produced hunk of red-dyed Chinese BBQ pork. It was still refrigerator-cold when they served it. They provided a small bowl of 1/3rd catsup, 1/3rd HOT Chinese mustard, and 1/3rd sesame seeds–the standard accompaniment for Chinese BBQ pork, at least in this part of the world–but it was an appetizer I’ve had in a hundred other Chinese restaurants in this area. None of them have ever been superior … or even really above average. They’re all pretty much boring … and monotonous … and average.
Likewise, both the egg roll and the fried prawn tasted–as my husband described them–like they came out of a bag of 50 others just like it, stuck in a freezer someplace. Again, they were average at best.
However, it was a completely different story on the other appetizer plate. The Crab-meat Dumplings (aka: crab rangoon) were excellent! I don’t know if they make them in-house or not … and I don’t care. All I know is … the wrappers are light and crispy. The cream cheese inside is hot and creamy. The sticky red sweet & sour sauce is perfect with the combination of light and crispy and hot and creamy. And I don’t know how much actual crab flavor comes through in them, but–honestly–with deep fried crunchy stuff wrapped around hot cream cheese, in a form that ends up being this tasty … who cares?
I did notice something about them, however … something I’d like to point out. I’d always loved the Crab-meat Dumplings when they were delivered. They were hot and crispy and just really tasty when they’re delivered … but I’d always held the illusion that–if I ever got a chance to actually have them at the restaurant one day–they’d be somehow better … hotter, crisper, SOMETHING!
Well, I’m here to tell you that they’re NOT! Apparently Silver Dragon transports their take-out very efficiently, because the hot and fresh dumplings tasted exactly the same as the ones we’ve had delivered numerous times before. Granted, our friends don’t live too far away from Silver Dragon … so it’s not like they have to drive them too far … but that still impressed me with the speed of their delivery, and the quality of their delivered product
Another thing that’s always impressed me at Silver Dragon is their Peanut Wonton Soup. In fact, it’s what I ALWAYS order!
You’re looking at a little bowl of paradise there. Wrap your mental taste buds around this recipe: take ground pork mixed with a little soy sauce … and a whoooolllleee lot of fresh-ground garlic and ginger. Wrap it in a soft wonton wrapper, pinch it into a dumpling, and then let it cook in a rich soup made of chicken broth, peanut butter, red-pepper chili sauce, chunks of fresh garlic, and a spoonful or two of bean paste.
Like I said: paradise
My husband’s Pepper Steak was pretty rockin, too: tender, thin-sliced beef, a few peppers, onions, and fresh-sliced garlic … with just a few carrots thrown in to add color, crunch and flavor. They didn’t try to bury the meat in a ton of veggies. They also didn’t feel the need to fancy it up any with mushrooms, baby corn, or any of the other extras we’ve all seen in some restaurant Pepper Steak. They just made/served classic Pepper Steak, a simple short-list of ingredients … with a great flavor and a lot of meat. The only complaint my husband had about it–and it was a small one–was in the ratio of peppers to onions. For Pepper Steak, he expects more peppers than onions … but–at Silver Dragon–there were more onions than peppers.
He enjoyed it nonetheless
Final score? Even with the sub-par appetizers, I have no problem giving Silver Dragon a solid B! If you’re lucky enough to live in their neighborhood, their delivery is fast and reliable … so that adds bonus points for you. Beyond the peanut wonton soup, there’s not much in the way of what you’d call exotic dishes on the menu. Their offerings are all pretty basic American-style Chinese restaurant fare, but they’re all hot and well-prepared. As I said, we’ve eaten delivery from there on numerous times, thanks to having friends living nearby … and we’ve never once had a bad meal. I can’t give them an A because of the barely-average appetizers … but also because Seattle’s excellent Asian restaurant offerings make it a tough climate for any establishment in the area. You can find better Chinese in lots of places … so you’ve got to be at least above average … or you’ll never make it in this area selling Asian food, period! And Silver Dragon definitely ranks as above average in that tough market!