Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Don Edwardo's

With great anticipation, we waited for the new Don Edwardo's to open.  They took over  a defunct  food vendors space and that required a huge remodel.  The construction staff did a good job...nice  interior colors. 

Being in Roane County required jumping through a few hoops to get a liquor license.  I recall the days when you couldn't even purchase beer in the grocery store since EVERY store was too close to the courthouse or a church.  Things changed a few years ago and we finally were able to purchase liquor by the drink inside the city limits. 

We arrived about 5 PM to find a full parking lot.   I must warn you...the parking lot is  small.   I don't know where you could park if the place was busy.   There is a lot next door at the motel but I don't know if that area is available for Don Edwardo's guests.  

We began with a pitcher of Top Shelf Margaritas...but I don't know if they really were "top shelf".   They were OK...but their recipe was missing something.  Our server brought tortilla chips, salsa and a bowl of their home made Ranch Dressing.  I have never had that served as a "chip dip" before...but wow, that was a real treat! 

On to our entree choices.  Carnitas and their Burrito Loco.   Food was served promptly but I found the Burrito plate a little lacking in presentation.   Very plain..could have used a splash of salsa and a sprinkle of cilantro for a little color. The Carnitas were flavorful, but a little on the dry side.  I believe they trimmed off too much fat...a little does so much for the dish.  My accompaniment platter  was done up nicely.     


Salsa and Ranch Dip for Chips

Creamy Guacamole

Burrito Loco

Carnita Garnish Plate

Carnitas with Frijoles and Rice

A first for everything...Ketchup at a Mexican Restaurant! 

A handy neighborhood restaurant...convenient, but I might consider other choices if in Oak Ridge, Lenoir City or Knoxville.   

Don Eduardo's on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 4, 2011

China Pearl--Knoxville

OK...I am a sucker for cloth napkin lunches.   When I find that establishment, it goes to the top of the list of must return restaurants.....but only if their food is worthy. 

China Pearl qualifies! 

Today, we had a recommendation to try China Pearl in Farragut.  I arrived at 1130 and the place was empty.  OK...maybe a slow Thursday.  Within the blink of an eye, I would swear the city bus dropped off 40 people and the restaurant was packed at noon..packed!   Glad we were early...since we would have had to wait for a table.   Something is "going on good" at this restaurant.  

Our server brought our "southern house wine", aka sweet tea.  I have never seen tea this color....mostly clear with a tinge of caramel color.  We asked if they served any stronger tea.  The server immediately returned with tea of the proper color and strength.      

The soup choice were the usual for a lunch special....Egg Drop, Wonton, Hot & Sour or Chicken Rice.  We all chose the Hot & Sour soup.  All the lunch specials ranged from $5.75 to $7.75.  All include soup and egg roll. 

On to our entrees.   Sweet Sour Shrimp, Kung Pao Chicken and Pad Thai Beef.   Good choices...and I must say this had to be the BEST Kung Pao Chicken I have eaten anywhere.   The sauce was outstanding...perfectly prepared, crunchy vegetables and peanuts.   So many times I find the peanut char to overwhelm the dish.  This was not my experience.  The Pad Thai was mildly curry flavored...and next time, I would request they kick it up a notch.   The Sweet Sour Shrimp was exactly what you would expect with the exception of the battered shrimp.  Light, puffy and cooked just right.  The shrimp floated in the sauce rather than being submerged like most serve.  
This  restaurant deserves all the raves it receives and the size of the lunch crowd validates their existence.  Bravo China Pearl!
Hot & Sour Soup

Pad Thai Beef

Sweet Sour Shrimp

Kung Pao Chicken

The dessert menu looks tempting but we passed today.  Maybe next time..until then, Bon Appetit!

China Pearl on Urbanspoon