Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chinese Food and a Deal Alert!

When I was growing up there was THE best Chinese restaurant on highway 280 called the Golden City. If you are from Birmingham, I would wager that you have eaten there. You might remember their red carpet, their red velvet upholstered chairs and booths, the extremely ornate Asian decor everywhere, the eager waiters who would continually refill your glass and the twangy Chinese music that played in the background. You would also remember the best Chinese food you have ever tasted- things like delicious, fat egg rolls, sizzling rice soup, Mongolian beef and cashew chicken, just to name a few. This wasn't a "hole in the wall, fast food takeout" Chinese place and it wasn't a "scary, I am not sure how long that has been sitting on the buffet under a heat lamp" kind of Chinese food place either. It was made to order and delicious!

I have so many happy memories of eating there! I ALWAYS chose Golden City on my birthday or any occasion when I had the privilege of choosing the dining establishment. We had many a family gatherings in the large, private backroom. I went there with friends in high school when we were newly licensed and cruising. Then a very sad day came. Golden City changed ownership while I was in college and it went down hill from there. The quality, service and taste declined until it finally closed its big red and gold doors forever. Sad day indeed.

Since then I have been on a quest for comparable Chinese food. There are far too many mediocre or just down right gross Chinese places out there. I still regularly crave sizzling rice soup and their Mongolian beef, so when I saw this recipe I knew I would be making it.

It.Was.Delicious! Ok, so maybe not quite Golden City but a close second. So if like me, you are craving some good Chinese food go check out this one from

Mongolian Beef
serves 2

2/3 lb. flank steak, sliced across the grain
3 Tbsp. corn starch
3 tsp. canola oil, divided
1/2 tsp. grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2-3 large scallions, sliced

1. Pat the steak pieces with a paper towel to get rid of any moisture. In a plastic bag toss the steak and cornstarch together.

2. Mix together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and red pepper flakes in a small bowl or large measuring cup.

3. Heat half the oil in a wok or large fry-pan at medium-high heat and add the ginger and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant, then add the soy sauce mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes and transfer back to the bowl or measuring cup.

4. Turn the heat up on the wok and add the remaining oil. Add the beef and cook, stirring until just browned.

5. Pour the sauce back in and let it cook with the meat. Simmer for around 5 minutes or until thickened. Place beef mixture on top of a bed of brown rice and garnish with scallions.

And now for a very exciting deal alert (sorry readers who are elsewhere, it's a local one):

After all that Chinese food, if you want to work out, I just found out about a great deal on joining a fitness gym. Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church, just a block from us, has a fitness center called The Lighthouse. After receiving a tip from a neighbor, I went to check it out today and found it to be clean, friendly and well equipped. It is a fairly small fitness center, but they have the important stuff like treadmills, exercise bikes, weight machines and an indoor walking/running track. They also offer some group fitness classes including Zumba (note- there is an additional fee for Zumba). Here is what is sooo unbelievable...a lifetime membership costs $5! Yes, you heard me correctly- a onetime fee of $5. We are joining tomorrow!


Christian @ Modobject at Home said...

Five dollars???? No way!!!!!

I miss the Golden City.

Jo-Jo said...

Wow! A great deal! I wonder if I could join and go exercise when I come visit you!

Jo-Jo said...

OK - so this recipe is on my weekend list of FOOD! YUM

Amanda said...

Aww, you gotta just hate when things that you love close down forever! It's just sad! And my cravings are the fiercest when I know I can't have it! The beef looks delicious! I browsed the ingredients and was SOLD when I saw the brown sugar! :)

Amanda said...

I think I overdid the exclamation marks. :/

Joey said...

Mommy made this tonight.. It was really yummy! Keep giving her ideas so she'll make me good food before I have to go back to caf food :(

ScribbleHaven said...

Yum made this again tonight... i more than tripled the recipe for four men and me and we finally have leftovers...