Anytime I hear the word Jade, it reminds me of a story about my two friends, Chicken Little and Coach, fighting over who had dibbs on a stripper named Jade. It’s been a heated argument that gets brought up regularly over the past 10 years (yes, I’m sure Jade looks really pleasant now). Thankfully, I wasn’t involved in this trip to the strip club, so I’ve remained STD free while reaping the fruits of this hilarious competition that no one would really be a winner in. Needless to say, whenever I see anything related to Jade, I have a natural inclination to go there (physically and metaphorically).
I found a Chinese food place called Dragon Jade while searching for restaurants I could drive to during my lunch break. Sure, it’s not even remotely close (it’s in Minnetonka), but I figured I could do it anyway and work off the extra hours if caught. When I found the place, I was pleased since it was in a strip mall, which we’ve all learned by now is a great indicator of good Minnesota cuisine.
The inside of this place is the cleanest I’ve ever seen for a Chinese food place. It’s like dentist office clean with similar painting schemes. The decorations of course are all Asian-heritage, but it’s still immaculate. Weird (it’s sad that I think that’s weird in our developed country, but I do – ha ha ha). I brought some things to study since I have a mid-term exam last night and while I should have been studying last night, I went to see the new Harry Potter movie with some friends.
I checked out the lunch menu and found some non-standard things on it. The Drunken Pork with Peanuts intrigued me, so I went with that. It came with an egg roll and I’m always up for trying egg rolls at different places. I studied a little bit (enough to move me from a failing grade to a less failing grade, certainly!), and they brought the food out pretty shortly after that.
The egg roll was pretty good. A little too much cinnamon for my taste. I’m wondering if cinnamon is standard in Minnesota Chinese food and not in Illinois Chinese food. Might just be my preference since I grew up without it. Whatever. The pork itself was in a rich brown gravy, which I always enjoy gravy-related food items. The veggies were nice and crunchy and the pork was really flavorful and tender and not at all fatty, which is nice. Probably nothing flashy about this place, but it’s not one of those Chinese places where they all have a standard menu – Dragon Jade puts some effort and love into their food.
While eating I eavesdropped on this hilarious conversation on a girl and her sister at a table near mine. The younger girl was going on and on about her life dreams. “First, I’m going to join the Air Force and I’m going to play rugby. Then I’ll go to University of Minnesota for four years. Then I’m going to move to Ireland for a while and then come back to the US and work for Best Buy. But that all might change when I go to high school next year.” Seriously, the girl is in jr. high school and planning out all these hilariously detailed life plans. Hell, I STILL don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. The best part was her talking about rugby to her prissy older sister and how she should try it, but she might get a little bit dirty during the scrum. (If I had a nickel for every time I've said that...) Classic lunch conversation, especially coming from a jr. high girl.
Also, I got another fortune cookie message that borders on teh ghey (if you really reach for it): Success won't taste so good, without Failure as appetizers. [Yes, it had all the gramatic errors as shown.]
Top 5 things about Dragon Jade
1. Drunken Pork with Peanuts
2. Immaculately clean
3. Really cheap for lunch
4. Non-standard dishes to choose from
5. It reminds me of the Battle for Jade
Bottom 5 things
1. I talked myself out of ordering cream cheese wontons since they were Gerd’s favorite and I didn’t need 8 of them to myself
2. I got very little studying done
3. It’s a long haul for lunch if you work in Eden Prairie
4. The restaurant is NOT named after a stripper
5. Cinnamon in my egg roll – I might just have to get over this issue I have