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Mee Magnum: I’m so happy to have recently reunited with a lot of my old friends who I grew up with in the Chelsea section of Manhattan in New York City, NY, went to school with at P.S. 33, played ball (stoop ball, basketball, roller hockey, football, and stick ball as well as marathon sessions of Bobby Hull Hockey) with in the halls (we had some very understanding neighbors!), and playgrounds of the ILGWU Penn South Co-ops, bowled with at Madison Square Garden (35 cents a game!), always stopping for pizza (15 cents a slice) afterwards. We survived two blackouts, two years of Mrs. Bercovicci., and celebrated two New York Knicks Championships! One thing I don’t recall us ever doing though is all going out for Chinese food! After not seeing everyone for 43 years I can say with certainty is that we didn’t grow old… we just got better looking!
Mee Dee Know jumped at the opportunity to become our Fort Lauderdale correspondent to The Chinese Quest. Here is his first contribution:
With a special thank you to the power of Facebook, I was recently reunited with my childhood best friend, Mee Magnum. The two of us shared many memories over a recent dinner including a time in his life when anything more than Cheerios was an eating adventure for him. A good laugh was had as we discussed how both of us have enjoyed a passion for Chinese Food without each other so knowing. I have traveled to Hong Kong and Taiwan on various business quests over the years with other frequent visits to San Francisco and my grandparents lived in Chatham Towers, in the heart of Chinatown NY, so my Chinese “chops” are well established.
As it should happen, my oldest son, Mee Son Won, had his birthday on February 16th, the beginning of the Chinese New Year. Along with my youngest son, Mee Son Too, and my wife, Mee Wi Fee, of 35 years, we headed out to one of our favorite Chinese Restaurants, the Pine Court Chinese Bistro in Sunrise Florida. Pine Court Chinese Bistro is located at 10101 Sunset Strip, Sunrise, FL 33322.
Located in the City of Sunrise in a suburban strip mall, Pine Court has a reputation as the “go to” restaurant in West Broward County for genuine Chinese food and is known for their Dim Sum on the weekends. The owners also operate a Chinese Supermarket adjacent to the restaurant, so the food is fresh and authentic. Pine Court is not a pretentious restaurant, in fact the establishment is representative of your typical NY Chinatown eatery complete with several fish tanks that house a variety of sea creatures just moments away from their destiny to be served. The restaurant itself is cavernous, covering at least 3,000 square feet of dining room. So even on a busy night, we had a nice table without any wait.
Knowing that there was a special Chinese New Year Menu, I was handed just that as we were seated. Unfortunately, beyond a Ni Hau Ma, my Chinese fluency and reading ability is nonexistent. Our hostess, Mandy, however sat beside me and read each of the items, a gesture that took her away from her duties at the front door as the line of guests began to accumulate.
As mentioned, this was not our first visit to the restaurant, so each of us had in mind a dish we wanted, and the only item we ordered from the Chinese New Year Menu was a Special House Soup that from what we could tell (or remember from Mandy’s description) had both chicken and mushrooms. We were all so hungry we slurped the soup down quickly, but it was a very flavorful dish that whet our appetite for the main courses to follow.
Our dinner started with the Singapore Noodle Dish that they do so well here at Pine Court. The dish is your traditional Singapore Noodle preparation but what makes this different is the overwhelming quantity of chicken, pork and shrimp that is added to the dish. In the past this dish alone has been enough to feed the gout of us, but that was many years ago of course, and long before Mee Son Won and Mee Son Two became ages 29 and 25 respectively.
We were a bit disappointed that the Peking Duck was not available, however we were happy to settle for the Cantonese Roast Duck. Their authentic recipe for roast duck has a shiny, reddish-brown-skinned poultry with a crackling-crisp skin that comes from air drying the duck. The moist and juicy meat comes from the marinade poured into the cavity and sewn in so it doesn’t leak out during cooking. Those hungry kids could not wait to dig in as you can tell from picture below!
At this point the food was coming fast and furious and we were happy to oblige by eating ourselves into a frenzy. We quickly shared and consumed a Chinese Vegetable Dish before I was able to get a picture. As most readers of the Chinese Quest are aware Chinese Vegetables rely on the creative use of sauces to bring out the best in taste and texture. We ordered the Bok Choy with Brown Oyster Sauce and it was prepared perfectly, quickly stir fried to insure the crispy quality we all like.
Next up was the special item from the Chinese Menu (they have a special non new year Chinese Menu), the Hunan Lamb Chops. This was by far the spiciest dish we ordered and the lamb was prepared expertly with Chili Bean and Hoisin sauces. Mee Wi Fee was lucky to get a chop as the two sons devoured this dish with fervor.
The final dish was the obligatory Shrimp with Lobster Sauce. I order this dish just about every time I visit Pine Court because it is a great way to finish up the meal with something that is great over the rice and noodles that remain on your plate! As most of you know, there is no Shrimp with Lobster Sauce to be found anywhere in China, it was an American taste invention that is a bit of a misnomer since there is no lobster in it at all! Here at Pine Court is a soupy concoction of shrimp, egg and pork sauce that complements everything already eaten.
Mandy brought our bill which was about $100 with tip, and a plate of fresh oranges to soothe our palate. She wished our son Happy Birthday
And we wished her Happy New Year
And we agreed we would do it again next year!
—Mee Dee Know
Mee Magnum: Mee wonders if this Chinese restaurant is owned by the same people who own the same named, Pine Court Chinese Bistro in Little Neck, NY that The Chinese Quest reviewed. Inquiring minds want to know!
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