Thursday, April 24, 2014
By Ray Routhier firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTH PORTLAND — I am not a light eater, so I was extremely impressed when a takeout order of moo shu from Evergreen Chinese Restaurant lasted me for two days.
Jumbo Shrimp with Mixed Vegetables at Evergreen Chinese Restaurant in South Portland.
Photos by Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer
Exterior of the Evergreen Chinese Restaurant in the Plaza 29 complex on Western Avenue in South Portland.
Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer
WHERE: 29 Western Ave. (Plaza 29), South Portland. 771-8866; evergreenchinese.wix.com/ evergreenchinese
HOURS: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
WAIT: About 15 minutes for a phone order
HANDICAPPED ACCESS: Yes
And after those two lunches, I still had some moo shu filling leftover. But I was out of the pancakes.
The moo shu was $7.75, and came with an order of white rice and six pancakes. So when I picked up my order there were three separate packages in the bag. The moo shu – stir-fried chicken with shredded, sautéed vegetables – was literally stuffed into a plastic container and almost overflowing.
It was also delicious, with the mushrooms, sprouts, peppers and other vegetables tender, but not wilted. The chicken was also tender, and warm. The pancakes were warm too, as if they had just come out of the steamer. I spread the thick sauce that came with the order on a pancake, filled it with some moo shu and some rice, and made myself a little moo shu burrito.
I also tried an appetizer of one vegetarian spring roll, for $1.75. It was very lightly fried on the outside, like pastry, and filled with fresh-tasting vegetables.
The other thing I really liked about Evergreen, besides the food and the quantity of it, was the convenient location. It’s right off I-295, located in a plaza on Western Avenue in South Portland well before the crush of businesses around the Maine Mall. It’s a tiny place with a few booths, but really seems set up for takeout.
The menu is extensive, and reasonable. Even dishes not advertised as lunch specials are pretty inexpensive. If I had chosen to have the moo shu with shrimp or beef, it would have been $8.25. Classic dishes like moo goo gai pan, chicken with Peking sauce, kung pao chicken, or Hunan chicken, are all $8.55. Sweet and sour chicken is $8.25, and garlic roast pork is $8.25. All come with rice.
There are also lo mein dishes, chow mein and chop suey varieties, egg foo young, and fried rice.
There are also 31 lunch specials, starting at $6.50, and 31 dinner specials, starting at $7.85. These include a choice of a main dish, plus pork fried rice, and in most cases, an appetizer. Several of the lunch specials are combinations of appetizers.
One lunch special, for $6.50, would be a curry sauce with either chicken, beef, shrimp, pork or vegetable, plus fried rice, an a choice of egg roll, chicken fingers, crab Rangoon, chicken wings, chicken teriyaki or boneless ribs. Some of the other lunch special main dishes include General Tso’s Chicken, sesame chicken, lobster sauce, or mei fun (rice noodles.)
The menu is full of blasts from the past, the kind of dishes most of us remember from the Chinese restaurants of our youth, before “Asian fusion” became a thing.
A couple of these I’d like to check out include fried jumbo shrimp ($8.45 for six), or the Pu Pu Platter for two ($17.25) which includes about nine kinds of appetizers.
And based on my moo shu experience, I’d bet the platter serves two very easily.
Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:
click image to enlarge
Chef Hai Huang makes Jumbo Shrimp with Mixed Vegetables at Evergreen Chinese Restaurant.