While I'm brown-bagging lunch every day and dining out for dinner less often like many to save money, I do still support eating out occasionally. For one, restaurant portions are so huge, eating out at a reasonably priced, local establishment can garner two or three meals if you include leftovers. I also don't want to deprive foodservice workers of an income. I wore the waitress uniform many years myself, and have the utmost respect for waiters...and just about anyone who has to deal with the general public.
One of my favorite places for a Chinese meal is Empire Hunan in Fair Lawn. Prices are very modest, and the atmosphere and presentation have never been a disappointment.
Here's a recap of my last visit there. A cup of miso soup, $1.80. They also serve complimentary Asian slaw.
Steamed vegetable dumplings ($4.50 for six) and vegetable roll ($1.60)
Bean curd with vegetables and brown rice, $8.95. Enough for at least two portions.
Lychee fruit...my favorite way to a meal here. $3.95
Visit them at 38-16 Broadway, Fair Lawn, NJ or 444 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ.
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4 years ago