Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Taste of Northern China...

When we left New York, one of the things I missed the most was the ease of getting international cuisine. Food from every culture was at your fingertips.... whether you were in the mood for a Mexican torta, Japanese sushi, or Polish pierogies... it was within a few blocks, a phone call away, or a subway stop or two down the line. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I appreciate Moutain Palace all the more. Finding authentic Northern Chinese food even in the City would be a challenge – the fact that this rare gem could be located in Southwestern Pennsylvania not far from where we now live makes it even more special.

Open only on the weekends, this eatery across from the Mirror Lake Camp Grounds offers up a menu with fixture specialties like dumplings, soup, and hot pots. The food is fresh, inexpensive and most importantly... good. Since going there, I often times find myself craving the "Miracle Dumplings" stuffed with ground beef, ginger, and garlic slathered in their freshly prepared dipping sauce. I look forward to the weekend, just to go and get my dumpling fix!

One of the fun things is that there is always a weekly special and it's always a treat to try something new. Last week we brought them some cucumbers and zucchini from our garden; this week they created a special inspired by our those ingredients! Above is a picture of the Wrap they made just for us! The cool, summer-time vegetables were mixed with ground beef cooked in a blend of Chinese spices, sliced potatoes, carrots, and onions in this delicious hand-held food.

The Wrap was accompanied by a soup with meatballs, thinly sliced zucchini, ginger, carrots, and a satisfying broth. Both soup and wrap went for only $4.95! That's an absolutely AMAZING deal! We were honored by this mouthwatering combination.

One of the things that really defines the place and makes it a destination that we keep coming back to is that it's run by good people. Clay, Lacy, and her mother Yuzhen are all hard-working individuals who were determined to bring a taste of Northern China to the area. They had a dream and struggled to make it happen. I admire that. Opening a restaurant is never easy, but they did it! Lacy works full-time in Pittsburgh during the week as a genetic research scientist and comes out here every weekend as a labor of love, preparing food that's not only tasty, but has health benefits as well! You won't find oily, greasy over-fried, MSG-saturated food here! Everything is fresh and made with love.

The food and friendly people are not the only reasons to stop in; Mountain Palace also strives to facilitate a cultural immersion by offering fine porcelain, detailed silk embroideries, and opportunities for learning the language! It's really is a 360 experience and I highly recommend Mountain Palace!

If you're interested in keeping up with them and their weekly specials, CLICK HERE to like their Facebook page.


Elizabeth said...

O M G, that sounds amazing and those prices!!!

SueBeads said...

Oh, looks wonderful Andrew! I'm so glad you found someplace like that!