good buddy restaurant
2059 111 Street
Three of us stopped in a Good Buddy recently, and being on the south side (ie I don't have to drive all the way to China Town), it's quickly becoming one of my favorite Chinese restaurants. I have no idea how to tell an authentic Chinese restaurant from your everyday western version, but things always seem good here.
The restaurant is fairly large, with a good mix of larger 8-10 person round tables and smaller 2-4 person tables. Good Buddy is split down the middle by the kitchen, and I'm not sure if there is preferences for either side as I've been seated all over the restaurant in my experiences. A few tables were being rotated through as we walked in allowing a handful of waiting customers to be seated, including us. Every time I've dined at Good Buddy, I'm always given the 'white' menu. This occasion was no different, so I quickly asked our server before she disappeared if I could also have a copy of the traditional menu. A few minutes later, another member of the wait staff, actually stopped by and said 'oh someone has given you the Chinese menu, let me go get you the regular menu', to which of course I had explain that I did indeed have the menu I needed. She gave me a funny luck, and it gave me a chuckle.
A brief conversation left me in charge of ordering which left me feeling a little awkward. See, I'd heard some mumblings while my fellow diners perused the menu - where are the green onion cakes..etc. So I asked first and foremost if they had an specifics. Why yes Chris, they did. So with the requests in tow, here is the food.
A single green onion cake. I have no idea what it tasted like, as I didn't try it. Seemed light and better than many of those heavy disc style versions.
Ginger Beef - by request of the table. First off, I'm not a big ginger beef fan but I liked that it wasn't soaking in sauce. The beef was fairly tender but for what ever reason the dish was cold. I don't think I've ever eaten cold ginger beef in a restaurant, only from my fridge the day after.
Peach Prawns in Yum Yum Sauce - I almost always order this for people who haven't branched out in Chinese food land, as I consider it fairly safe. The prawns were good, the breading was light enough and while there was a fair amount of sauce, it was mostly near the bottom so you were free to take as much or as little as you would like. The dish was a huge success.
Vegetable Delight - another fairly safe order and one of my favorite dishes. I was contemplating the addition of duck feet, but opted at the last second to go without. A good mix, and the vegetables were done to perfection. I love gai lan!
Empress Chicken - with a general request to keep things mild, this garlic laden dish fit the bill perfectly. While the table agreed it was tasty, I somehow ended up with almost a half plate of bones. Maybe I have no shame about picking things apart to get the good stuff!
I also ordered plain steamed rice, but didn't take any pictures of that. Overall the experience was good. I walked out with satisfied diners which always makes me happy when I suggest the venue. Prices are reasonable, most dishes in the 10-13 dollar range, and the wait staff are prompt and friendly. I can't comment on the more typical western Chinese cuisine as this occasions ginger beef was my first taste of a more typical option, but I do think it's worth a visit.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
good buddy restaurant