My stomach was growling but I had a pile of work on my desk. I did not want to hike somewhere to get lunch and decided to try the Emerald Garden. It is a Chinese restaurant located on Kerry Forest Parkway in the same plaza at the Red Elephant and Coosh’s.
The inside of the Emerald Garden looked like just about every other Chinese food take-out joint. At the back stood a counter with large pictures of food above it showing some of their offerings. Two large coolers stood to the left and the there were 5 or 6 tables with plastic chairs.
I grabbed a menu from the front and looked things over. I was in the mood for something not fried and settled on chicken in black-bean sauce. It came with an egg roll and I ordered a cup of hot and sour soup. My order was ready in about 5 minutes and I was on my way back to work.
When I got back to the office I opened up the styrofoam container. Large chunks of chicken were mixed with broccoli, carrots, snow peas and water chesnuts. All of these items were covered in a light black bean sauce. Next to it sat a huge helping of fried rice. I ate all of the chicken and vegetables and about 1/2 of the rice. It was pretty good until I got to the bottom. The last bites of chicken and vegetables had a funky taste to them from a paste of some kind that did not get mixed in during the cooking process. I don’t know what it was but it ruined my meal, and I had to work to get the taste out of my mouth.
As for the other two items I had, the soup was very good while the egg roll was below average. The egg roll seemed like something from the freezer section and had very little taste even after I doused it in spicy mustard. Overall the portions were large but my lunch was nothing special. Next time I am in the mood for some Chinese food I will pass on the Emerald Garden and try another of Tallahassee’s numerous Chinese restaurants.
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating: