Monday, June 3, 2013

Blue Gibbon Chinese

Traditional Cincinnati Chinese 
that's mostly full of familiar dishes

Blue Gibbon Dining Room
      When we were joining Ann and Woody for dinner we decided on the Blue Gibbon, all of us commenting that we had not been there for a few years. The restaurant dates back to 1983 in Paddock Hills, but the family business began years
before that in New York City and Southeast Asia.  

Chef Frank's Special
      Reading through the menu of mostly familiar selections, I was feeling a little overwhelmed with the many offerings.  That's when I usually go with something I've had on many occasions when I noticed Chef Frank's Special.  I don't usually go for deep fried items, but this proved the most intriguing of my search for something different.  We all agreed it was the best dish of the night…generous pieces of chicken stirred with fresh broccoli, carrots, and water chestnuts that all came together in a rich and slightly sweet brown sauce.

Lettuce Wraps

      Ann and Woody shared the Lettuce Wraps that looked typical for this standard appetizer.  Eric and I both had the Wonton Soup that proved satisfying.

The Triple Crown
Ann chose the Triple Crown made with shrimp, scallops, and chicken with vegetables in a light sauce.  She enjoyed her choice.  Woody was
Bean Curd Hunan Style
on his diet du jour (vegetarian that day) and went with the Bean Curd Hunan Style, a spicy rendition highlighted with broccoli, baby corn, and two types of sliced mushrooms.
Squid Phoenix

Eric passed around his Squid Phoenix, which was a lot like Ann's, but with thickly sliced tender tentacles as the protein.  

      Looking at our meals, I couldn't help but wonder what the original recipes were like when Chinese workers came to this country to help build the transcontinental railroad in the late 1800's.  Would they even recognize what we were eating?  Probably not.  (Although original recipes with duck feet and bird's nest may be found on the special menu for native Chinese in some restaurants.)  There may be a few preparations that are still pretty close to their Cantonese roots but others, like fortune cookies, are completely an American invention.  There is one thing for sure though, we have them to thank not only for completing our railway system, but for introducing us to our first "ethnic" cuisine.  Lucky for us that places like the Blue Gibbon are now so familiar.

Blue Gibbon Chinese on Urbanspoon

My dinner was pretty good that night too!

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