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Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Published: 8/6/2009

Restaurant review: Yang's Gourmet House ***

Casual and unpretentious, Yang's Gourmet House has served hearty ethnic fare for several decades.

Situated in a strip center on Heatherdowns Boulevard across from the Stranahan Complex, this slightly shabby restaurant still sports a decor from the 1970s. But its core clientele - families from the surrounding neighborhoods - comes for the food, not the fripperies.

Except for the gourmet in the name, Yang's doesn't pretend to be fancy. If it were an American restaurant, it would be the neighborhood diner. On a busy evening, there are as many people lined up for carryout as there are seated in the dining room.

Three elements keep the loyalists coming back: It's hard to get a bad meal here, prices are extremely reasonable, and unless your appetite is huge, there will be enough for the next day's lunch.

The fare is pretty standard Chinese-American, from wonton soup to egg rolls to fried rice to almond boneless chicken. Although the menu seems extensive, a lot of the dishes are simple variations: chicken with zucchini, with broccoli, with peapods you get the picture.

Yang's really shines in the chef's specialties, including the sizzling seafood combination ($12.95), featuring shrimp, scallops, crab, and vegetables combined in a wine sauce on a sizzling hot platter. The aroma is enticing, the vegetables are bright and crunchy, and there's no skimping on the seafood. It's the kind of dish that makes neighboring diners wish they'd ordered it.

Another favorite is dragon and phoenix ($10.75), with shrimp, chicken, and lots of vegetables, including mushrooms, baby corn, broccoli, peapods, and carrots. (The chef will happily add or

omit ingredients to suit diners' tastes.)

Peking ribs ($8.95, carryout only) are coated with the same sauce as the sweet and sour dishes, not a traditional American barbecue sauce. But they're tasty nonetheless.

All meals are served with rice and, in the restaurant, with soup. Carryout meals don't include the soup and cost less.

Combination plates come with a cup of soup (the wonton and egg-drop varieties are favorites), an egg roll, an entree, ham fried rice, a cookie, and hot tea or coffee. Choose from among 24 entrees, including egg foo yung, sweet and sour pork or shrimp, chop suey, General Tso's chicken, and crispy beef with prices that range from $8.50 to $9.95.

There's no bar, but a limited selection of beers and wines is available. Parking is plentiful, and service is cheerful and efficient.

Contact Bill of Fare at: fare@theblade.com.



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