Harlingen, Texas's airport, also known to frequent fliers as HRL, isn't the busiest airport in the state, nor is it the best known, but if you're heading to any destination in the lower Rio Grande valley, Harlingen is your gateway. If you have a couple of hours to kill before flight departs, and you're hungry for some really good, I mean really good Chinese food, than I'd suggest you pay a visit to China Restaurant, located on the Sunshine Strip, only mere minutes from HRL.
Photo: China Restaurant, on Sunshine Strip, near the Harlingen airport, on this lovely Wednesday afternoon in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas.
Photo: Inside the restaurant at 12:30 on Wednesday afternoon, October 05, 2006, as the lunch crowd fills the restaurant, and I take the photo using existing light.
China Restaurant, owned and managed by Patty Song, has it all, including food to go, custom catering, a full-service bar, delicious food, friendly and efficient staff, and reasonable prices. As you enter the restaurant, the first thing you notice is a whiteboard advertising their daily specials, and within seconds, you're greeted with a friendly hostess, who will seat you at the table of your choice in their spacious dining room. Next, a friendly waitress will greet you, and produce menus and take orders for drinks.
As all of this is happening, you're looking around their attractive dining room, that features, well, "Imperial" Chinese decor, complete with orange-red ball lamps, shiny wallpaper, and the usual amount of dragons and gold statues of guys with huge pot bellies. You'll also notice that the tables are arranged diagonally, which makes the high-ceiling dining room appear larger than it really is. All in all, China Restaurant features a very classy decor. As long as your eyes are wandering around the room, you can't miss the full-service bar and the cute girls who tend the bar. Now beautiful girls who serve your drinks important to the dining experience, especially when you're faced with a flight back to California!
Photo: Jerry loves the personal attention that our gracious server, Shannon gives him, as she serves him his hot and sour soup.
Photo: Photo of hot and sour soup. Oh boy!!!
Photo: Delicious appetizers of soup and potstickers, and the glass of wine that Edna ordered.
We had the pleasure to enjoy the professional company of Shannon, our friendly and talkative waitress who promptly took our drink, appetizer and entree orders, and she seemed to reappear with bowls of steaming hot and sour soup, and a plate of delicious pot stickers and dipping sauce within just a couple of minutes after taking our orders. You know you're in Texas when you get a waitress who talks with a Texas drawl, serves Chinese food, and lets you know that she's an avid fan of the Dallas Cowboys. Shannon was proud to let us know that won the title of the "Miss Teen Texas Pagent," back in 1986. I don't doubt her, as she is physically attractive, and has a very attractive and outgoing personality. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that she's an outstanding waitress.
Photo: How does it get any better, when you combine a full-service bar and beautiful women?
Photo: After Jerry is served, he just has to flirt a bit with Shannon, as Edna eyes her meal. I laugh at Jerry's antics, as I do the same thing!
Jerry, Edna and I ordered fried pork, Chinese rice and an egg roll for our lunch. The food was brought to us in only about 15 minutes, despite the fact that the place was packed for the lunchtime crowd. The soup was tasty, hot and sour, just the way we like it, and the potstickers were crispy on the outside, soft and chewey on the inside; cooked to perfection. Our entrees? Perfect in every way. China Restaurant serves outstandiing food.
Photo: The author's lunch of Chinese fried rice, fried pork, and an eggroll, with dipping sauce on the side.
Photo: Edna enjoyed a lunch of rice and deep fried shrimp.
Photo: The author and Edna strike a classic pose, but note the wonderful array of food arranged on the table.
Combine outstanding food, friendly and efficient staff, reasonable prices, and a location convieient to HRL airport, China Restaurant can't be beat, especially if you factor in Shannon, a very effiecient and charming waitress.
Gee, I can't wait until business brings me to Harlingen again. China Restaurant is very highly recommended by me!
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