Golden Inn Chinese Restaurant
Posted by Tampa Bay Food Monster on January 12, 2011
when i was a child, i got my teeth cleaned there. then the dentist’s office closed down. now it has become the SINGLE GREATEST CHINESE RESTAURANT KNOWN TO MAN. scientifically proven.
okay maybe that’s a bit far, but still, golden inn (i don’t even know if this is their website, but i enjoy it regardless) has been my family’s favorite chinese place for years, dating back to when it first opened, when i was maybe in the sixth grade? for however long it’s been around, we’ve gone to it. and we’ve loved it.
honestly, it’s a pretty standard chinese restaurant. it predates the cookie-cutter hole-in-the-wall chinese places that are so common today, so it’s not quite the same as all the rest. the lady who runs the restaurant is very nice, and has been so ever since we first started going there. she kindly welcomes you in, humors your crude attempts at chinese, and makes you feel at home. in fact, she recently gained “notoriety” for putting up a tree each year for the holidays, and having customers decorate it with dollar bills, and then donating all the money to charity. it’s a nice cause, and it is an indication of the person behind the food.
we haven’t eaten at the restaurant as a family in many years, but whenever we have chinese food together, we order takeout from golden inn. they have a fairly large menu, with all the classics you expect from a chinese place. we always go all out and order practically one of everything.
this is what i end up with. a plate filled with crap. it’s basically a buffet. i won’t try to identify each item, but present is general tso’s chicken (always served in gigantic chunks, as seen at around 11 45 on my plate), hunan beef (spicy and sweet all at once), cashew chicken, szechuan pork (spicy!), bourbon chicken (like mall-food chicken, but deliciouser), chicken hong kong noodles (thin rice noodles, very good), pork lo-mein (personal favorite), and fried rice. i’ve likely left something out.
it’s all great quality, though. i wouldn’t say it far exceeds the standard chinese place, but it is certainly the best i’ve ever had from that sort of takeout restaurant. most of the dishes are prepared slightly differently than ordinary takeout joints, adding a bit of personality to golden inn. and their ingredients are good quality, especially the vegetables.
…and they throw in some desserts, completely complimentary! maybe it’s only for large takeout orders, maybe it’s for all of them. i’d like to think it’s just for our family. but that’s probably not true. whatever the case, with every meal we get, we also receive free “chinese donuts” and honey glazed fried bananas. awesome.
it’s just a special feeling you get, hauling home giant tsingtao boxes filled with containers of chinese food, tubs of egg drop soup (the best), millions of packets of soy sauce and the like, and a few fortune cookies thrown on top. just a good family dinner.