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Dining with Nancy: Hunan

Sometimes you just need a place to hide – to hide from issues, policy, and people related to issues and policy. This week mandated a dinner where my lobby team could get away and simply “be” for a bit. We settled in at Hunan Chinese Restaurant.

Jessica and Cooper at Hunan.
Jessica and Cooper at Hunan.

Hunan is an interesting place for me. As a child, my family would attend church each Sunday and then drive to St. Joseph to dine at my father’s favorite Chinese restaurant. I dreaded it. I detested Asian cuisine. The sight. The smell. The taste. None of which were my friends. The highlight, and only bearable part in my overly dramatic world, was watching bright orange gold fish swim around in a huge tank. Typically, I begged for my family to leave me at home. I won this battle once. I was dropped off at Pizza Hut on one other occasion – a huge victory.

Times have changed and I have too. Perhaps Hunan changed me. I love its egg rolls, which are a perfect balance of sausage and cabbage. The crab Rangoon is nothing short of scrumptious. Along with an order of both, Cooper, Jessica and I decided it was a rice night and requested our specific selections of chicken, combo and pork fried rice. While delighting in our gin, hot tea and cherry sprites (thanks to Jessica for the introduction), we studied our place-mats that also double as the Chinese Zodiac calendar. After debating the merits of being a dragon, ram and ox, our food was delivered and was delicious.

The Place

Hunan Chinese Restaurant is located at 1416 Missouri Boulevard. Sporting Asian décor, the restaurant has open seating for approximately 100 people. It is a casual place to dine but also offers a take-out option as well.

The People

Vanida is our regular server and nearly knows our entrée and drink choices by heart. Victoria mans the register and tolerates Cooper’s hazing about her studies. Study on my friend! These women made and continue to make our Hunan visits extremely pleasant. Thanks Vanida and Victoria!

The Product 

Hunan’s menu consists of everything Chinese and boasts vegetable, beef, fowl, pork, and seafood entrées, along with several noodle and rice selections too. For larger groups, Hunan will prepare family dinner combinations that serve up to 10. While hot tea is served upon arrival, Hunan has a full bar from which to choose your favorite cocktails. Bring on the tropical drinks, liquor, wine and beer (including Chinese and Japanese options).

The Price

Prices are reasonable, especially when considering the amount of food delivered. Lunch prices range from $5.15 – $6.30 and dinner prices vary from $7.50 – $12.95, not including family combinations.

The Pizzazz

The experience in general. Whether it is delighting in the egg rolls, knocking back a fantastic cherry sprite, Cooper trying to convince us he is a monkey and not a ram, Jessica focusing on the sexiness of an ox, or me truly enjoying something I once shunned, the experience was great. For the record, it doesn’t matter if one is a monkey, a ram, or an ox, Chinese people prefer their children to be born in dragon years, as those years are a sign of good luck. Thanks Vanida for the intelligence. Despite my childhood torture, my family is welcome for the good luck I’ve provided!