Mr. Chen’s Authentic Chinese Cooking
1917 Hoover Court, in the Hoover Court Town Center
Birmingham, AL 35226
A reputable source suggested I check out Mr. Chen’s, and since I happened to be in Hoover anyway, I thought, why not? Laura was also game for checking out Mr. Chen’s. She too had been told of its virtues. Plus, Laura had to go to Publix after, and Publix was in the next shopping center over. It was a done deal.
Mr. Chen’s is located in a strip mall, next to Green Valley Drug Company. It seems to get a steady stream of to-go orders. The ladies working the tables are quite nice and attentive. Laura and I had to decide for awhile what we wanted to eat, and eventually we elected to have an appetizer to start off the evening. The steamed dumplings ($4.95) were quite pleasing. I actually wanted soup dumplings but got confused and ordered the wrong thing but that was okay.
The menu actually surprised me. For Birmingham, Mr. Chen’s offered some adventurous fare such as pork ears, pork intestines, and pork feet. Bubble tea was also on the menu if you like tapioca balls in your milky tea. The menu features dozens of items, so you’re very highly likely to find something you’ll enjoy. And at reasonable prices too!
After much consideration, I went with the shrimp stir fry rice noodles ($7.95). Good portion size, not stingy with the shrimp, not bland. It gets my seal of approval! It took me a while to eat it all up, but that was partially due to me yakking away to Laura, er, trying to savor every chopstick-full.
At the end of the meal, a grizzled older woman patron lit up a cigarette and started puffing away IN THE RESTAURANT. WTF? Thank goodness the management gave her a talking-to, began airing out the space, and we were soon leaving. Disgusting.
This was probably my first Chinese food experience in Birmingham, and I’m glad I can safely recommend Mr. Chen’s to those who want a taste of China and Taiwan in ol’ Birmingham.