The Hunan Manor has long been Columbia's flagship Chinese restaurant. It's large, often busy, and has a full menu of most every Americanized version of Chinese dish you can think of. There's also a set of "authentic" Chinese selections that let you feel a little more adventurous (though I always wonder about the Chinese authenticity of jalapeno peppers -- don't they at least have a different name?). The quality of the food is consistent if rarely stellar, but it's someplace you can easily take a group of friends and always find some dishes you'll like. The sizzling dishes with black pepper sauces are fun and tasty.
The Hunan Manor has been doing business in Columbia for so long it's easy to take it a little bit for granted. They do a booming take out business, too. I sometimes wish the place was a little more innovative (or took reservations), but we would miss it if it was gone.
For a little bit better quality Chinese or pan-Asian meal, I still prefer the Asean Bistro. We've also been hearing good things from HowChow and others about the Grace Garden in Odenton, home to one of Hunan Manor's former chefs.
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9 months ago