Dining Out: Baoding Chinese Cuisine
I visited Baoding the other day for the first time in years. I got to thinking about how long it had been there, and did some research. It has been at that location for 15 years now (since 1993). For those that are unfamiliar with Baoding, it is an upscale chinese restaurant located in Southpark (4722-F Sharon Road; in the plaza with Barne’s & Noble’s). Most of my past visits to Baoding have been for lunch - mostly when I worked in Southpark. This time, I went for dinner.
Baoding is upscale and has a great modern, peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. The wait staff is very friendly and does a great job of actually making a little bit of conversation. It seems to me that in many chinese restaurants, the wait staff just barely tries to break through the language barrier and just gets the order the best they can. Of course, this comment only applies to those chinese restaurants with chinese employees - some have American wait staff. I imagine this helps the employees at Baoding become better at communicating with English speaking people in general - thus, increasing the accuracy of the orders.
To start with, I had the hot and sour soup. It was wonderful, although I am sure it was the best I have had. It was more spicey than most, and I wasn’t sure 100% why the word sour was even in the name.
I can’t remember what my main course was called, and it is not on their online menu. The closest thing I can remember was Pineapple Shrimp. While I may not recall the exact name, it was outstanding. If you love pineapple, and you love shrimp, you HAVE to get this. It was served on a split pineapple which was stuffed full of jumbo shrimp, pineapple, snow peas, pepper and onions. This dish is definately going on my favorite dishes list.
My wife had Beef & Broccolli. She always gets Beef & Broccolli at Chinese restaurants. It is the only Chinese food she will eat. In other words, she is quite the expert on Beef & Broccolli. She liked the dish, but did not think it was drastically better than some of the cheaper places she has had it at.
Another note, is that it isn’t that kid-friendly. They have no kid’s menu or chicken nuggest. You can get the sweet & sour chicken (the closest thing to a chicken nugget) as a substitute. My son seems to enjoy that, but I don’t know if he bought the whole idea of the “red ranch” that we tried to sell him as the dipping sauce.
All in all, I will definately be going back to Baoding in the future. The atmosphere is great, the service is great, and the food is great.