BANDON — While reading through the menu for Asian Garden on Monday, I came across their sizzling plate section and it reminded me of the old sales adage, "Sell the sizzle, not the steak."
The exterior of Asian Garden in Bandon. The restaurant is located at 1032 Bandon Ave. SE (U.S. Highway 101) south of downtown between 10th and 11th.
So, I was thinking, with this cool new cell phone (it has several seconds of motion with the photos), can I actually capture the sizzle of one of these dishes.
I'll let you decide from the photo above if it says "sizzle."
Unlike Mexican restaurants that bring their fajita plates through the restaurant while they sizzle, at Asian Garden, they bring the food out in a bowl and the hot plate separately. Then they pour the food onto the hot plate right at the table, so the sizzling begins right in front of you.
I don't often get a "sizzling" dish, but this was kinda cool.
For the record, I ordered the Sizzling Deluxe plate, which comes with scallops, shrimp, chicken and vegetables. It also comes with a bowl of rice, which I decided to skip on account of the extra carbs.
They have other sizzling plate versions that come with scallops and shrimp, or shrimp and chicken or with just veggies.
On the board just inside the front door, they have their specials of the day. Asian Garden also has a lunch menu for full size meals, or you can pick two or three items from a list starting for just $6.50.
Monday's special was the Kung Pao Chicken and a bowl of soup for $6.50. This was going to be my choice until I found the sizzling dishes.
Sports editor John Gunther, who got a well-deserved break after his staff's superior coverage of the Class 3A state basketball tournament last week, ordered the broccoli beef dish that came with crab puffs and rice.
The broccoli beef at Asian Garden. The dish comes with crab puffs and rice.
If you see John this week, and he looks a little sleepy, there's a really good reason. Leading up to and during the tournament, he put in as close to a 168-hour work week as humanly possible. I think a couple of nights he may have slept as his desk.
His dish didn't sizzle, but it came with a healthy mound of broccoli and beef. A pretty good way to start his week of recovery. That, and a steady IV of Diet Dr. Pepper wouldn't hurt.
I enjoyed my Sizzling Deluxe. I was wondering how a dish with three different proteins would work, but they all came out perfectly. The little scallops were nice and tender, the shrimps were firm without being overdone and the chicken was very tender.
And there were plenty of vegetables in the dish, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, water chestnuts and mushrooms served in a rich sauce. It was probably enough to split and take home for dinner, but I was enjoying myself too much to stop.
Asian Garden is located at 1032 Oregon Ave. SE (U.S. Highway 101), just south of Old Town between 10th and 11th.