Best! Panda (a tale of dinner delayed)

RennFaireVertbfLOWe’d spent the day slouching about the Renaissance Faire with Bob and Don – and yes, the weather was exactly as lovely as it looks in this picture.

The Faire was fun, and it was Steampunk Weekend, so there were anachronisms abounding, ermmm, as well as some wicked tasty fried cheese balls – hey, it was Wisconsin!

Still, cheese balls ice cream frilled crêpes and honeyed mead will only hold a guy for so long, and it was getting to be time to think about dinner…

Our original plan had been to gather at a filipino restaurant that Bob had heard about, but they had closed their doors a month earlier.

Undeterred, Bob found another filipino restaurant in the neighborhood, and we resolved to go there in search of adobo as good as his mom’s.

RennFaire2013AltbfLOHmmm. A front door really shouldn’t be sticky, should it?

And, why are the only two customers in the restaurant sitting way in the back; the guy playing(?) something very like ‘Smoke on the Water’ on a karaoke guitar, and the woman staring and poking listlessly at her smart phone, neither with any actual victuals in front of them?

HotSourSoupbfLOUndaunted, we walked up to the steam table, filled with…

ermmm, how long have those beans been sitting there?

A quick retreat and it was on to Plan C for dinner.

CrispyChickenbfLOJon, our barber, and his wife are pretty dedicated foodies who know what’s where in our neck o’ the woods; and he had mentioned this kinda hole-in-the-wall Chinese place to me a few months previously, and Rich and I had been meaning to check it out, but, well, just hadn’t gotten around to it. Doubly disappointed in our Filipino efforts, we trusted that the third time might, in this case, turn out to be the charm.


Talk about night and day. Best Panda is in a small Gurnee strip mall and, while not much to look at inside or out, the food was pretty frikkin’ fantastic!

LoMeinbfLOAfter our day at the Faire and then the search for decent fair for dinner, we were all pretty hungry, so sat down and started to order…

and order.

Hot and sour soup, egg rolls, crispy chicken, veggie lo mein, pork fried rice, Szechwan shrimp, orange beef, sweet and sour chicken…

SzShrimpbfLOyou begin to see how it went.

And boy, did it went!

Everything was well prepared, really tasty, and reasonably priced – I think we walked away with leftovers (of course) and dinner for the four of us was a tad under $70.

We will be back.

Oh, and did I mention, they give almond cookies at the end?

Best Panda indeed.

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