In Good Taste

Where to Eat Chinese Food on Christmas Day

Indulge in a very kosher Christmas.

Lauren Cohen and Jane Marion | December 18, 2018, 3:00 pm

-Courtesy of Flickr
In Good Taste

Where to Eat Chinese Food on Christmas Day

Indulge in a very kosher Christmas.

Lauren Cohen and Jane Marion | December 18, 2018, 3:00 pm

-Courtesy of Flickr

Hard to say how it all started, but it's a known fact that a typical Jewish Christmas is most often celebrated over Chinese food. (Could it be that when immigrants came through Ellis Island to the Lower East Side of New York, dumpling houses were not far from the shtetl?) And while we do not ordinarily embrace cultural stereotypes, it's a known fact that many Jewish families have a Yuletide tradition of their own of going for Chinese food and a movie. Other cultures have even adopted the custom, too. "It's one of our busiest days of the year," says Joey Chiu's manager Mimi Yu. It just doesn't feel like Christmas without a plate of moo goo gai pan. And while some might argue that Chinese food has become more Americanized throughout the years, we're lucky to have a few spots serving the real-deal dishes. Herewith, some places to go (far) East.

Grace Garden: Snag a seat in the dining room of this Odenton gem for some of the most authentic dishes around. Sure, there's the classic Szechuan pork and beef with broccoli, but you'll also find family-style portions of the signature pocket tofu, fish noodles, and tender tea-smoked duck with perfectly crisp skin. The sugary fried doughnut holes are also a must to end the meal on a sweet note. 1690 Annapolis Rd., Odenton. 410-672-3581

Joey Chiu's Greenspring Inn: This charming restaurant, complete with chandeliers and Greenspring Valley vistas, offers everything from seafood salads to sushi boats. With a wide array of duck, pork, steak, lamb, and fish dishes, regulars frequently flock to Joey Chiu's for special occasions. 10801 Falls Road, Lutherville. 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. 410-823-1125

Jumbo Seafood: This restaurant has been around for years, making a name for itself in the Northwestern suburbs as a go-to spot for diners with cravings for classic Chinese dishes and sophisticated sushi. As its name signifies, the portions are hefty, so don't expect to leave without leftovers. Favorites include scallops with ginger and scallion sauce, chicken and string beans, hot and sour soup, house-made lo-mein, and an extensive sushi menu. 48 E. Sudbrook Lane, Pikesville. 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. 410-602-1441

Mr. Chan Asian Bistro: Dim lighting and comfy seating make this restaurant an ideal place to spend the holiday, and the huge menu guarantees something for everyone if you're dining with family and friends. Known for its vegan and vegetarian entrees, Mr. Chan's features dishes like orange tofu, Yuba with vegetables, and Pad Thai. Meat dishes reign supreme as well, and the sushi bar flaunts colorful rolls that taste as good as they look.1000 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville. 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. 410-484-1100

Sonny Lee's Hunan Taste: In addition to the delicious dishes, the comforting atmosphere of this beautifully decorated restaurant has made it a community stalwart for more than a decade. The service is always top-notch, and if you're lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Sonny himself, you'll find him making his rounds greeting guests or carving Peking duck at your table. Menu favorites include handcrafted sushi rolls, orange beef, sizzling jumbo shrimp, and crispy Hunan soft shell crab. 750 Main St. Suite 104A, Reisterstown. 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. 410-833-7288

Galaxy Asian Cuisine: Reserve a table beneath the twinkling chandeliers at this Catonsville mainstay, whose menu lists real-deal delicacies such as deep-fried crispy spare ribs, poached spicy fish, and Cantonese-style chicken feet. Of course, there are also more familiar staples like sweet-and-sour chicken and overstuffed eggrolls. 6219 Baltimore National Pike, Catonsville. 443-251-5511

Szechuan House: A lavish dining room and friendly wait staff make this Lutherville gem a community favorite. Family-style platters ($19.25-25.95) are featured, making it a great place to mix and match entrees and taste a little bit of everything. A large portion of the menu is categorized as "Countryside Taste," with listed offerings like stewed pork, sautéed shrimp, Peking duck, and Chinese flounder.1427 York Road, Lutherville, 10:30 a.m.- 10:30 p.m. 410-825-8181

Zhongshan Restaurant: Although Chinese comfort foods are featured on this restaurant's sizable—and affordable— menu, the dim-sum section truly shines. Featured dim-sum include house-made pork sao mai dumplings, delicate shrimp rice crepes, and steamed ribs with black bean sauce. 323 Park Ave., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 410-223-1881





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