Golden Crown Restaurant

I know you've noticed it.  Hasn't every Salemite?  How many times have you driven by the Golden Crown Chinese restaurant downtown near See's Candy and wondered if it would be worth your time and money to give them a try?  For N and I, it's been somewhere around a billion, trillion, thousand times.  (Oops!  Sorry, reverting back to my childhood.)

I'll admit it, I was a little worried.  Especially after our experience at Blue Willow on Lancaster.  But I have to say, we were pleasantly surprised.  It wasn't "hold the presses" amazingly delicious, but it was good and the young man who was our waiter was delightful.

The interior is bright and clean with just a few signs of wear around the edges.  We enjoyed the old Asian art posters hanging on the walls and the framed butterfly collections hanging near the entrance.  To start, we ordered the house appetizer plate.  It featured fried shrimp, barbecued pork, a spring roll, fried won ton and chicken in foil.  The dipping sauces that arrived with the appetizers were warm and slightly more interesting that the usual.

For our dinner, we shared 2 entrees--Moo Shu Pork and Beef Curry.  N said that the Moo Shu Pork had a nice texture with the finely chopped vegetables and a good overall flavor.  We both liked the Beef Curry.  While the curry sauce wasn't as complex as I prefer, it still had some good heat and flavor and a nice assortment of vegetables.

One of my favorite service experiences that evening was when the waiter happened to spy me struggling to use a fork to halve a large broccoli floret and immediately brought a knife over to our table.  That was awesome!
365 Liberty St NE
Salem, OR 97301-3519
(503) 362-9560


Anonymous said...

Speaking as a server myself-thank you for noticing that small thing of getting you a knife. It's what we do.

smc said...

We have been to The Golden Crown many times for both lunch and dinner. The service is always fantastic and the food delicious, plentiful, fresh and piping hot. For good solid Chinese food in Salem, this is the place to go.

Pam said...

I've only been to Golden Crown once, but I totally agree with Simple Simon. It's good solid Chinese food. Tasty, fresh, well-prepared, and now I'm starting to wonder why we don't go there more often...

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see a review on these in the future.
Canton Garden Market St.
China Faith Lancaster Drive

Chuck Bradley said...

Anon, Here are my impressions of China Faith and Canton Gardens from visits earlier this year:

China Faith:

She who must be obeyed was away this evening, so I was on my own for dinner. I hadn't been to China Faith in many years so I returned tonight. I ordered General Tao's Chicken. I described my Scoville Heat Unit tolerance, as best I could, to my server. She recommended "Hot" on spiciness and was right on the money. Several local Chinese places use only breast meat for this dish, which is my preference. I requested fried rice on the side. The food was good, but the really stand-out component of my visit was the service. As my southern friends might say "You ain't gonna believe this!" I noticed their display included Tsingtao beer (which is one of my favorite Lagers) in 12 oz. bottles. I have found it in several specialty markets in the area, but only in 22 oz bottles, which is about a 10 oz. greater contribution to my prodigious waistline than it really needs. I asked my server who her supplier is. She not only told me about a previously undiscovered Asian market, but called them to make sure they had it in stock! Now I ask you, how many waitpersons would go the "Extra mile" like this?

Canton Garden:

One of Salem's oldest Chinese places. Like so many others, it doesn't look very appetizing from the outside. When I walked in at 12:15 PM, and was the only customer in the place, I was further spooked. The decor strikes one as unchanged over many years. My server seated me, gave me a menu and told me it I wanted the buffet, it would be a few minutes as they don't set it up until the first patron wants it. HMM! Not encouraging so far! I chose to try the buffet. She brought me Egg Flower soup, which was good. (What is it about the Premium, two per package saltines? This is the second Chi place in a row where they were stale!) Stick with me, it does get better. When told the buffet was ready, I ventured forth. I had fried rice, won tons, almond chicken, sesame chicken (wonderful) beef chow Yuk, sweet and sour pork and onion rings. All way above average. ($5.95). I did notice the menu items seemed considerably higher priced than at other similar places. Keeping an open mind, difficult as it is, is sometimes essential to allowing a mediocre experience morph into a very positive one. I recommend this place.