Story by Emily Roberts
Pine Garden: Where the food is hot but the service is warmer.
Pine Garden is a small restaurant that’s roughly a five-minute drive from the Oregon City campus. It’s located in a cluster of shops and restaurants and the parking nearby the doors is semi limited. I was joined by the Clackamas Print’s photo editor Jonathan Villagomez. Once I entered the restaurant, we were greeted by a friendly man with gentle music playing in the background. The inside was dimly lighted with the majority of the lighting coming through the windows. We were seated at a booth and were left to make our choices.
It had a really calm atmosphere. You walk in and its nice and quiet with tranquil music. We were quickly attended by our server who was really nice and courteous he took care us the entire time. He always came to fill out glasses of water. Outstanding customer service and the waiter was really nice.
I ordered a combo meal with broccoli beef, crab rangoons, fried shrimp, and rice. I chose to have egg flower soup with it since it’s been at the top of my list of favorites since I was a kid. After I piled an excessive amount of pepper on top, something I learned from my dad, I tried a bite and was not disappointed.
Our food was soon brought out to us and we were both excited to see the large plates of food. The waiter saw us taking photos of our food
and came out with his own phone, showing us some photos he had taken of meals prepared there. We shared a few comments about the food and then he wished us a good meal and left. The portions were generous but not so much that the food overtook the plate and smooshed together. I don’t like when my food touches. The broccoli beef was cooked surprisingly well. I often find that broccoli is over steamed, but they cooked it just right. The filling for the crab rangoons was well balanced between crab and cream cheese, although its shell was chewier than I preferred. The shrimp was fried to a golden perfection and the rice was made very well. The food left me full and happy, as every good meal should.
I ordered a plate of crab rangoons, chicken chow mein and fried pork.
After we ordered, we got a kettle of tea and we got a choice of sweet and sour soup or egg flower soup. I got the egg flower soup. The bowl of soup was small but it was perfect because it was a free appetizer before our meal arrive. The soup was surprisingly good. Once our meal arrived, I was impressed by the quantity of food on the plate. I didn’t think I was going to finish it. The food was really good. It’s good to see that they don’t skimp out on portions, in addition the price to food ratio is amazing. The only negative thing I can say was that the crab rangoons were a little overcooked which resulted in a chewy shell instead of a crunchy bite. No doubt, it’s the closest and best option for authentic Chinese food near campus and is perfect for a quick bite. If you are in a hurry you can always call in an order to pick up.
Pine Garden is a wonderful sit- down spot for good Chinese food. The customer service is phenomenal and the food is filling. Being a short drive from the campus, I definitely recommend this spot for college students.