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Hong Kong restaurant, Socorro, NM

Alas, the Hong Kong Restaurant is no more. Jon, the owner, will reopen in early 2006 in Albuquerque as "Rising Star Chinese Eatery", in the little strip mall on the northeast corner of Louisiana and San Antonio.

At the corner of California and Otero, by the traffic light, just north of Super Mart. The smoking section is along the north wall, so if you're as violently anti-tobacco as I am you'll want to sit far away from there. They take plastic.

Among my friends, there was much rejoicing when this place opened. Except for a place called the Hungry Dragon that existed for a short time in the mid-80s, Socorro has been bereft of really decent Chinese food.

Hong Kong's menu is large and most everything I've tried has ranged from decent to really splendid. Some of the dishes are really impressive. The Hong Kong Special Won Ton Soup is a large bowl of rich stock piled high with assorted meats and crisp vegetables. The Sizzling Wor Bar is a fine stir-fry with a variety of meats and vegetables and a rich gravy. The lunch specials are fine, cost-effective and fairly quick. Service varies but is generally pretty good; they are especially careful about keeping your drink refilled. Portions are large and prices are reasonable. The lo mein dishes (stir-fried with noodles) are a bit out of the ordinary and nicely done. Vegetables come out nicely undercooked for my taste, on the crisp side. They have a fair assortment of vegetarian dishes.

If you like your food very spicy, tell them ``hot'' or ``hot hot'' or even ``hot hot hot.'' If you know Dan Lunceford, you can thank him for convincing their kitchen that people here really do like things that spicy. For several months after opening, Dan had a running war with the kitchen. He kept saying ``hot'' more and more times but they never quite made it to his (admittably extreme) preferred heat level. Finally, one day the cook must have snapped. The waitress, with tears running down her face and gasping for breath, brought out an order of pork lo mein with so much chili in it it looked brick-red. Dan invited me over that evening to check out the leftovers. I warmed up about six bites of it, and after four bites I had to stop eating for a half hour before I could get the last two bites down, because my mouth was just in too much pain. Dan eventually finished this dish, but it took him a couple of days.

With that incident as a baseline, the kitchen has a pretty good handle on the local heat preferences now. ``Hot hot hot'' should be sufficient spicy for all but the most extreme heat freaks.

Next: Eat at Dan's, Socorro, NM
See also: Shipman's favorite Socorro (NM) restaurants
Previous: Martha's Black Dog Coffeehouse, Socorro, NM
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John W. Shipman,
Last updated: 2005/11/02 00:35:47