China King

October 05, 1991|By Kevin Cowherd

584 Cranbrook Road, Cockeysville. Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Phone: 667-4200.

This unpretentious Chinese restaurant and carryout is located ia narrow storefront in the busy Cranbrook Shopping Center, where, teeming with traffic at 5 o'clock on a Saturday evening, you're lucky to make it out of the parking lot without getting run over.

Let's get the bad news out of the way first. The egg rolls ($1.15) are only fair. It is almost impossible to screw up egg rolls, but somehow the folks at China King succeeded. These egg rolls were pretty bland and tasted like something you'd get in the frozen food section of your supermarket.

Unfortunately, the soup was only fair, too. We had the hot and sour soup ($2.25) and, yep, it was hot and sour all right. Then again, so is a lime candy left on the --board of your car in July.

But just when it seemed like it was time to hit McDonald's, the entrees came through. The seafood combination with vegetables ($10.95) was excellent. It's filled with tasty jumbo shrimp and large scallops, and stir fried with succulent mixed vegetables. (It also came with something the menu ominously listed as "sea leg," which turned out to be lobster, I think. No, I didn't ask -- it's better not to know some things in life.)

The shrimp fried rice ($6.50) was also good. House specials include Dragon and Phoenix ($18.95 for two) which, although it sounds like a new adventure series on one of the networks, is actually chopped lobster in the shell with vegetables and chunks of chicken with a spicy orange flavor. Lunch specials range in price from chicken chow mein ($3.50) to scallops with vegetables and Hunan shrimp ($5.50).

Just stay alert in that parking lot.

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