Chen's Szechuan Express 2933-B Emmorton Road, Box Hill...

CARRY OUT

January 09, 1993|By Suzanne Loudermilk

Chen's Szechuan Express 2933-B Emmorton Road, Box Hill Square Shopping Center, Abingdon. Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday; noon to 10

p.m. Sunday. Phone: (410) 569-3506.

When you think of good Chinese food, Ming's, Uncle Lee's and the Bamboo House deliciously come to mind. Now you can add Chen's to the list. Chen's? A carryout? In the wilds of Harford County? Yes, yes, yes.

This tiny eatery -- there are only three tables -- opened unceremoniously in a small shopping center less than a year ago. The grand opening offer of 15 percent off lured me inside. The wonderful food has kept me coming back.

There are a mind-numbing 130 offerings on the menu -- from No. 9, a pu pu platter ($5.50), to No. 121, chow hai sin (a seafood dish, $12.50).

The prices of some entrees may seem high, but the portions are generous enough to split. For instance, the dragon and phoenix ($9.95) is easily shared by two adults -- with leftovers. It's a wonderful combination of sliced chicken, jumbo shrimp and lots of veggies.

Other favorites include General Gau's chicken ($7.95) in a fiery ginger sauce and beef and chicken Szechuan style ($10.50) with shredded tenderloin beef and chicken.

What I especially like is that only the freshest ingredients are used. The cooks also say they don't put the controversial additive MSG (monosodium glutamate) in the dishes.

Of course, for dessert, there are the ubiquitous fortune cookies tucked inside each takeout order. They're nothing special, but who can resist taking a peek at the future?

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