If you're a true Seinfeld fan, you'll remember the episode with the American woman who's mistaken for a Chinese woman because of her surname - Chang. Well, the mix of cultures in the episode translates to a mix of cuisines at Donna Chang's in Athens, GA. The way they do American-Chinese deserves a food genre all its own.
The Five Points eatery opened late last year, so you might not have had time to stop in yet. Trust me. You need to make time, and here are five delicious reasons why.
1. Dry-Fried Eggplant
This appetizer features Sichuan peppercorn and Tianjin chilies for flavorful heat and a surprisingly numbing feeling. It's crispy on the outside but retains the eggplant texture on the inside. Thanks to the "dry-fried" process, you don't have to worry about feeling greasy.
2. Cold Bouncy Peanut Noodles
If Thai food is your go-to for ethnic cuisine, you'll appreciate this menu addition. It may be an appetizer, but the portion is pretty substantial so feel free to hog it all to yourself (I did). The peanut sauce is thick and creamy, and it smothers the light noodles with savory flavor. With Georgia summer fast approaching, the cool factor of this dish is greatly appreciated.
3. Glazed Carrots
Who failed to fill me in on the citrus-carrot combo? It's my new favorite flavor palate. Add miso butter, walnuts, greens and cilantro, and you have a healthy, market-fresh selection to devour. I'm convinced this is what dreams are made of.
4. General Tso's Chicken
No matter how Americanized Chinese food has become, you just can't skip this classic. While the broccoli feels like a logical companion to the sweet chicken, the radishes serve as a nice, colorful surprise. The variant of sliced and whole roots provides an added texture element that took the dish to a new, sophisticated level.
5. Jasmine Rice
I like to consider myself a carb connoisseur, so I had high expectations for Donna Chang's rice. You'll be pleased to hear that it passed with flying colors. Not too sticky, not too chewy - it was a delightful addition to my other plates. Plus, the leftovers can be re-purposed.