Lunch date #24, September 28, 2012
"Where have you been eating lately," our fans want to know! "Are you still having lunch with your mom?" The answer is yes, we've had a few more lunch dates, well actually only two since our last posting, so I will now bring you all up to date. I do have to report that Mom was out of town for 2 weeks on a Caribbean cruise with my brother and sister-in-law…even with the onset of hurricane "Sandy" in the region-but all was well with them, for the most part, and they had a great time! They are true cruise-experts and I'm sure had much better food than the next two places we will be reviewing—the first of which is Blessings Chinese Restaurant(1989-D Santa Rita Road). I would have to say that I was looking forward to this. We like Chinese food in general, and we used to frequent the old Blessings in Mission Plaza back in the day. I had not tried the new place since they re-opened in a new location, still within Mission Plaza, so figured it would be a good spot to try.
Location 3.5 points. Easy to find and park, but otherwise no big thrill. Certainly no external ambiance. Mission Plaza is fine, but as mom relayed crinkling her nose: "it is not downtown!"
Ambiance 3 points. After all it is a Chinese Restaurant—what did we expect. It was clean and simple. The stone-table tops were nice and the framed carved ivory fit the Asian theme. Still, nothing special, so a moderate score.
Menu selection 4 points. Lots to choose from with all of the usual Chinese-Americanized type dishes we expect to see. The lunch menu has good variety: soup, Chinese salad (lettuce, few shredded veggies) and rice included with several entrée choices. They offer steamed or fried rice at no additional fee.
Service 2 points. We were very disappointed with the service. We were not offered tea, and by the time we finally got a pot it was only tepid-warm and never did brew to be drinkable. Our server (only server) brought out the soup and then the main dishes very quickly-too quickly as we barely had a minute to eat the soup and the rest was served. I do feel this is typical of a Chinese restaurant lunch, so not too surprised. She was just rather abrupt and not too helpful. We had to get her attention to get the tea and then chopsticks and never did get the soy sauce. She spent a lot of time on her cell phone. When I was glancing around the restaurant to take in the ambiance, she yelled at me "What you want!"
Food 2 points. Printed in their menu is the following: "After several years of study and planning, Blessings has developed a new and uniquely delicious and healthful menu…" I am sorry—they should go back to the planning again! The food was uniformly too greasy. The soup was OK, but the meal went downhill after that. We did order "pan fried medallions of beef"—so I suppose you could say we got what we asked for—but it was sooo greasy, it was shiny! We also shared the "butterfly prawn combo with teriyaki chicken" (which I suppose is a bit of a rip off of a Japanese-style item), but it too was greasy and the prawn was breaded, fried, very tough and quite non-edible. The "fried" rice was OK, also a bit greasy but not quite as oil drenched as the other items. Needless to say, we didn't finish this food….of course Mom did take home the left overs purely out of habit, but I forgot to ask her if she ever did eat them!
Value 3 points. Menu prices of $6.50-8.25 for the lunch combos were relatively inexpensive, considering the soup and salad added, but since it was not good food, the value score has to go down.
Overall score for Blessings Chinese Restaurant: 2.9 points. A bit better than the First Hunan Chef Wong, but I doubt I'll ever go back. Sorry Blessings—not as good as before you closed. Somewhat on par with Panda Express in terms of low-end greasy Chinese food. Definitely not good for you and unlike Panda, the food at Blessings is not tasty enough to make the excess fat calories all that tempting.