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Twin Dragon

On one plate...

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In my last review, I claimed that my figure was the result of years of consuming pub food. Actually, some of it is from pub food-more of it is from lo mein and egg rolls. I know Chinese food; I love Chinese food. It was with this preconceived notion that I headed off for a late lunch/early dinner at Twin Dragon one weekday afternoon.

Twin Dragon isn't a five-star restaurant. The décor is dated, the salad bowls are plastic, and many of the booths are worn from years of late night diners. Twin Dragon serves mostly simple American-Chinese food. No drizzled sauces, no miniscule portions, no unpronounceable menu items, just good, hot and inexpensive chow mein, fried rice and other familiar foods, with a handful of clay pot dishes and regional specialties.

My dining companions were the Artist, the Schoolteacher, She Who Works at the St. Louis Zoo (SWWATZ) and-last but never least-the Beast (who won't be offended by that moniker since she's only 4 and can't yet read). As soon as we sat down, our server was there to take our order.

We decided against heavy entrees and instead ordered an assortment of appetizers. Before we could say "fortune cookie," our server appeared with steaming plates of egg rolls, moist potstickers, crispy fried shrimp, foil-wrapped chicken (perfectly seasoned), shrimp toast, pork and seeds, wontons, steamed rice, and a seafood soup full of krab (with a K), shrimp, scallops, tofu, noodles and an assortment of vegetables. SWWATZ had ordered egg rolls, but upon discovering that the double layer of batter might be concealing fish (Twin Dragon's egg rolls contain krab), she ordered a chicken and noodle bowl instead, which was full of noodles and large chicken chunks in a dark, aromatic broth. Even the Beast, who when asked what she wanted, ordered "nothin'," decided after one whiff that "nothin'" actually meant pork and seeds, egg rolls and seafood soup.

I ate the egg rolls for SWWATZ, so by the end of the meal, I was stuffed and sleepy-but not too sleepy to notice the bill. Twin Dragon's décor isn't the only thing that hasn't changed in years-their prices have stayed low and reasonable. We would have paid more for half a sandwich and watery soup in some of the newer restaurants in town. I've always been a fan of Twin Dragon and this visit reminded me of why I keep going back. I know Twin Dragon; I love Twin Dragon.

-Amy Atkins is known to the Beast as "Ya-Ya."