One of the most important points that confronts the new owners of a neighborhood restaurant…
Danny Raskin’s Column – Golden Phoenix Still Golden
Three years ago, when the youthful looking couple took over a 43-year-old well-established Chinese restaurant, there were numerous skeptic thoughts … Young folks as the new owners instead of previous older owners with so much proven experience of years in the highly loved Asian dining field brought some doubts … That added touch of enthusiastic and new innovative thinking … along with older time-honored dining suggestions and high-quality cleanliness … have proven to be an excellent combination.
The name Golden Phoenix has wisely never been changed by Arthur and Ava Fung … Their three-year ownership in Sugar Tree Plaza, Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield, is honored with many dine-in and carry-out suggestions from its fresh-thinking offerings that include more than 20 complete family dinners from which to choose.
Like the addition of Asian cuisine that includes Thai dishes along with Cantonese, Szechuan, Mandarin and American … a separate wine menu with choice offerings and very reasonable prices by glass or bottle … Such realization by Arthur and Ava of larger varieties of fresh food and utter spotlessness make for happier and constantly returning customers.
It may seem odd, but the best seller is an appetizer … And one that is said to be as old as Chinese dining … The egg rolls made fresh and formed with varied ingredients … The only thing missing is pork, which is not mixed at Golden Phoenix with its ingredients of chicken, shrimp and vegetables … People with this and other restrictions like no gluten will be happy to know that the absence will be honored as well as whatever other dietary restraints may be requested.
Golden Phoenix is closed only on Thanksgiving … with regular hours of Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.
The much-time-honored centuries of wonderful Chinese and Thai dining is certainly not forgotten as Art, Ava and their fine staff of waitpersons do away with some so-so offerings in bringing to tables and booths what seem like much better-than-before traditional and non-traditional presentations.
REARVIEW MIRROR … From William “Bill” Ruskin, Las Vegas, Nev. … “When I was a youngster, Dexter and Davison was among other areas I would walk to, and I remember going to a deli near 12th Street and Blaine whose name began with a ‘B’ for a corned beef sandwich for a nickel or dime, and the Avalon Theater when it was only a dime then a quarter for admission, and the next door Avalon Deli. To Sanders, Barton’s, Dick’s Drug Store, going with my grandfather to the original Detroit Bagel Factory on a Saturday night for fresh bagels right from the oven for Sunday brunch and to have one on the way home while it was still hot.”
BELIEVE IT OR NOT there are still some places, thankfully not many, that tack on a tax charge after the bill has been totaled … and the non-lobservant customer unknowingly pays it.
THEY MAY BE sister restaurants, but in name only … and both are owned by Cholada “Nancy” Chan … Midtown Shangri-La on Cass is her smaller location, open daily 11-10 and closed Sundays, plus a reduced menu … Shangri-La in the Orchard Mall, West Bloomfield, is open seven days, 11-2 … Along with Cantonese favorites, both also serve Dim Sum every day … Midtown Shangri-La is celebrating its ninth anniversary … West Bloomfield’s Shangri-La celebrated its 19th anniversary.
MEMORY DEPT … From Jackie Kallen … “How I loved the Excalibur on Northwestern Highway where I used to take many of the acts appearing at Pine Knob after their performances. They also loved the ambience and particularly no one bothering them, especially while eating the wonderful food that Excalibur served.”
WHAT PEOPLE TALK ABOUT … Lamb and chicken specialties at Elie’s Mediterranean Grill, Birmingham … Scottish Salmon with toasted barley at Diamond Jim Brady’s Bistro, Novi … Sliced cauliflower at Due Venti, Clawson … Wine steamed mussels at Bella Piati, Birmingham … Barbecued or fried shrimp and Louisiana style gumbo and those luscious muffins at Beans & Cornbread, Southfield.
ERRATA DEPT … Uncle Harry’s Deli is in St. Clair Shores, not Detroit.
OLDIE BUT GOODIE … At a party recently, a jokester, stifling a laugh, said, “One day, Moskowitz and Finkelstein were going to —”
A guest at the party said, “Moskowitz and Finkelstein, Moskowitz and Finkelstein. Always two Jews. Why do they have to be Jewish? Can’t you tell the joke with other nationalities involved? Why don’t you make them Chinese for a change?”
The jokester, sobered and embarrassed, said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend. One day, Hong-Lee Yang and Mao-Chen Foo were going to the synagogue to attend the bar mitzvah of Hong-Lee Yang’s nephew …”
CONGRATS … To Ed Sosnick on his birthday … To Norman Wauldron on his 100th birthday … To William Nosanchuk on his 93rd birthday … To Howard and Linda Nudell on their 50th anniversary.
Danny’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.