Best Non-Chain Chinese Restaurants
The West Michigan city of Grand Rapids has several suburbs including Wyoming, Kentwood, Grandville and Jenison. These suburbs have a variety of restaurants including Italian, Mexican, and Oriental. There are three non-chain restaurants that I chose when I want Chinese food: Great Lakes Chinese and Oriental Forest in Wyoming, and Lotus Garden in Grandville.
I probably buy from Great Lakes Chinese the most because it is closest to my home. I can call in an order and pick it up a few minutes later. The restaurant itself is small with only a few tables for those who chose the limited lunch buffet. Their specialty is take-out, although they deliver locally for three dollars. Their motto is “We deliver all day”. The servings are generous and it is difficult to eat an entire order. My favorite is their almond chicken. A quart costs less than $9 and is worth every cent. It includes one crab Rangoon, wonton or egg drop soup, fried rice, and one egg roll. I usually select Great Lakes take-out because it is fast, friendly, and convenient. They do not accept personal checks.
Also in Wyoming and close to my home is Oriental Forest. Their motto is “Enjoy all you can eat buffet”. They have a menu that lists 123 selections, 26 chef’s specialties, 15 special combination dishes, and 7 health food selections. A person could order from the menu but rarely anyone does. They have several rows of any kind of Chinese food as person could want including Cantonese, Hunan, and Szechuan styles. A person can keep going back for more until they cannot eat any more. Before I moved near the restaurant, I used to drive across town to eat here. The dining room is spacious and all the employees wear Chinese clothing. It is a great place to take a family for an inexpensive but tasty meal. For special events there is a private party room. This is also a take-out restaurant for those who chose to eat at home.
A little farther from my house, in Grandville, but still within a ten minute drive is the Lotus Garden. The Lotus Garden is very decorative in Chinese art. Outside the doors and to either side are large sitting lion statues. Inside is a gold fish pool and throughout the restaurant one can find more Chinese architecture and decorations including the dress of their employees. Table sizes are large enough to accommodate a large group or small enough for a private meal with a spouse or guest. This restaurant also has a buffet in a room set aside for that purpose. There are a wide variety of Cantonese, Hunan, and Szechuan styles. A Sushi bar is also available with thirteen selections. The menu lists 61 items plus thirteen lunch specials and nine combination platters. The ambience is better than the first two restaurants so whenever I have guests I take them to Lotus Garden. A take-out option is provided and they are open seven days a week. It is a good place to go after church.
All three restaurants open at 11 a.m. My choice for carry out is Great Lakes, for casual dining Oriental Forest, and a little fancier is Lotus Garden. All have great food and no one will be disappointed by going to either of these non-chain Chinese restaurants.