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 V.14 No.44 | November 3 - 9, 2005 

The Dish

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Chow's Asian Bistro Bellies Up to the Westside—Another sister-restaurant of Chow's Asian Bistro (Santa Fe) and Chow's Chinese Bistro (Northeast Heights) will open its doors in Cottonwood Mall this weekend. That's three locations, three companies, two names and one owner. Confused yet? "It's complicated" says General Manager Jason Zeng. "But all that's just legal stuff. They're basically all part of the same place." Zeng started his career at the restaurant when it first opened 13 years ago in Santa Fe; only then it was called Chow's Contemporary Chinese Food. "We're local, not a corporation. Our highest concentration is on food quality and taste." And Zeng is willing to put his money where his mouth is. Earlier this month, Chow's was voted one of the top 100 Asian restaurants and the No. 1 Asian fusion restaurant in the nation by the National Restaurant Association and the Chinese Restaurant News. That's a big deal.

"A place like P.F. Chang's might beat us on décor—they've got millions of dollars to throw at that kind of stuff—but we're trying to beat them on food, service and innovation." That décor gap is narrowing with the new Westside restaurant; a 5,000-square-foot restaurant with an open-air kitchen and museum-quality reproductions of ancient Chinese bronze art. "It's really pretty," says Zeng, "you should see it."

The menu won't change much, though we can expect a few new items to debut this weekend. Watch for the crispy-skinned quail-mango salad with lemongrass vinaigrette, and an entrée of large prawns, fresh tomatoes and oyster mushrooms in a warm wasabi-cream sauce over crispy noodles.

Chow's will unveil its new location in Cottonwood Mall, between JC Penny's and Foley's, this Sunday, Nov. 6, from 3 to 6 p.m. The event will feature live music, dragon and lion dancers and a raffle that will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of New Mexico. Tickets are $20 per person; make your reservations by calling the Ronald McDonald House at 842-8960. Zeng adds that walk-in guests are more than welcome.

Attention Unemployed Line Cooks—I hear that legendary local chef Heath VanRiper is on the prowl for an experienced line cook. It seems Chef VanRiper needs a capable hand to assist him during the evening shift at his award-winning Prairie Star Restaurant, which is located on the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort grounds near Bernalillo. If you know you've got what it takes, don't pass this up. Call the restaurant at 867-3327.

More for Your Fry Bread Fix—In response to one hungry chowhound's eternal quest for a good old hunka fry bread (see Letters Oct. 27-Nov. 2), Alibi reader Consuelo says: "Santa Ana Casino serves wonderful fry bread." She adds, "If lucky, you can even watch it being stretched old-world style before your very eyes!" If you've got your own tips on the fried stuff, e-mail food@alibi.com.

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