Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Henry Yee's Cantonese Restaurant

Henry Yee's Cantonese Restaurant
624 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Libertyville, IL, (847) 362-2292

We didn't have anything in particular in mind for dinner tonight and we didn't have anything to cook (we'd only gotten enough for one meal and a bunch of re-stocked condiments yesterday), so we drove out towards Libertyville. We stopped at a little placed called Henry Yee's because a) my family name is actually Yee (even though Mom's last name was Lee; it's a long story and I won't bore you with it here) so I could actually be related to ol' Henry and b) Chinese sounded good.

The menu says the place was established in 1961 and it does have the aura of having been there for a while. When we went in there was just one other table filled up and most of the people were Asian. So that was a good sign. It turns out that they were actually relatives (the daughter of the owner), but another Chinese family was going in as we were leaving, so it still passes the test (you know, it should be at least 80% non-white...otherwise it probably isn't that authentic).

We tried the Family Dinner for Two: soup (egg drop for me, hot & sour for Tony, both decent), a platter of appetizers (egg rolls [decent, though I swear I tasted peanut in them which freaked out my tongue...in other words, nothing like mom used to make...but then, no one makes egg rolls like my mother. You could feed an entire village with just a few of them.], crab rangoon [good], Bar-B-Q Pork [good], breaded fried chicken [not bad, though not like anything I'd had as part of an Asian meal before], and beef satay [really good]), and Sweet & Sour Chicken (not bad) and Pork Chop Suey (good).

I asked him before we ordered the chicken whether or not it was real or not (you know, the goopy orange stuff or the real stuff like mom used to make). He said it was. I'd consider him half right. The sauce wasn't that toxic orange stuff, but it was still a bit on the goopy side, though it did have the right pineapple and bell pepper ingredients. And it was fried, which is something we never did at home. So I'd say that this place is fairly authentic (based on my experiences), but it does cater a bit to American tastes. Other hints support this...the place setting includes normal silverware, but the table had chopsticks as well.

The people were friendly, even the grandkids of Henry who were having fun running around. I'm interested in going again. This might even be one of those places where you can get more and more authentic stuff the more often you go. Who knows. It wasn't the best Chinese I've had, nor the most authentic, but it wasn't bad and the staff was nice. And besides, maybe we're related somewhere down the line. My family was from around Canton.

1 comment:

Teresa said...

Post some pics!