Empire Chinese Restaurant Review

Jun 16

Empire Chinese Restaurant

2502 Navarre Avenue
Oregon, OH 43616
Phone: (419) 693-2277

My apologies for not posting last week.  I was out of town visiting my sister in Virginia, so we couldn’t go out over the weekend.  I’m officially out of vacation time now though, so I should be back on my regular schedule from here on out.

So, about a million 9 years ago, in addition to his charm and good looks, Josh wooed me with a pair of tickets to go see Counting Crows in concert.  He told me that, in addition to the concert, he was going to wine and dine me at a Japanese restaurant, and boy, was I impressed.  He picked me up in his super hot black Pontiac Sunfire with the yellow trim and off we went.  Things were going along perfectly until we pulled up to the Japanese restaurant only to find that it was no longer a Japanese restaurant and was, instead, a cheap Chinese buffet.  In a sign of things to come, we both found this hysterical and we ate copious amounts of buffet food before heading to the concert.  It’s a miracle that we survived, really.

Clearly, I knew I had found quite a catch and I managed to fool him into thinking he had too (poor guy!).  This past Sunday was our 7 year wedding anniversary and we once again found ourselves eating cheap Chinese food, only this time it was on purpose.

Atmosphere/Overall Appearance

The Front Door

I know you’re probably sick of me saying this, but Empire is another place that I would have passed over were it not for this project.  The inside had the requisite fish tank and quite a bit of seating.  There is also a bar that is straight out of a bad 70’s movie, complete with the leather swivel chairs.  Awesome.

The restaurant itself is rather sparsely decorated with the kind of stuff you would expect in a typical Chinese restaurant.   There is nothing wrong with the décor, per se, but it seems a little tired and worn.

The Food

Josh got the Peanut Chicken and I got the Garlic Chicken.  We both usually get the Hunan Chicken anytime we eat Chinese, so this was a departure for both of us.  We ordered platters which come with an egg roll, soup and fried rice.

Josh has been there before for lunch and likes the food, and enjoyed what he ordered.  He didn’t get soup, but loves the fried rice.

I thought my Garlic Chicken was really, really, really salty.  It tasted good, but the salt was almost overwhelming.  It also had celery and water chestnuts in it, which I LOATHE, so I had to pick all of them out.  The rice was fantastic.  I also got the wonton soup and it was good.

Josh and I both agreed that while the crust of the eggrolls was good, there is a lot of cabbage in them and it kind of ruins the eggroll.  We are also total eggroll snobs though, so take that for what it’s worth.

Kid Friendliness

Garlic Chicken

We didn’t have Eden with us, and I forgot to look for a kids menu.  Eden doesn’t like Chinese food so that’s one reason we went there, actually.  If your kid does like Chinese food, then as far as the atmosphere goes, it’s kid friendly.  Again, it’s super salty, so if that is a personal health issue for you, you may want to reconsider.

Wait Staff/Service

Our waitress was really nice and friendly and our food was brought quickly.  Josh and I both ordered pop and I swear, every employee of the restaurant asked at least once if he wanted a refill.  They seemed very confused when he said no.  I just said yes when they asked me because I didn’t want to stress them out any more.  Clearly, I am the nicer one.

Overall Impressions

Peanut Chicken

I keep coming back to the salt content thing.  The rest of my meal was actually pretty good, but I don’t know if I could eat there again because I can’t stomach the idea of eating that much salt.  I know that Josh would go back, and I don’t think his was as salty.  I would classify our meal at Empire as neutral (I am totally Switzerland!) because the overall experience was okay, but there were a few things that were lacking.  So, I guess if you don’t mind salty food or you want a pretty good, cheap Chinese restaurant, try Empire.  If you do, let me know what you think!

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One comment

  1. Kate Knoblauch /

    You may want to try the food a second time. Depending on how much salt is in your system already depends on how salty food taste. It sounds weird, but Jimmy Johns sandwiches (the bread alone is FILLED with like 2000g of salt) sometimes it’s good and sometimes I swear I can taste the salt. May want to give them another chance. Have water beforehand to flush out your system.