Tag Archives: Chinese food
Just because you love the food at Grace Su’s China Gorge doesn’t mean you have to abandon the menu entirely if you decide to pursue a better body weight.
Just ask Theresa Draper of Parkdale, Ore., a small farm town about 20 miles south of Hood River, which is itself an hour east of foodie Mecca, Portland.
Draper runs the orchard at the family’s Draper Girls Country Farm. But at the end of the day, when she’s done selling gorgeous pears and apples and more, she loves Chinese food. Orange chicken. Sweet and sour shrimp.
“I love her stuff,” Draper says. “I can’t eat anywhere else, that place is so good to me. The food is so fresh.”
So she had a moment’s pause when her niece invited her to attend a Weight Watchers group in The Dalles. Weight Watchers assigns point values to different foods.
More points is bad.
Fewer is better.
Draper gets 26 points per day, to spread across 24 hours.
“It depends on the person’s weight, how many points you get,” she says. “I have the lowest points you can have.”
She thought that might nix Chinese food for her. After all, several items similar to items found on the menu at Grace Su’s China Gorge carry hefty point values.
General Tso’s chicken? 17 points.
Orange-ginger beef? 15 points.
But when Draper scanned the menu, compared it to information in her “Weights Watchers Points Plus Dining Out Companion,” she found good news. Broccoli beef steps lightly on the Weight Watchers scale — at just 4 points.
“I was so happy to find that because you don’t go over your points,” she says.
She says chicken costs fewer points than beef, so she goes for the Broccoli chicken. In addition to the main ingredients, it contains garlic, rice wine, light soy sauce and carrots, says Grace Su.
“It was really really good, too,” Draper says. “For me, I feel like it’s a really good, light dish.”read more
Join us on a tour behind the scenes at Grace Su’s China Gorge, when frequent diners Ron and Marg Guth dropped by recently for a late afternoon meal. This kitchen is … cookin’!read more
“We haven’t added a hot pot to our menu yet (we figure you come to Grace Su’s China Gorge so we can cook for you). But we thought you might like to know how much Grace and her family embody the American ideal commonly known as the “melting pot.”
First of all, Grace and her husband, Kokdjen (pronounced “Chin”) Su, grew up in the Chinese minority population of the world’s largest Islamic country, Indonesia.
Raised Christian in the family of a Presbyterian church, Grace and her brother, Steve Tan, came to Seattle at the urging of a pastor friend. Both attended school at the University of Washington, Grace graduating with a degree in business administration and her brother with a degree in architecture.
He returned eventually to Indonesia, where he is an architect heavily involved in getting the long-planned Jakarta Tower project off the ground. If completed, it would be the world’s second tallest building.
But we digress. Before he headed back to Indonesia, Steve invited Grace to join him on a trip to a conference in Portland in 1975. He met a girl from Taiwan, who noticed that he was wearing an Indonesian batik shirt. She said she knew a group of Indonesians. One of them was Kok Djen Su.
Two years later, they were married. Kok Djen, while finished his master’s degree in electrical engineering and power at Portland State University, had decided he wanted to stay in the United States. But a quota on immigration led Kok Djen to explore other avenues. He learned that if he bought a business that employed U.S. citizens, he could get a resident visa.
He first explored buying into a soy sauce business in Portland. When that didn’t work out, he started exploring other options.
“He used to like to fish in the Hood River area,” Grace says. “He saw this restaurant for sale — The Sundown. It served American-style rest.”
They bought it, in 1979. Finished in a faux log decor, it required extensive remodeling to get it ready for a Chinese menu.
“At first, he did a lot of the cooking himself,” Grace says.
Now, most of that is handled by chef Weixiong “a Hong” Wu.
Anchored in the Hood, Grace and Kokdjen has achieved part of their dream. Both became naturalized U.S. citizens 24 years ago.
Grace says Kok Djen’s studies help him take care of electrical and mechanical maintenance. As for herself, she says she never thought she’d be running a Chinese restaurant when she was completing her college studies, but she loves it just the same.
“I love the public,” she says. “I love the people.”
Admitting that a lot of hard work has gone into their 33 years of success, she says her faith had more to do with it.
“I credit God’s grace,” she says. “It has been sustaining. It put me in this small beautiful town that we love.”
And her role in the restaurant?
“I usually tell people I’m the chief bottle washer,” she says.
Does she actually wash bottles?
“No,” she says, with a laugh.
It’s a metaphor for “doing it all.” Which she pretty much has, since diving into the melting pot.
You and your partner or family have probably dined at Grace Su’s China Gorge.
But did you know that we can easily serve groups of well over 100 people?
Best of all, we’ll save you money in the process.
Here’s an example. For meetings that require a buffer against outside noise, we can reserve our private meeting room. It comfortably seats up to 25 people.
Wi-fi connectivity adds the ability to pull and project Internet images for your group to review or discuss. Attendees can order off our extensive menu, or we can arrange a buffet. As long as total meal purchases exceed $100, we charge nothing extra for use of the room.
Nothing? Yep, no room fee. Just try to find that deal at any other location in Hood River.
Interested? Please call 541-386-5331 at least a week in advance of your event to reserve space.
For larger groups, our dining room can seat up to 60 people in a semi-private setting. It offers a mix of small and larger rectangular tables, plus round tables that seat eight people each.
Our adjacent river-view bar area can seat groups of 10 to 35.
Do the math. Add all that seating in those three spaces, and you see how we could serve a holiday dinner buffet to 120 employees of Hood River’s Maritime Services Corp., which we did on Dec. 17, 2011.
Past users of our group space have included a group of Taiwanese tourists visiting from Seattle, and the families of a Vietnamese wedding party.
In short, Grace Su’s China Gorge isn’t just a great place to eat.
It’s a great place to meet, greet – AND eat.read more