I’ve never been a fan of Chinese food. When I was younger, my family would order carry out from a local restaurant at least once a week and I’d dread it.
I didn’t like the salt-laden sauces with sour flavors that made my tongue curl. I despised the tiny vegetables that seemed fake. The rice was bland and flavorless, and it got stale overnight in the fridge.
Most of all, I hated crab rangoon. The shells were pocked with little oil-filled bubbles and the insides were stuffed with too-sweet cream cheese. Sometimes I could eat the shells alone if I scooped out the cheese, but together, it was too much to bear.
Then some time went by and I started to encounter different types of Chinese food, far from the sweet and sour chicken and crab rangoon that I grew up avoiding. I went to Washington, D.C. last summer and ate at Tiger Fork, which serves contemporary takes on Hong Kong fare. Trying those dishes and enjoying them made me realize that I was being closed minded. Surely there was some Chinese food that I’d enjoy. It was up to me to find it.
A few months ago I heard that a new Chinese-American restaurant was opening in Botanical Heights. The restaurant was going to be across from some of my favorite eateries in the city including Olio and Union Loafers. I decided to stop by with my boyfriend a couple weeks ago for dinner.
We ordered a bunch of dishes to share. I took a chance on the “rangoons,” or the restaurant’s take on crab rangoon. The child in me protested because, once bitten twice shy. I didn’t want my crab rangoon trauma to rise to the surface.
Luckily, that didn’t happen. In fact, Good Fortune’s rangoons are one of my favorite dishes on the menu. They look more like egg rolls than rangoons, and they’re filled with salted cod cream. They come with a sweet and sour dipping sauce that’s the perfect amount of spicy. I ordered two but I could have eaten six by myself.
We ordered a large dish, the crispy pork with five spice, ramps, and charred scallion (pictured below). It’s not on the current menu so you might not find it if/when you stop by.
I’d recommend the smaller plates at Good Fortune, though. My instinct was to order a bunch of them the first time and I wasn’t wrong. Two of my favorites are the pork dumplings (pictured at the top of this post) and the cashew spring roots.
I ordered the cashew spring roots when I stopped by for lunch yesterday because my boyfriend didn’t want to get them the first time we ate at the restaurant. The waitress told me how good the sauce was and she wasn’t lying.
The cashew sauce is nutty and slightly sweet, and it’s served over perfectly tender white rice. The root vegetables are colorful and have just enough bite. It’s the perfect dish to pair with one of the heartier items on the menu such as pork ribs or fried chicken.
I’m happy that Good Fortune opened in the neighborhood. It surprised me by becoming one of my favorite new restaurants in the city. A few years ago, I never thought it would be possible. Now I wake up craving rangoons.
I left Good Fortune yesterday and cracked open my fortune cookie as I walked to my car. The advice stopped me in my tracks. It’s important to remember that good things will find us eventually. We just have to trust the process.