Saturday, February 12, 2011

Silk Road Surprise

Last weekend, PID and I were in the mood for something different for lunch.  We're growing tired of chicken and salad (OK, so PID's far more patient than I.  I just can't take it anymore) so we shot a few ideas back and forth.  Gyros?  Subs? Peanut butter & jelly?

Then PID suggested  a place that he and Mama PID love to frequent, but I'd simply never been. When he told me it was Chinese, I asked why we didn't just order in.  He said this was better...much better.  This I had to taste to believe.

We arrived at Silk Road the Caste Village Shoppes a few short minutes later and I stared at him in disbelief.  Really? A strip mall Chinese joint? This is the "much better, must have" you were talking about?

Well, when I was done with my lunch, I ate my words.

The moment we walked in I was already in shock.  The interior design certainly did not match the dated exterior. A stone fireplace breaks up beautiful Asian decor.  Red beams give the dining hall an authentic pagoda feel and the lighting fixtures were incredibly unique.  Because it completely slipped my mind to take pictures of the inside of the restaurant itself, you'll just have to trust me on this.

Anyway, we were darn hungry. So we each ordered a bowl of Spinach Wonton Soup (well, PID actually ordered Hot & Sour soup, but the waiter brought him Wonton instead.  I told him to say something, but he assured me he's had both and he was in no way upset to have received this by accident) and a hand made eggroll.

This "simple" soup was the first form of proof that this ain't your average Chinese joint. I've had my fare share of Wonton soups and this one felt like what Wonton soup should have always tasted like from day one. The clear broth was deceiving since it held so much flavor.

 In my mind there aren't many more satisfying things out there than a really well made eggroll.  Believe me, there have been pooly made eggrolls. In fact, I've had many of those.  But those chalked full of veggies and chicken (or shrimp, whatever tickles your tastebuds) with the perfect crunch to the crust can really hit the spot.  This was that kind of eggroll.

The sweet & sour sauce and spicy mustard were top notch, to boot.

We each decided to steer clear of the overly unique menu options and stick with our respective Chinese comfort foods. I went with the Combo Lo Mein and PID with the General Tso's (extra spicy).  We figured why talk to you about the stuff you'll never order? I want to let you know what makes Silk Road different from the delivery place down the block.

Chicken? Fresh, juicy and plentiful.  Shrimp?  Perfectly cooked, tailless and -- yet again -- plentiful. Noodles? Just the right texture (I've had too dry and I've had too slimy.  These were "baby bear" just right.).  I could have used just a touch more green onions and cabbage, but the taste was delicious.

Now PID always orders his Tso's a little spicier.  More often than not he's left disappointed when "spicier" is still just not spicy enough.  Here at Silk Road they left him all but wanting.  I took a bite and I felt the instant zip.  To me, his preference is just a touch too much, but he barely said a word the entire meal he was so happy with his chicken. Check out all those red pepper flakes!  I was a bit confused by the rice-to-meat ratio on his plate, but he didn't seem too bothered.

Restaurant Info:
Silk Road
5301 Grove Road (on the far side of the Caste Village Shoppes)
Hours: Monday - Thursday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
           Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
           Sunday, 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Reservations: Taken, not required.
Price: $$

Cliffs notes:
Drinks:     2 waters @ free
Appetizer:     2 Wonton Soups @ $1.75
                    2 Eggrolls @ $1.75
Entrees:      Combo (chicken & shrimp) Lo Mein @ $6.95
                  General Tso's Chicken @ $6.95
Tax:         @ 7% (Allegheny County only) $1.46
Tip:           $5
TOTAL FOR TWO:      $27.36

Overall Opinion:
I was expecting your run of the mill Chinese.  But this, as many local restaurant sites suggest, is better classified as "gourmet Chinese."  I was pleased with my meal and had enough left over for dinner that evening.  And yes, I did like it enough to eat it twice in one day without it feeling overly redundant.  This is definitely a unique Chinese restaurant that I would say you must dine-in to truly enjoy. I would absolutely suggest it and encourage you to try the eggroll!

Silk Road on Urbanspoon


  1. I have had the pleasure of eating at silk road on a couple of occassions and the food is excellent as is the service and atmosphere.

  2. My family had the pleasure of visiting the Silk Road and had the same experience.

  3. My wife and I go here all the time. NEVER had a bad meal. Great service. Twee and staff do an excellent job!


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