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Food Issue: Review of EPS Corner

EPS Corner is a small Chinese restaurant located at the intersection of Nassau Street and Chestnut. It displays its menu outside in front of a wide patio, where diners may enjoy their meals during the more temperate months of the year. On the inside, the dining area is partitioned with several small walls into separate blocks, which contributes to the cozy atmosphere of this establishment. Music plays softly in the background, just enough to be audible but never loud enough to take over the welcoming ambiance.

Service was prompt the evening we visited. There were a few other guests there, but EPS Corner was not at all crowded. However, the tables were rather small to accommodate all the dishes. We ordered chicken in chili oil as an appetizer, which arrived chilled and served with a crushed peanut garnish. The essence of the peanut flavor, combined with the subtle spice of the chili oil — just hot enough to feel, but not so spicy as to overpower the rest of the chicken’s flavor — was a great complement to the meat. Unfortunately, the meat itself was not especially juicy or tender.

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For our main courses, we ordered spicy beef with onions and crispy duck, served with a bowl of rice for each diner. The beef arrived on a sizzling hot metal plate and was cooked to perfection. Sliced thin and marinated with sauce and onions, the beef had absorbed the spice’s flavors into every bite. It was significantly spicier than the chicken appetizer, but the thick sauce tasted excellent when served over rice. The beef was the highlight of this meal. While several of EPS Corner’s items are served spicy, it also offers many milder options, such as the crispy duck.

The crispy duck certainly lived up to its name. Following traditional convention, the emphasis on this dish is on the skin rather than the meat, both of which were cooked to a crisp. Guests should be sure to distinguish crispy duck from the more well-known Peking duck, which is a meatier dish. The crispy duck was a little salty but not overly so, and the delicate aroma of the duck still prevailed. The crispy skin of the duck popped in the mouth with a satisfying crunch.

Overall, EPS Corner is a solid Chinese restaurant. It offers comfortable seating and a calm, relaxing atmosphere. Service was attentive in providing us with menus, extra napkins and the check, and the food arrived quickly. The prices are in the medium range, with entrees starting around $10.

 

4 out of 5 paws

PROS: calm atmosphere; attentive service; excellent beef

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CONS: small tables; chicken was not tender

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