Cooks Out of the Kitchen—Local Restaurant Reviews

Judi Friedman and Jerry Lankin

Judi Friedman and Jerry Lankin

We’re two SaddleBrooke foodies forever seeking great places to eat! We’ll review two restaurants each month for taste and presentation, service, price, value, and ambiance. If you have a favorite eatery and would like to spread the word, please send us an email at [email protected].

Dragon Village

12152 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd. (in the Safeway shopping center), 520-229-0388.

Your Cooks Out of the Kitchen went to dinner with our friends Dan and Jack recently. Neither Judi nor Jerry had had Chinese food in quite some time and had heard about Dragon Village. When we entered the restaurant, we were seated immediately. There were tables with other guests, as well as a stream of people picking up large bags to take home. We were offered drinks as soon as we were seated and were presented with menus that offered many varied dishes from various parts of China.

We decided to share appetizers and main courses so that we could all sample a great variety of dishes. We started with the combo appetizer, which had crab puffs, barbecue ribs, eggrolls, and fried shrimp. The standouts were the crab puffs and barbecue ribs, both of which can be ordered separately. Jack, Dan, and Jerry all ordered soup: hot and sour, egg flower, and wonton. All the soups were traditional, with clean, bright flavors. For our main dishes, we ordered Szechuan beef, kung pao chicken, and shrimp with lobster sauce.

The shrimp and lobster sauce reminded Judi of the Chinese food she had in her youth. There were many shrimp, and the sauce was loaded with water chestnuts, mushrooms, peas, carrots, green onions, and Napa cabbage. This dish was classical for a neighborhood Chinese restaurant and fondly remembered by Judi. The kung pao chicken was spicy, with onions, bell peppers, water chestnuts, carrots, and peanuts. The spice was not overpowering and with a hint of sweetness, making it a perfect addition to all the other choices. The Szechuan beef was cooked in a spicy garlic sauce with carrots, snow peas, white and green onions, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, and cabbage. Jack loved this spicy, hot dish! Both white and brown rice were ordered to accompany the dishes. We were surprised that tea, traditional in most Chinese restaurants, was not offered. Of course, fortune cookies completed the dinner.

If you are looking for a traditional Chinese restaurant with abundant dishes, this one is for you, whether it is to eat in or take out.

Taste & Presentation ***

Service *****

Price Range $$

Value ***

Ambiance **

Dragon Village is recommended.


7053 N. Oracle (Casas Adobes Plaza), 520-989-3189, breakfast and lunch served.

Jerry’s adult children (Julie and Rob) treated Judi and Jerry to a Father’s Day brunch at this delightful restaurant close to Whole Foods. Tucked away in a small alcove near the center of Casa Adobes Plaza, Rob reminded us that there has been a restaurant at this location for more than 40 years. Jerry remembered spending New Year’s Eve there many years ago when it was Bluefin Seafood Bistro, one of the better seafood eateries in town.

After being seated on the mister-cooled patio, we chose the bottomless Mimosa option as a starter—a good deal for us, a bad deal for the restaurant.

Judi and Julie each ordered the lobster and crab omelet. Filled with lobster, crab, tomato, onion, spinach, green onion, and cheese, this dish was masterfully prepared and delicious. Rob selected the eggs Benedict with crab, which was served with potatoes and urban greens. Two perfectly poached eggs, served on English muffins and slathered with crab and a hollandaise sauce, made a beautiful and delicious presentation. Jerry chose the savory crepe, which was filled with chunks of turkey, cremini and shitake mushrooms, spinach, and Swiss cheese, topped with a hollandaise sauce, and served with a mixed green salad. It was simply delectable.

The entire meal was enjoyed by all, and our server Brian made the experience of eating at Teaspoon memorable and fun. Reservations are available, except on holidays.

Taste & Presentation *****

Service *****

Price Range $$$

Value ****

Ambiance ****

Teaspoon is highly recommended.