New Panda serves classic Chinese for less

You’re sitting in the CTLM Computer Commons at 12:15 PM on a slightly snowy day. Your stomach tells you that it is time to find sustenance, but you do not feel like cooking. You remember that a friend of yours mentioned a nice little Chinese restaurant down on South Golden Road, so you decide to give it a shot. After all, it is not far, and you are pretty hungry.

The New Panda Chinese restaurant on South Golden is a local favorite in Golden due to low prices and consistently good food. From the street, this shop looks decidedly hole-in-the-wall, but do not be fooled; you will not find many restaurants so dedicated to service and quality. The interior of the restaurant is quintessential North-American Chinese, with the booths along the walls and the green seats and chairs. The walls are tastefully decorated with Chinese-themed paintings and hangings, and a large aquarium toward the front of the dining room holds a pair of large, oddly shaped fish.

As is to be expected when one enters an unknown restaurant, all is not as it seems. While the first impressions were that this place was decidedly ordinary, such was not the case, happily. Prompt service with a smile seems to be the mantra here, from the servers down to the bussers.

Unsure of what to expect, General Tso’s chicken with Wonton soup and a side of egg roll with fried rice seemed the logical choice. The Wonton was served within two minutes of ordering, which was excellent, considering the waves of hunger that were becoming overwhelming. The soup was delicious and served to soften hunger while whetting the appetite for more substantial food. At last the main dish was served, and what a pleasant surprise. Cooked beautifully and presented with class and style, this is a hidden treasure, to be sure. Everything was delicious and quite filling, certainly more than one would expect.

The surprises did not end when the check came; one would have expected nearly double the price for such a fine meal. When all is said and done, you can have a great meal with quick service and friendly faces for less than $8.50 with a generous tip. If all of Golden knew how good this place is, they might have to expand.

New Panda seems to know its food. For a poor college student making a subsistence wage, you would have trouble finding a better meal outside your own kitchen. If you are sitting in front of your computer on a snowy day in Colorado, and your stomach starts sending you not-so-mixed signals, head on down to the New Panda Chinese restaurant and experience a taste of China!

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