Happy Chinese New Year!

Today is the start of the 15 day Chinese New Year celebration and it's the lunar year of the Water Dragon -- hooray! It's been said that those who are born during the Year of the Dragon are wise and powerful but it's also been said that those people, as well as those born during the years of the Snake, Dog and Ox, will also have bad luck the next time the Dragon comes around. Chow Bella was spawned during the Year of the Pig so we shouldn't have to worry!

The big festival doesn't start till this weekend but that doesn't mean you can't start off the year of the dragon right with a plate of traditional orange chicken from Panda Express. 

Just kidding, that is in no way traditional and we actually have traditional Chinese food restaurants in metro Phoenix with real traditional Chinese food.

One place you won't find orange chicken is Chou's Kitchen in Chandler instead you'll find eggplant with potatoes and jalapeno's with spring pancakes, handmade dumplings filled with savory pork and seafood soup with hand pulled noodles. Don't let the location fool you, this place does not disappoint.

Wong's Place in Tempe also serves up a mean plate of authentic Chinese eats. Pick your meal from the pink standard menu or get a little more daring with the blue menu. You probably won't find steamed beef tripe, beef with bitter melon, Empress pork, or Tong Choy with preserved tofu sauce and too many menus around the Valley. Try it once and if you don't like ti there's always a Panda Express around the corner!

Want to learn more about tradition Chinese New Years eats? Click here to check out our special guide to Chinese New Year and if you want to know even more about this weekend's festival at the Chinese Cultural Center, then click here.

On a side note -- Cibo's breakfast was pretty darn good. Fuffy eggs, quality meats, toasty toast, and super spicy Bloody Marys were a good start to a busy Saturday. Plus there wasn't an hour and a half wait like that at other downtown breakfast spot!

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