In our quest for Chinese take-out, we found Red Lantern Chinese Restaurant in Pompano Beach. The online ordering was a snap, but the food didn’t keep the good momentum going and was average at best.
Located on Sample Road and Andrews (Military), the strip mall location has seen better days, screaming for renovation. I’ve seen this place many times driving home from work and figured we’d give them a try. We found their website which offers online ordering with delivery and pick-up options. Jeff found the online ordering really easy and efficient and was raving about it as we drove to the restaurant. Pulling into the parking lot, Red Lantern is your typical Chinese take-out store front. You couldn’t see into the place as they had the windows covered to block the hot Florida Sun.
The inside of Red Lantern is small with the front ordering counter and a few tables for those that wish to dine in. There really isn’t much to the décor, so you can tell they push the take-out and delivery options. There were a few people eating in and no line at the counter. Jeff mentioned we had ordered online and she pulled it right up and said it would just be another few minutes. We sat and waited and noticed it was fairly busy with a constant stream of people arriving to pick up orders.
You can also see in to the kitchen prep area a bit, which might not be a good thing at some Chinese take-out places. The only questionable thing we saw here was that all of the egg rolls appeared to be partially cooked and stacked up on the counter. We guessed to speed up the prep time when ordered. We are on the fence about that. We waited maybe five minutes and our food was ready. Once home, we unpacked our order and dug in.
Wonton Soup quart ($2.95). This was your typical wonton soup, nothing different to set it apart really. The wontons were tender and the filling was good. The broth, on the salty side, was heavy on the chicken base flavor and overall average.
Two (2) Egg Rolls – There was a coupon offered online so we snagged two FREE egg rolls. Yeah, the partially cooked and finished when ordered egg rolls. They were a little heavy on the cabbage which kind of made them a bit on the bland side. They were crunchy and a bit greasy as well, which made them not really sit well with us.
Boneless Spare Ribs pint ($6.45). They were a little on the fatty side, so you had to pick around those pieces. The sauce was of the bright red variety and more on the sweet side, like most you find out there. Due to the fatty pieces, the sauce was a little greasy too.
Spicy Chicken Wings 8 pieces ($6.65). The spicy wings were the best as far as flavor of the two varieties we ordered. The sauce did make the wings soggy by the time we got home and the sauce reminded me of a spicy General Tso sauce. You could see some of the pepper flakes that caused the heat, but it wasn’t that intense. We’d suggest to order the sauce on the side so the wings stay crispy on the ride home.
Buffalo Chicken Wings 6 pieces ($5.25). These wings were also soggy from the sauce and probably our least favorite. The buffalo sauce wasn’t that spicy and didn’t have much flavor at all. The leftovers didn’t even get eaten and that’s saying something.
General Tso Chicken ($10.95). While it looked really good, we found way too much breading that was a bit gummy. It was hard to tell if it was white meat or dark meat which is a bit off putting. The sauce was a little more bland than most, but it did have a slight spice to it.
Overall we probably won’t be heading back to Red Lantern. Their prices are not that bad, but the food really didn’t stand out for us. There are lots of other places that really knock it out of the park. Sadly, we didn’t get that here and will continue our Chinese take-out quest.
Red Lantern is located at 805 W Sample Rd Pompano Beach FL.