BEST CARRY-OUT CHINESE Miami 2005 - Bamboo Garden II
305-899-9902 Chinese take-out joints are like auto mechanics. It's one of the first things you look for when you move to a new town; you have to try a lot of duds before you find a good one; and once you find one you can trust, you're loyal for life. The residents of North Miami who have lived in the neighborhood long enough to be in the know make their Friday night Chinese take-out runs at Bamboo Garden II. On any weekend night, the tables may be sparsely occupied -- as with most Chinese restaurants, the décor is simple -- but the phones are ringing off the hook and there's a bench full of waiting patrons eager for brown paper bags full of steaming-hot food hustled out from the kitchen. What sets Bamboo Garden II apart from the countless other (mediocre) restaurants of its kind is the freshness of the ingredients. Whether it's pan-fried dumplings or vegetable rolls you seek; moo goo gai pan or beef chow fun you love; or moo shoo pork or any of a number of black-bean-and-pepper-sauce creations you choose (the latter highly recommended), the ingredients are fresh. The vegetables are crunchy, never overcooked; the meat is tender, not gristly; and the food is as light and nongreasy as Chinese take-out could ever possibly be.