Complete dinners are offered from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., priced from $8.95 to $10.95, and include sizzling beef with scallops, General Tsao's chicken, crispy beef or chicken in orange sauce, Hunan-style shrimp, salmon or beef teriyaki, and sizzling tofu with sesame. All come with soup, rice, and an egg roll. Early-bird specials such as (what else?) chicken chow mein, sweet and sour pork or chicken, moo goo gai pan, pork lo mein, lemon chicken, and beef with broccoli, all for $6.95 to $8.95, come with the same accompaniments. But the best deals are at lunch, between 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., when more than 33 complete meals are served, starting at $4.75. None costs more than $8.
There are also oh-so-welcome, not-so-traditional choices. Calorie counters will appreciate the section titled Empire's Lite Revolution Diet, which offers a half-dozen selections, allegedly with as few as 325 calories. Choose from prawns with snow peas, broccoli, and bean sprouts in a spicy sauce; chicken with water chestnuts, broccoli, and orange flavor; tofu with snow peas and green beans; lemon-flavor chicken; or scallops with broccoli and bean sprouts in garlic sauce. Another corner of the menu, called the Special Diet, features a dozen dishes that claim to be free of fat, sugar, cornstarch, and MSG. And there are plenty of options for vegetarians, including dried sautéed string beans, broccoli with garlic sauce, sautéed bamboo shoots with mushrooms, and several tofu selections. The vegetable dumplings are made with a spinach dough that is heavy but tasty, especially with a dash of hot oil and dipping sauce.
In case you don't yet feel as though you're back in Manhattan yet, take a look outside: Just next door a new Italian place is opening, called Giuliani's.