Yesterday was the youngest Lilly princes’ birthday, and as we usually do, we went to his favorite Chinese place, Emperor’s Palace, to celebrate. Now I’d say there are probably 20 Chinese restaurants that are closer to our DelSo home, but Emperor’s Palace is special. It’s where the boys developed their obsession with Peking Duck and Fried Squid with sea salt and peppers. It’s the place where I ate the night before Quinn was born, when my labor was finally beginning to become serious instead of just teasingly annoying. And it is where we go, apparently, when we have no money. Huh? Say what?
|Roast duck wonton and noodle soup|
Here’s what happened… I was hungry. Really, really hungry. When I arrived home to pick up the boys following my class at the Y, I couldn’t get on the road fast enough. We hauled up to Wolf Road, with an intended quick stop at Toys R Us for one last birthday gift. As Quinn and I got out of the car, I realized (with a barely restrained expletive) that I had forgotten to bring my handbag. After a fast mental inventory (how long could that take, right?), I accepted that I was going to have to go back home to get my new happy wallet, but then Liam said he had some cash. Stopping on a dime and reassessing the situation, I decided to buy the $10 gift with Liam’s money and then hit another Chinese place for dinner. The Wine Bar guys had enjoyed a recent meal at Shining Rainbow and I figured we could give that a shot instead. Present purchased, we got back in the car to head home.
Then, I had a thought…we’ve been eating at Emperor’s for so many years that maybe they would consider allowing us to eat and then call them with the necessary bank card info to pay for our meal. The boys and I consulted and agreed it was worth a shot. I pulled into the Emperor’s parking lot and went inside where I was greeted by a big smile from the two male servers who have been there forever. I explained my dilemma, not even playing the birthday card. Without hesitation, they agreed and I went out to retrieve the elated boys. And we had a killer dinner. In a world of chain restaurants and mediocre customer service, it is such a treat to go to an authentic Chinese restaurant and feel so completely at home.