Windy's Chinese Restaurant
168 University Avenue, Palo Alto
I wanted spicy Chinese food, and a reasonably quick lunch. The menu posted in Windy's window had two things going for it. The lunch special offered soup, salad and an entree for $7.95, and the choices went beyond the standards like General Tso's chicken (here described, sadly, as "general chicken") to include bitter melon beef, Singapore chicken curry, Szechuan fish fillet, walnut prawns, and lamb with ginger scallion.
I chose the "house beef," which turned out to be lean strips of beef, nicely spicy and stir-fried until the edges were crispy. A little greasy, maybe, but fine with a forkful of rice. (I was not offered chopsticks.)
The cup of hot-and-sour soup was spicy but not particularly sour, and a little starchy. The tiny salad was iceberg lettuce, shredded carrot and a small tomato wedge, with a rather sweet soy dressing.
Service was prompt and pleasant, but I was surprised when the waiter failed to bring back my change. He was correct in assuming that he could keep the change from $10, but I sat at the table for a while longer, savoring the fragrant tea, and it would have been good form to bring the tip tray back to the table.
I'd return for another quick meal, and to try some of the other unfamiliar things on the multi-page menu. I've had various types of chow fun, but what is "tender greens chow fun"? Windy's also has barbecued pork buns as an appetizer, making me think of do-it-yourself dim sum.
The fortune in my cookie was very specific: "Focus on the color purple this week to bring you luck." Not my favorite color, but now I'll be looking for it.