There’s China in Texas, so we shall eat Chinese as we cross the state line into Texas. In fact, Little Mom turns down barbecue and steak even before the words can leave my tongue. And it’s not because the occasional wind brings a subtle wisp of cow across the fields onto the streets of Amarillo. We’re Texans, there’s barbecue for birthdays, barbecue for spring, barbecue for summer, barbecue for picnic, barbecue for Fourth of July, barbecue for end of school. Barbecue for weddings wouldn’t surprise me. So she wants noodles. And her words are weighed a hundred times heavier than mine, even when I weigh more than her.
Pacific Rim looks more spacious and less greasy than most Chinese restaurants, and it’s not a buffet. The menu is large to suit its “asian fusion” strive, and I’m just thankful to see no Orange Chicken or Kung Pao Beef (they’re there, they’re just not spelled out). They also give us a basket of sweet rolls and butter to wet our appetite, not your usual Chinese ’round the block.
Nonetheless, the casual fried rice and stir fried rice noodle (pancit) appeal to our sleepy tummies more than “the specialties from land and sea”. Both are savory, not spicy, not too oily, not drowned in that typical thick brown sauce of Chinese stir fries.
And this is one of the very rare times you see me ordering a tuft of greens. The meat-eater finally hears the call of something crunchy, fresh, fruity, and leafy. The Hawaiian luau chicken salad ($8.50) arrives last at the table, as playfully chromatic as expected. The size of the plate appalls me, and the presentation confuses me. A big rice cracker toasted to crisp is placed between two layers of grilled chicken breast, frisee, pineapple, mango, macadamia nuts and bell pepper slices, I don’t know where or how to start tackling it. The kitchen calls the cracker a fried wonton (?) and glazes it with a yellow fruity syrup, while providing a tart vinaigrette to accompany the greens. I find the mango and pineapple cubes to be the best flavor enhancers in this whole salad.
Now, Pacific Rim of landlocked Amarillo does churn out good food, but the food isn’t as memorable as the food presenter here. Our host looks in his thirties, average height, a little stout, cheerfully friendly, and panting every time he appears, which is a bit far in between. The kitchen takes it time cooking our orders, the tables aren’t cleared after the guests, but our poor waiter is always in a hurry and his words almost lost between breaths. Mudpie jokes that he might be doing push-ups in the back. 😀
Talking bill-siness: dinner for 4 +tax: $36.67
Address: Pacific Rim – “The best food in Amarillo” (quoted from the receipt)
2061 Paramount Blvd
Amarillo, TX 79109