Fresh from the test kitchen
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Let’s face it, we all get hit with an occasional craving for fast food. As a registered dietitian, I’ll admit that there are some quick-serve meals on my “must-have” list. And there are days when travel, or just being short on time, means that visiting a drive-thru or fast-casual restaurant are my best options for a nutritious meal.
While many quick dining meals are loaded with calories, saturated fat, and sodium, not all of them are “diet disasters.” Craving Chinese food? No problem! If you have a hankering for Panda Express but you don’t want to wreck your diet, I have some dietitian-approved picks from this fast-casual Chinese food favorite.
Then, don’t miss Popular Fast Food Items to Never Order, Say Dietitians!
PER SERVING: 150 calories, 7 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 520 mg sodium, 13 g
Leaving another restaurant at Tamiami Square in North Naples, I saw the nearby O’mei and my stomach sank.
I hadn’t visited this upscale Chinese restaurant since it returned to this plaza off U.S. 41 earlier this year. Then my stomach growled when I remembered how delicious O’mei can be.
Executive chef Mark Cheng and his wife, Mary, first opened O’mei Chinese Cuisine in this very spot 11 years ago. They packed up and moved to a Naples Boulevard location in 2014 before returning to their original home in April.
“We have some consistent customers that have come since we were in this location,” Mary Cheng said in an April interview. “People loved this location, and we did too.”
I wanted to learn more about that love, and thus this review found me tucked into the corner of an O’mei booth in a dining room that seats about 150 but, on
Ying Jing Ma, whose singular cooking in an erstwhile Taco Bell in Overland won him devoted customers and critical acclaim, died Aug. 4.
Ma was 59. The cause of death was not available.
The Hong Kong native made his name in St. Louis with Chef Ma’s Chinese Gourmet Restaurant, which opened in 2015 at 2336 Woodson Road, a former Taco Bell building that has since housed several independent restaurants.
In the restaurant’s original location, a photograph of Ma in crisp chef’s whites overlooked the small dining room. His menu featured both regional Chinese dishes — Hainan chicken rice was a signature item — and American Chinese fare.
Ma’s cooking drew praise from St. Louis food media. Among its plaudits, Chef Ma’s was a