Louie’s Mandarin celebrates new beginning
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Louie’s Mandarin Gourmet
WHERE: 1799 Ironwood Dr., Minden
OPEN: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. and Sundays 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
WEBSITE: louiesmandaringourmet.com or visit Louie’s Mandarin Gourmet Facebook page
When customers walk into Louie’s Mandarin Gourmet in Minden, general manager Peter Li says quality food and authentic Chinese cuisine are always the primary goals.
A little bit of perseverance has also gone a long way, too, when you consider the Asian food restaurant is now running at full speed after its unexpected closure in December due to sub-freezing temperatures.
Two days after Christmas, a frozen sprinkler line over the kitchen burst, the ceiling collapsed and water flooded the kitchen area. The heart-breaker for Li and his staff was that they had just re-opened the restaurant on Nov. 2 after it had been shut down nearly one year before by previous management.
“Dec. 27 … it was so bad … it ruined my kitchen,” Li recalled. “That was hard at the time. Business was going up, up, up because of the holidays, it was real busy and the business was growing up very fast … then everything just stopped.”
Suddenly, he broke out into a big smile as he went on to talk about celebration of the restaurant’s re-opening on March 23.
“It has not been easy, but it’s all right,” he said. “It gave us more time to re-do the business. We’re happy to be back.”
Louie’s Mandarin website explains that its goal is to provide a memorable dining experience for all food lovers: “Louie’s Mandarin Gourmet was established on the goal to serve authentic Chinese food bearing in mind the constantly changing and developing trends and tastes from all over the world. We have blended the traditional and modern elements of Chinese cuisine. We take immense pride in guaranteeing that all the ingredients that we incorporate in our recipes are freshly sourced and genuine.”
It’s all about quality, Li explained.
“I just want people to know this is under totally different management,” he said, referring to the restaurant’s closure over much of 2016. “My food, I think is quality food. I’m proud to say I’m trying to serve healthy food here … like the higher grade food, the vegetables are always fresh and we use the higher grade oil, so the taste is better. My goal is to provide higher quality food for the customers.”
A number of positive reviews can be found on Facebook. For example, Tracey Ward posted on April 24: “I have a severe shellfish allergy and the staff went so far as to prepare my meal in completely new grease and was apologetic for taking a little longer … The food was excellent and the server was very polite and on point. We will definitely be going back!”
He went on to give credit to his staff and wife, LuLu, for making that quality possible.
“My staff, they have the experience in a Chinese kitchen so they know how to cook real Chinese food,” he said.
Li added that Louie’s Mandarin Gourmet is available for parties, meetings and catering, among other things. He said $5 combo lunch specials are available on school days for students at nearby Douglas High, as well as Tuesday discounts for senior citizens. And, yes, suggestions are always welcomed.
“I like to hear what my customers have to say. We want to improve the business, so if a customer doesn’t like the taste or the sauce, or whatever, we can talk about it,” Li said. “I know you can never make everybody happy, but I just want to make most of the people happy.”