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I had a fine dining experience last night at Ben Pao.

Had never been there before. The decor is lovely: black, red & white. The lights are dimmed-quite romantically. (I strongly suggest the booth seats for intimates.)

We had a marvelous waiter who served us well. For appetizers, my friend had crab cakes, eventhough he was disappointed that they weren't as big as our waiter had described; still, he enjoyed them.

I had what was described in the menu as 'Old World Egg Rolls.' This consisted of 4 quite ample chicken and vegetable wraps. (sans pork) Really good. In addition, the ends were left open, (unsealed), showing the colorful melange of ingredients.

Also, I sipped a 'Sake Sangria.' A tall, slender glass of riesling, lychee, oranges and apples. It wasn't as sweet as it sounds which was fine with me. I liked it; however, I enjoyed my companion's Mai Tai more.

We had 'Honey Walnut Shrimp with Brown Rice' for an entree. I thought the rice was slightly undercooked, but it was good nevertheless.

For dessert we ordered banana cheesecake, (with a crunchy crust), a sensual delight in looks and taste. But next time I think I'll try the Mango Creme Brulee.
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Can't say, Cal Wine. I'm in the Windy City.
We have our share of places like that here as well.

In fact, years ago, when I left home and moved into my first apartment, I used to call for take out quite a bit from such a joint.

The guy who delivered the food was also the one who took the phone calls. In addition, his hands were always greasy. I suspected that he was running the place solo-a sort of 'Orson Welles of a fast food delivery/take out.'

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