Pine Tree Garden

by Donny on October 7, 2010

Pine Tree Garden

Chinese Restaurant

3700 Shepherd Ln.

Balch Springs, TX. 75180

(972) 286-0826

Hours: Monday thru Saturday from 11:00am till 9:00pm

The Pine Tree Garden is a Chinese Restaurant just down the street from the Balch Springs Police/Fire Department and the Balch Springs Public Library on the corner of Shepherd Lane and Elam Rd. It’s not at all a classy place. It just looks like an old family restaurant which has seen better days. But people don’t go to the Pine Tree Garden for its looks. They go their because they serve the tasty Chinese food we crave. The food isn’t out of this world or anything but it is a cut above most of the privately owned Chinese restaurants you will find in the southeast Dallas area.
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Their are three ways of ordering at The Pine Tree Garden. You can zip through the drive thru which is always convenient. You can order take-out. Just call (972) 286-0826. Or you can dine-in which is what I prefer to do. The people that run the Pine Tree Garden are very nice people and the atmosphere is relaxed and homey. When you walk in just pick up one of their menus, decide what you want, and then place your order at the front counter. Then you can get your drink from the soda fountain and sit down while you wait for your meal to be brought out to your table. (The Pine Tree Garden offers Iced Tea, Coke, Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper, 7-UP, and Pink Lemonade with free refills for $1.45. You can also get hot tea (Jasmine or Green) for $1.45 but there are no refills. For $0.35 you can get a cup of ice water, a to-go cup, or a lemon for your tea).

With that in mind, here is what is on the menu and I’ll tell you about the food I like to eat there. For appetizers, the Pine Tree Garden offers chips ($0.65), one egg roll ($0.95), six fried wontons ($1.45), two Cho Cho Chicken or Beef ($2.65), six Crab Ragoon ($3.85), eight Chef’s special wings ($3.85), four BBQ ribs ($4.85), Pine Tree Combo ($5.25), eight steamed or pan fried dumplings ($5.25), ten P.T. shrimp ($4.85). I don’t usually like to order appetizers. I prefer to save room for the main entree but I will make an exception for Crab Ragoon. They are a little pricey but they are so tasty. If you are interested in the steamed or pan fried dumplings just be aware that they take fifteen minutes to make so they might turn out to be a side dish or a dessert to your entree rather than an appetizer. Unless you are an egg roll fanatic don’t bother ordering one off of the appetizer menu. You will get an egg roll with your main dish. Also the P.T. Shrimp is served medium spicy but you can request it made however you want – not spicy, mild, or extra spicy.
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The Pine Tree Garden also offers five kinds of soup. Three are Chinese soups and two are more American. The Chinese soups are hot and sour soup, egg drop soup,  and Won Ton soup. The small size of these soups costs $1.39, and the large size costs $2.59. The American soups are a vegetable noodle soup, and Grandma Smith’s Noodle Soup. They only have the large size available for these two soups. The vegetable noodle soup costs $5.85 and Grandma Smith’s Noodle Soup costs $6.40

In addition to the appetizers and soup, Pine Tree Garden offers their Golden Corner menu options. You can get eight golden chicken nuggets with French fries for $4.55 or fourteen golden fried shrimp with French fries for $4.85.

Ok, moving on to the main dishes. All the main dishes at the Pine Tree Garden are freshly prepared and the restaurant will also do its best to accommodate any special requests you might have. The main dishes are all served with fried rice and an egg roll. You can also add Tofu to your main dish for an extra $1.25. Here are some of the menu options: Broccoli, Moo Goo, Almond, Cashew, Pepper, Kung Pao, Szechuan, Hunan, Garlic (sweet), Sweet & Sour, Orange, and Chow Mein. You can choose to get your main dish with one of the following options: vegetables, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or a mix. Not all of the main dishes have the full range of options though: Garlic (no vegetable option), The Sweet & Sour (no vegetables or beef), and the Orange (no vegetables, pork, or shrimp). A main dish with vegetables costs $4.99, beef, chicken and pork cost $5.59, and the shrimp and mixed options cost $6.29. I really enjoy the Orange Chicken main dish at Pine Tree Garden. Well I really enjoy orange chicken in general. But, I have tried the orange chicken at several other Chinese places in the area and this one is definitely tastier.

You can also get Lo Mein (noodle) Fried Rice, and Mandarin Style Lomein (noodle) from the main dish menu. All three come are available with the full range of options: vegetables, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or mixed. If you choose vegetables, these main dishes will cost $5.29, chicken, beef, and pork cost $5.79, and the shrimp and mixed options go for $6.29.

Finally, on the main dish menu, you can get Cantonese Style Noodle, two Egg Foo Young, or the Mongolian. The Cantonese Style Noodle and the Egg Foo Young have the full range of options available. The Mongolian, however, is not available with vegetables, shrimp, or the mixed option. It costs $5.79 for vegetables, $6.29 for chicken, beef, or pork, and $6.59 with shrimp or mixed.

The Kung Pao, Szechuan, Hunan, Garlic, Orange, and Mongolian main dishes are all served medium spicy. But again you can request to have them prepared not spicy, mild, or extra spicy at no extra charge.

Besides the main dishes listed, the Pine Tree Garden offers three Chef’s Specialty dishes. The Sesame Chicken, General Tso’s Chicken, and the new P.T. Chicken. All three of these dishes cost $6.29. I have had the Sesame Chicken a couple of different times now and will probably get it again. It is really tasty and well made. I recommend it to any Sesame Chicken lovers out there. You won’t be disappointed. All of the Chef’s Specialty dishes are prepared medium spicy so be sure to let them know when you order if you want it prepared differently.

If the main dish isn’t enough to satisfy you by itself, say you’ve been born with a hole in your stomach for example, you can choose a side order to go with it. Side Order options include: Sesame Chicken ($4.99), Sweet & Sour Chicken ($4.29), Mixed Vegetables ($3.29), Plain Lomein ($2.99), French Fries ($1.69), Plain Fried Rice ($1.59), and Steamed Rice ($1.59). This might be a good route to go if you want to split a main dish with a friend. Just get a side-order to go with it and you will both be full and happy. if you are a big fan of sauces, you can get some of Pine Tree Garden’s homemade sauces to go with your meal, to take home, or both. You can get eight ounces of brown sauce, white sauce, garlic sauce, chili sauce, or homemade mustard for $1.35.Homemade Duck Sauce is $0.35 for one ounce or $2.75 for eight ounces. Sweet and Sour sauce costs $0.35 for two ounces and $1.35 for eight ounces.

If you still have room after all that you are super-human and deserve a dessert. I am not a big fan of desserts from Chinese restaurants (or Mexican restaurants for that matter) but maybe you are. Pine Tree Garden has five dessert options, three of which are donuts oddly enough. You can get three Honey Ragoon for $1.55, five sugar donuts, five maple donuts, or five honey donuts for $1.65, or one fortune cookie for a dime. This is one thing I don’t like about the Pine Tree Garden. Charging for fortune cookies? Come on! Those things are supposed to be complimentary.

If you’ve got little kids, like I do, you will probably want to get them a child’s plate at the Pine Tree Garden. Kids can get two Cho Cho Chicken or Cho Cho  Beef with fried rice for $3.15 or with French fries for $3.25. The six piece Chinese chicken nuggets cost the same. Eight fried shrimp cost $3.55 with fried rice and $3.65 with French fries. Or $2.55 they can get plain fried rice with two egg rolls. Sorry, no French fries. You’ll have to order those as a side.

I like the Pine Tree Garden. It has good, simple, quality Chinese food. Again, it’s not amazing. There is no reason to travel across town to check it out, its not that good, but if you happen to be in the area and have a hankering for some Chinese food, you could do a lot worse.

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