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The Evergreen Recipe for Success Starts With Choosing Your Own Menu

By Kelly Church

Evergreen Restaurant isn't your typical Chinese restaurant that serves American adaptations of Asian favorites. This restaurant appeals to two specific audiences: the Chinese population of Ann Arbor, MI and Americans seeking gourmet Chinese food. Owner Nancy Zhang has a background in Mandarin, Sizchuan, Hunan, Shanghai and Taiwanese culture and opened Evergreen Restaurant in 1992 to give Ann Arbor an place to enjoy an authentic menu inspired by these cultures' food.

"There are more and more Asians living around Ann Arbor, and more and more Americans are willing to try traditional Chinese food, and even fall in love with it," Zhang says. "People living here are open minded, they like and would love to try new things. So different cultures are widely accepted in Ann Arbor."

At Evergreen, there are two menus. Zhang says one is the traditional Chinese menu and, the other, the regular menu that features more traditional American Chinese food. On the traditional Chinese menu, the most popular dishes are the Szechuan fish, and bamboo shoots with pork. The Chinese menu often reflects what is being offered in the Asian market at the time. On the American Chinese menu, favorites are General Tsou's chicken and hunan style chicken.

Evergreen appeals to both of their two types of customers in other ways too. You'll find hours of operation listed in English and in Chinese. The traditional Chinese menu also features the Chinese translation of every item on the authentic Chinese menu. The message is clear: Zhang doesn't want to lose any authentic Chinese culture at his restaurant.

"There is an old Chinese saying, 'Bread is everything,' this notion is the most important and essential ideas in Chinese civilization life," Zhang says. "So food is a vital part of Chinese culture. That is why [I] want to do Evergreen."

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About The Author

Kelly Church is a writer and avid reader with a Bachelor's of Science in Journalism...

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