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Midvalley Restaurants: Zheng Asian Bistro

Todd Hartley's picture

Featuring a wonderful mix of Asian dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan and beyond, Zheng Asian Bistro has been bringing a welcome taste of the exotic to the Roaring Fork Valley since 2001. And with prices that top out at just $15.25, this trendy eatery ensures that its legions of loyal customers can come back time and again without putting a dent in their wallets.

The common thread linking most the dishes at Zheng, which has locations in El Jebel (400 E. Valley Road, in the Orchard Plaza shopping center next to City Market) and Glenwood Springs (35 Market Street, in the Glenwood Meadows shopping center), is fresh ingredients fired in a searing hot wok. With this as a foundation, head chef Ming Xing Zheng (better known as Henry) offers up such disparate creations as Korean short ribs, Mongolian beef, Madras curry tofu and a wide assortment of Chinese and Thai staples.

Menu highlights at the El Jebel location include basil black bean scallops, green papaya salad in a spicy vinaigrette, the aforementioned short ribs and jungle curry, a tantalizing concoction of shrimp, scallops and veggies in a very spicy green curry. The Tom Kha Gai, a mélange of chicken, coconut milk and lemongrass, is one of the best soups you will ever taste and is an unbeatable bargain at just $3.25 a bowl.

The pleasantly varied slate of appetizers features classics like crab Rangoon, chicken satay, potstickers and veggie egg rolls, as well as more obscure fare such as Thai shrimp ceviché served on a crisp wonton tostada, lemongrass mussels and chicken or tofu lettuce wraps.

Both Zheng locations boast a fully stocked bar with moderately priced specialty cocktails and martinis, a fine assortment of Asian beers and microbrews and an extensive international wine list. Though neither bar is very large, both stay busy with customers of their own and have achieved somewhat of a scene to match the action in the dining room.

In addition to its dine-in and take-out services, Zheng also features a full catering menu for parties, meetings and other gatherings, providing plates, utensils and napkins in addition to the mouth-watering fare.

Though both Zheng locations are in what could easily be categorized as strip malls, don’t be fooled by outward appearances. The food is excellent, the service is fast and friendly, and the prices fit neatly into any budget. If you’re looking for fresh, exciting Asian cuisine in the Roaring Fork Valley, you owe it to yourself to give Zheng Asian Bistro a try.