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Chinese food home delivery is sometimes the best way to go

This week, I was going to do another restaurant review, but my klutz factor kicked in and I wrenched a muscle in my back. I wanted to lay around the house eating Bon-Bons and feel sorry for myself. But instead, Jackie suggested doing a restaurant review in absentia, and called La Gran Muralla (They call the wind Muralla . . . sorry) for some Chinese food to be delivered to our door.

La Gran Muralla has two locations in Cuenca, one at Gran Columbia y Unidad Nacional, the other at Canar y Remigio Crespo. The number to call for home delivery is 072810584, and there is an English-speaker available to take your order.

The take-out menu is rather extensive, and can be seen on line. It offers over 30 different dishes: four starters, four rice dishes, five pasta dishes, five chicken dishes, two fish dishes, three shrimp dishes, five beef dishes, and five specials. The prices range from $3.15 to $10, with most falling in the $5 to $8 range.

We ordered three dishes:  Rolles primavera (spring rolls – $4), Arroz camaron (rice with shrimp – $6.10) and Pollo verduras y champinones (chicken with vegetables and mushrooms — $8).

You might think that the cost of delivery – in this case, $2.40 – would add too much to the tab to make it worthwhile, but when you consider the cost of taking a taxi at night both ways, delivery is definitely a good deal. Plus, you can eat while still wearing your jammies and fuzzy slippers, and watching another episode of Game of Thrones. And your house is pet friendly and disabled accessible, a very important detail this evening.

The delivery motorcycle arrived in about 30 minutes with food still piping hot in Styrofoam clam shell containers stacked inside plastic bags. A warning: the plastic bags kept stuff from leaking all over, but the Styrofoam containers inside the bags were not completely waterproof and did make the inside of the bags messy. But once the bags were opened, we were treated with the intoxicating aroma of really good Chinese food.

Not only was the food excellent, the portions were huge. The attached photo of the rice dish includes only half the portion delivered. And the chicken dish included lots of chicken, plus carrots, celery, broccoli, onion, cabbage and mushrooms. I prefer to mix it all together for a tasty treat including both chicken and shrimp.  The bright colors from all the vegetables and the fried rice totally contributed to the eating experience.

The spring rolls arrived with little containers of sweet & sour sauce, a bit of hotter-than-usual hot sauce, and a thick soy sauce.

The two of us were completely filled by this generous supper, and there were enough leftovers for another two meals. The total cost, including delivery was $20.50, for food sufficient for four people. That averages about $5 a plate, well worth it. Our friends had their favorites in-house menu dishes and ordered those instead. There were no problems placing those orders and the total, including delivery fee, was given at the end of the call.

I was pleased to note that, unlike some chifa places, the food was not overly salty, important to those of us watching our salt intake.

La Gran Muralla is open every day from noon until 9.
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La Gran Muralla, Gran Columbia 8-21 at Unidad Nacional, www.chifalagranmuralla.com. Second location: Canari at Remigio Crespo, Tel. 281-0584, Facebook