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Rockwall Bites – Hunan

Last updated on June 13, 2024

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Hunan, 110 N San Jacinto St, Rockwall, TX 75087

Short Version

This place is a Rockwall Staple. It has been around for over 30 years, which I know personally. I can remember meeting friends up at the Downtown Square as far back as the Early 90s after being out all day riding bikes or after a day of hunting crawdads and fishing. The food is excellent, the portions are plentiful, and the owners are great. Go, relax, eat, and have a good meal.

Long Version

As I stated above, I used to meet friends here weekly at one of the longest-lasting restaurants in Rockwall. I can remember meeting friends at the Downtown Square as far back as the Early 90s after being out all day riding bikes or after a day of hunting crawdads and fishing. Of course, the prices have risen, so the days of taking $5 with me before I left the house and being able to get 2 eggrolls and a side of fried rice for $1.75 are far gone. Because, you know, I had to budget to go play the arcades at Home Boys Grocery. I would play Mortal Kombat until I was broke, then do it again next week.

Fun Fact! Home Boys Grocery used to be at 101 Kenway St in Rockwall, but that address doesn’t actually exist in Rockwall anymore. Go to Google and type in 101 Kenway St, Rockwall, TX. Go to Google Maps street view, and you will be standing in the center lane of Goliad. They tore down Homeboys and cut the end of that whole strip mall off to widen Goliad to turn it into the six-lane it is today right there.

Hunan is a great place to go because it is always quiet. They have six regular-sized booths that seat four people, four tables that seat four, and two tables that seat six people. It is not huge, and I’ve never been when it was packed. There is never a line to get in or a long wait. I would say that 70% or more of their business is to go orders, especially today. But I only eat when I can go and sit down. Maybe it is the nostalgia or the plating and how much more appealing everything looks piled high on plates and not stuffed in Styrofoam. I cannot tell you for sure, but I can tell you that I genuinely love Hunan.

Jimmy is the owner. He’s a kind guy. He typically works in the back cooking, so it is not common to see him out and about in the dining area very often. If you want a quiet place to eat lunch, read a book, and relax, look no further.

On my visit on June 12th, I took the family for dinner. We had been working around the house all day doing repairs, and we were hungry! My wife, daughter, and I went around 7:30 pm; they don’t close until 9pm, so we knew we would have plenty of time. When we walked in, we saw three booths with families eating, so we sat in an open booth. Within a few moments, we were greeted, menus dropped off at the table, and drink orders put in.

One thing I want to note here is for people who drink Cokes, Err, sodas. They will bring you a can with a glass of ice and pay for each can when you ask for another one. Just keep that in mind. I will give you a breakdown of what we ordered this time and be as subjective as possible since this is a personal staple and holds tons of sentimental value.

To start off, we ordered a couple of appetizers. Then, because we planned on taking food home for lunch the next day, we got four entrees. Yeah, there were only three of us, but we could not decide on just three things. Hahaha, so I will break down everything below.

Cheese Wantons (6) $7.45

Deep-fried wonton filled with cream cheese

These are my go-to every time. They are always golden, crispy, and delicious. They are pretty much exactly as the description says: fried wonton with cream cheese. It is served with a sweet and sour sauce for dipping. My favorite way to eat these is to “peal the petals,” break them into pieces, and dip them.

Beef Cho Cho (4) $8.95

No menu description

These are strips of beef on a skewer, marinated in what I can only describe as a honey and soy sauce concoction, and then grilled. They taste amazing, but my daughter is not always a fan. Sometimes, they have a stronger soy flavor, and she tends to like them when they are a bit sweeter. I like them either way.

Egg Roll (1) 1.50

No Menu Description

Egg rolls, what else is there to know? They are crispy and made in-house. They are solid egg rolls.

Main Course

Crispy Beef $15.95

HOT! Sliced tenderloin prepared with special hot sauce.

It is impossible to go wrong anytime you get to eat tenderloin. It is lightly breaded to allow it to hold only the sauce. This dish is in my top 5; I get it often. But I always request a side of chili sauce. Though many of the items here do claim to be HOT and have significant warnings, understand that over the years, their clientele has gotten older, so HOT is pretty subjective. If I had a complaint, I would prefer more heat. But the flavors are always on point.

Orange Chicken $15,95

HOT! Chunks of chicken fried to a crisp, with orange peel in hot sauce.

This has always been a favorite for my wife or daughter. I used to eat it ALL the time until I recently became allergic to chicken. So, speaking from past experience, and asking my daughter her thoughts. So, this is the review of a 15-year-old. “It was really good; the breading was crispy, and the sauce was thick and stuck to the chicken really well. The orange peel is not burnt or bitter, and that is what happens in every other place. It is not hot, and I should have asked for some chili oil.” Yeah, she is my daughter.

Pineapple Chicken $13.95

No menu description.

My wife, Nicole, will order this nearly every time we go. She will crave it, and like Chick-fil-A cravings consistently hitting the hardest on a Sunday, the pineapple chicken craving is nearly always on a Monday. Hunan is closed on Mondays! This dish has chunks of chicken, pineapple, bell peppers, and onions in a sweet sauce. When I asked Nicole her thoughts on the meal this time, she said. Yep, it is amazing, like usual. I did not get anything else out of her. So, go try it, and maybe you can give me something more than that!

Vegetable Lo Mein $10.45

No Menu Description

It is a pile of Lo Mein noodles served with your usual vegetables. You will find bell pepper, squash, onions, baby corn, and mushrooms all tossed in a light, bright sauce. The sauce is not super forward in flavor, so you can taste the veggies when you are eating. We typically order this to go with our other entrees. We usually get fried rice, and they serve it with your meal in a little bowl. We put a scoop of the Vegetable Le Mein next to it and then a few scoops of our desired entrée. I like that it is not soaked in sauce, just enough to coat the food without a puddle underneath.

This was a ton of food for 3 people, even for 4 people. But we always have more than enough for all 3 of us to have lunch the next day and another full meal. It is great. Hunan is such a Rockwall gem, and I am amazed at how many people I talk to have never walked in or even ordered for delivery. Next time you are downtown or hungry for Chinese food, maybe consider giving Hunan a shot. Jimmy, if you ever get to see him, tell him hi and let him know it’s your first time. You will make his day. You will support a local business that is a staple in the downtown area. Thank you again for reading along and letting me share my hobby.

If you can think of a place you would like me to check out, give me a shout!

Nick Hughes

I’m a devoted father and husband. What you see is what you get. I love God, family, food & baseball!

If you ever see me out and about, don’t hesitate to say hello, or give me a recommendation on the next place I should try! [email protected]

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