- Griffin Swartzell
Coal Mine Dragon Chinese, 6320 Highway 85, Fountain, 390-4445, see Facebook page
Don’t confuse this spot with Coal Mine Dragon on Eighth Street or Coal Mine Dragon Restaurant on Uintah Street. Each has a different owner and a slightly different name. At this spot, we’re greeted and helped by a friendly and accommodating server whose demeanor makes us feel about as welcome as we’ve ever felt at a restaurant.
With that and affordable food — lunch specials run between $7 and $8 — it should be a slam dunk, yet we find ourselves leaving salty over the meal. Our Szechuan Beef lunch combo starts with choice of soup, and we go wonton, getting a bowl of bouillon-yellow broth that tastes saltier by half than we’d like. That’s doubly a shame, because the wontons bear little filling and less flavor. As for the entrée, we get fried rice instead of requested steamed. The beef’s got a nice texture, but the nondescript brown sauce smacks of heavy salt with only the faintest peppercorn kick at the end. Veg-wise, the broccoli comes overdone, and irregular, mandoline-cut carrot slices occasionally taste raw.
Good service and good prices mean less when the product disappoints like this; we hope it’s just a fluke.