Peking Gourmet Closes; What's a Vegetarian Chinese Food Addict To Do?

It’s unfair. Evil, even. The moment I discover an amazing new Cleveland spot, I’m belatedly, casually, told that – oh by the way -- we’re closing in two months. The torture! Such is the case with Peking Gourmet, an addictive, amazing Chinese restaurant located in the basement of a Cedar Road strip mall, across from Whole Foods in South Euclid. Developers are planning on tearing the entire strip mall down in two months, and the shop's owners can’t afford the new rent. This is one hurts -- especially for non-meat eaters like me. Whereas most Chinese menus have only four or five vegetarian options, Peking Gourmet has an entire six-page menu dedicated solely to vegetarians. They even give it a nice name: “Zen vegetarian cuisine.” (A separate menu is available for carnivores). Their hot and sour soup is tangy with meaty bites of tofu and spongy shitake mushrooms, their Zen “chicken” is crunchy and doused in a sweet, tangy orange peel sauce. Their vegan dark chocolate cheesecake is creamy and cold and chocolate-y and tastes like it has about, oh 5000, calories – though it actuality it contains only 180. My heart aches at this imminent loss. -- Rebecca Meiser