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Tea-smoked duck stands out on menu of Tonawanda's House of Gourmet

The latest addition to the authentic Chinese restaurants around the University at Buffalo’s North Campus was House of Gourmet.

Located at 2865 Sheridan Drive, Tonawanda, just west of Niagara Falls Boulevard, the restaurant opened about two weeks ago.

It is the first restaurant for chef-owner Xiuying Xu, an experienced restaurant cook, and native of Shandong.

The small plaza space is a former Subway. Now it has about 30 seats, with hot pot tables in about half of the narrow dining room.

The 170-dish menu includes lunch specials ($8.25 to $8.99), and American Chinese entrees like General Tso’s chicken ($10.95), but is mostly oriented toward authentic Chinese.

There’s 18 choices for steamed and fried dumplings, including fish and leek steamed dumplings ($9.50 for 12), and beef and carrot ($9.99).

Pork and cabbage steamed buns ($6.95 for 4) are fist-sized belly fillers at House of Gourmet. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Hawthorn fry included plenty of lotus root at House of Gourmet. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Massive white steamed buns with spiced ground pork burgers ($6.99 for 4) are also available in vegetarian.

Scallion pancake ($3.65) isn’t just an appetizer here.

It gets rolled around a stuffing, sliced and served like a savory jelly roll, for a sort of Chinese burrito.

The beef version ($8.99) was filled with smoky stir-fried beef with cumin and chile.

Scallion pancake wrapped around a spicy beef filling at House of Gourmet. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

A notable achievement I’ve found nowhere else in the area is Sichuan style tea-smoked duck. It’s a roasted duck with areas of cracker-crisp skin that’s been smoked over a combination of dried tea and eucalyptus, for a delicate but rich, smoky treat that’s a sort of Chinese barbecue.

Far-out dishes include spicy pork intestines with fresh frog ($24.95), spicy pork feet ($10.95) and shredded pork ear with garlic sauce ($8.99). But a simple pork fried rice ($8.95) is there for the unadventurous.

INFO: House of Gourmet, 2865 Sheridan Drive, Tonawanda. 359-0777. Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Monday.

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