I enjoyed my lunch with Michelle Zimmer, Wild Serendipity Foods, at Oriental Aroma Chinese Cuisine, 928 D 8th Street East (corner of Clarence and 8th).
The menu has lots of interesting (i.e. not your standard westernized dishes) options. We tried three vegetarian options and they arrived quickly and were very attractive.
Our favorite was the Mapo Tofu, which has just the right amount of heat (if you ask, they'll leave out the meat). (Here is the recipe Michelle uses to make Mapo Tofu.) Next time I plan to try the Sichuan Style Green Beans, which they told us were also spicy and very popular.
The Mixed Mushrooms with Shanghai Cabbage (aka Baby Bok Choy) was very good. The sauce was mild with just a hint of sweetness.
The Wood Ear Mushrooms and Mountain Yam was intriguing. The mountain yam (the only yam that can be eaten raw) was white and tasted a bit like bamboo shoots. The wood ear mushrooms had a very distinctive texture and appearance and are very mild. Large chunks of ginger added flavour.
Michelle and I enjoyed our lunch and both of us plan to return.
Oriental Aroma is open from 11 am to 10 pm daily. Their phone number is 306.477.7757.