Had dinner at Pearl of the Orient on Easter Sunday with family. Kind of a Jewish tradition to go out for Chinese food on Christian holidays.
I hadn't been there in at least a year. This is one of my favorite sit-down Chinese restaurants in the Albany area. We like Amazing Wok for delivery, and we used to go to the Dumpling House on Everett Road. There was a problem with their phone number, so we called Pearl of the Orient instead. It's on Albany Shaker Road near Osborne Road (also near one of my favorite Italian places, D'Raymonds).
The restaurant has a lunch buffet, which usually suggests lower quality to me. That thinking does not apply here. The food is excellent. They used to have "black pepper chicken" on the menu. It's no longer there, but you can order it, and I did. They still have black pepper steak on the menu. I had to explain this to the waitress, who said she was new.
My dish was great! My wife had sesame chicken, which she said was too spicy -- not a negative to me. They also had mu-shu pork which they liked a lot. My hot-and-sour soup was also quite good. My daughters (ages 4 and 1) had plain lo mein and they definitely liked it. We were surprised how much our 1-year-old ate.
We also had a dumpling appetizer, but this was not as good as what you get at Dumpling House (I guess that's not a surprise).