New Star has been serving up Cantonese cuisine since 1954 and Jinny Zhao’s five-year ownership has brought fresh life to the North Avenue mainstay. Zhao is proud to carry on the New Star traditions started by the Moy family, but had to adapt in an in entirely new way when COVID-19 struck.
“New Star is 64 years old and has a lot of loyal customers who are like my friends,” said Zhao. “All small businesses like mine are facing a tough time, but I watch to see that everything is okay here.”
After a two-week closure helped comfort worried employees, New Star reopened to serve the same food their customers love in a safe new way. The pandemic shifted New Star’s menu of Chinese, Thai and Japanese dishes to a carryout-only model, but Zhao’s adaptability makes New Star a first-rate example of proper health and safety adjustments in the time of a pandemic.
Patrons who opt to order and pick up a meal from New Star will be pleased with the social distancing practices in place at Elmwood Park restaurant located at 7444 W North Ave. The full carryout menu is available for download on New Star’s website, ordering by phone is quick and efficient and parking around the restaurant is a breeze.
Patrons entering for pick up are required to wear a mask and will be pleased to find masked and gloved staff members behind a protective plexiglass shield. Hot food comes organized in a sturdy, insulted and reusable bag, while cold items are kept separate in a second disposable bag. Payment and food delivery at New Star are as close to touch free as possible.
“Our carryout bag is like a winter coat for your food,” said Zhao.
Customers should feel confident ordering from New Star and, despite reducing their staff from 60 to 20 employees, customers should expect New Star’s time-honored attention to detail to influence the food as well.
A carryout, mainstay, Zhao is particularly proud of New Star’s updated egg rolls. The perfectly fried eggrolls, come two to a portion and feature a bounty of BBQ pork, shrimp, and vegetables in a pleasing peanut sauce.
“They are the best around because we use best quality meat, vegetables and peanut butter,” says Zhao confidently.
No carry out feast is complete without a traditional Chinese offering like Hunan or General Tso’s Chicken. Boasting a bevy of dried red chilies to bring a little peppery heat to the plate without being overwhelming, the Hunan Chicken brims with fresh vegetables like broccoli, carrots and mushrooms. Traditional elements like baby corn and water chestnuts give the mix authenticity. New Star’s version of General Tso’s Chicken is a perfect pandemic comfort food. Lightly battered chicken is fried until golden brown and tossed with broccoli in a sweet and spicy sauce
In addition to serving up Cantonese delights, New Star has a robust offering of Japanese dishes like sushi, sashimi and teriyaki creations. The Japanese “pick two” maki lunch special comes with both a warming bowl of miso soup and a green salad.
Today New Star celebrates its long history in Elmwood Park and now the expansive restaurant has been redesigned with safety in mind in the face of a pandemic. Keep calm and carryout from New Star.