106 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 719-685-9576, jadedynastyco.com
Jade Dynasty hasn’t opened for dine-in service, and the tables blocking off the dining room make it easy for employees and customers to stay 6 feet apart while they’re ordering, say, crispy duck and kung pao tofu, like we do. And for those interested in eating most of a duck in one setting, the crispy duck’s a fine option. It’s roasted and chopped into pieces, bone in and skin on.
A little included hoisin sauce makes the richness of the duck pop, but the meat’s a little dry. Still, there’s something to eating almost an entire duck, and it makes a fun dish to pass with friends or family. As for the tofu dish, the zucchini, carrots, bamboo shoots, onion and bell peppers all keep a nice toothsomeness, not overcooked.
Soft tofu picks up the flavor of a mild, savory sauce. For more crunch and flavor, the peanuts do their job, and when we want a little more heat, we take a bite of one of the whole dried chiles in the dish. It’d be nicer if the chiles’ flavor made it more into the sauce, though.