4403 Wrightsville Avenue
Wilmington, NC 28403-6339
I've been remiss in not posting about Double Happiness before now. It's one of our favorite places, and we eat there fairly regularly. Tucked away off Wrightsville near College, it's kind of easy to miss - not a place you necessarily see when you drive by. But as Chinese food goes, they're about the only place in town I think has really got it going on, so it's worth looking for.
Here is the explanation from Liz Biro on the owners. May is absolutely wonderful. She's nice, she's funny, and she takes the time to visit and joke with everyone who comes in. She loves to talk about the food, the restaurant, and her history in China and then coming over to the States and her time in Wilmington. She'll also happily help you pronounce the words on your fortune cookie. It's always a pleasure to see her.
But even if May wasn't such a joy, the food would bring us in anyway. This isn't your standard soy-seasoned buffet fare. Everything is fresh, flavorful and delicious. They often start by bringing out a small plate of steamed salty edamame and some of the most delicious sweet pickled cucumbers I've had since Pootie's grandmother passed away. They're crunchy and vinegary-sweet and I could honestly sit and eat a big bowl of them and be perfectly content.
They do some seasonal dishes, like a great watermelon salad they have in the summer. As I recall, it had a ginger dressing that didn't taste like everyone else's Asian ginger dressing. Soups and appetizers are familiar, but always excellent. Their won ton soup is nice and salty with a generous amount of won ton noodles. Their scallion pancakes are hot and crispy, the spring rolls are fresh and crunchy, and all the sauces are well-balanced.
Entrees are complete with the old favorites, like moo goo gai pan and mongolian beef. But they also have some different dishes, like their dry wok chicken, which the menu says is a "must-try", and I agree. Crispy duck is done perfectly, and I love their double pan fried noodle dish. They serve it in a deep bowl so that some of the noodles are crispy, but some are a little more tender toward the bottom, so it's not like eating a plate full of sticks. Pootie really digs their Sichuan Eggplant, partly because it's that good, and partly because I rarely cook eggplant and he loves it. I have to say, as a non-eggplant person, their version is pretty darned good. I can eat quite a bit of it before I go "...oh... yeah, that's still eggplant, isn't it?"
If you google their menu online, ignore the first scans. I'm pretty sure the menu shots with pictures were from the old iteration of Double Happiness, before May and her brother revamped the menu. Use the bottom ones with no pictures.
Definitely give it a go if you're looking for good Chinese food. The restaurant is off Wrightsville on the left if you're headed from downtown toward College and is right before the intersection of Kerr and Wrightsville.