Panda Express off to busy start in Dover

 

The first Panda Express to open in Delaware, at 1125 N. DuPont Highway, has had little down time since it opened earlier this month, according to its manager.  (Delaware State News/Arshon Howard)

The tables are empty outside of business hours, but the first Panda Express to open in Delaware, at 1125 N. DuPont Highway, has had little down time during operating hours since it opened earlier this month, according to its manager. (Delaware State News/Arshon Howard)

DOVER — Customers can’t seem to get enough of Panda Express, as the restaurant continues to stay busy since opening on Aug 7.

“It’s been very packed,” said Renaud Cenatus, general manager of Panda Express at 1125 N. DuPont Highway. “Everyone comes in here. Everyone wants to try something new. We expected this.”

It’s the first Panda Express in Delaware, said Mr. Cenatus.

“We rarely have any down time,” Mr. Cenatus said. “The span is very short, from the time we open until we’re closed, business is very steady.”

The establishment is a restaurant chain, which serves American Chinese cuisine.

Panda Express originated in southern California in 1983 as a new dining concept of Panda Inn, a casual-dining Chinese restaurant that specializes in Mandarin and Szechwan cuisine.

First time customer Natasha Simms said the food is delicious.

“My co-workers and I looked it up,” Ms. Simms said. “We looked at the prices and seen that they were reasonable and decided we wanted to come here.

“We wanted to try something new. The food is really good.”

The menu features chicken, beef, shrimp and vegetarian dishes and traditional Chinese appetizers.

The restaurant’s signature entree is orange chicken, which is lightly battered and fried pieces of chicken that are sautéed in sweet and mildly spicy chili sauce.

It also offers other entrees, which can be ordered in bowls, plates with two or three entrees or ala carte.

The restaurant in Dover also has a drive-through, which seems to be hit with customers.

“I like the fact that they have that,” Ms. Simms said. “It gives me more time to come here because I’m a little lazy at times, as there are moments when I don’t feel like getting out of the car. It’s very convenient. What’s better than drive-through Chinese food?”

Mr. Cenatus said this is only the beginning.

“This is one of four establishments to come,” Mr. Cenatus said. “There is four more Panda Expresses being built in Delaware right now. There will be one in Bear, New Castle and Wilmington. It’s an expansion process for the company.

“We just happened to come across this location first. We’re excited to expand into the full state,” he said.

“It’s very exciting to know that people enjoy the food. When Delaware State University opens we expect to be even busier.

“We’re excited to see what we can accomplish in Dover.”

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