Thanks all for the suggestions. I'll save it for another trip.
I went to Shanghai Garden in Sacto because I read online reviews & my friend picked it out. I saw people (Caucasians) eating & ordering take-out. Let's just say it's not my favorite Chinese place.
We had a 2-top table by the window and got the menu. Nobody helped us for a good 15 min. Finally someone came by. I ordered bbq pork chow fun w/ veggies (that's not on the menu, but I saw it online). Also got bbq pork w/ asparagus (seasonal). Went too crazy on the pork..my bad..didn't really want 2 pork but I messed up.
Chow fun was not very good. They put lots of bean sprouts which I don't like, pork was average, noodles didn't have wok breath.
bbq pork w/ asparagus was full of black bean sauce & onions..not my favorite..I don't like onions & black bean sauce is way too salty.
Only good thing: they give you ice water without being asked plus tea (not loose tea, from a tea bag). No chopsticks on the tables..just fork for the Caucasians. Fortune cookies given w/ the bill.
Our total was $17 w/ tip & tax. Credit cards taken, we paid cash.
Separate bathrooms. Women only 1 sink/1 toilet. Nice sink. Small parking lot. On the corner of H & Alhambra.
Shang Hai Garden
800 Alhambra Blvd Ste B, Sacramento, CA 95816
Sorry to hear that you ended up at the Shanghai Garden. I have to say that it's the worst Chinese food I have ever eaten in Sacramento. We went there maybe ten years ago and I still remember how awful it was. Haven't been back and will never go there again. It is tailored to people unfamiliar with Chinese food. I do love bean sprouts in my chow fun but I wouldn't trust that place to make it for me.
Nathans in Elk Grove is very good for a restaurant, especially their seafood. It does not meet the price range though. The food court at the SF Supermarket is also very good and somewhat closer to Elk Grove and your price range.
Nathan's Chinese Cuisine
9105 Bruceville Rd # 2A, Elk Grove, CA
S F Supermarket
4562 Mack Rd, Sacramento, CA 95823
From Elk Grove, go north on 99 to Florin Road. Go right (east) to Stockton Blvd. Turn left (north). You have approximately 12,367 good restaurants to choose from on both sides of the street over the next couple of miles. Pull up in front of someplace that has lots of cars out front, roll down your window, and listen. If you can't hear English being spoken, go in and eat.
Some of my favorites: Happy Garden (dim sum), King Palace (same), Gentry BBQ Duck (duh), Jumbo Seafood (duh again, although the whole menu is good), New Paris bakery (banh mi), Pho Bac Hoa Viet (Vietnamese in general, pho in particular), even the food counters in the front of Shun Fat (SF) Supermarket. LOTS of good eats.