Old Thousand: A modern twist on Chinese food and what makes it so ‘dope’

Audrey Gutgsell

Old Thousand, also known as “Dope Chinese” is located on Burnet Rd. inside North Austin’s Brentwood neighborhood. The panda bear logo featured on the restaurant’s sign makes it easy for anyone driving by to notice the hip ambiance and eye-catching eatery. Their menu consists of Chinese-American cuisine favorites that will surely satisfy anyone. 

As I walked into the restaurant and approached the counter I was immediately intrigued by the decorative pieces placed all around. The floral wallpaper and hung-up pictures of the Mona Lisa and Ruth Bader Ginsburg reassured me that I was in the right place. The moment I lifted my head up and gazed at the ceiling my eyes were introduced to an array of multicolored lanterns, each carefully spaced out. 

I was greeted right away and treated with the best of service once it was my turn to place my order at the counter. It is important to note that they have taken all precautions necessary to make sure both their customers and employees feel safe during this time. Dine-in is temporarily not an option so for now counter-service is the preferred method. You even have the choice to enjoy your meal at one of their tables outside. 

I was pleased to have gotten the opportunity to try most of their well-known favorites which include their brand new Mala Fried Chicken Sandwich. Not only is the size of the sandwich equivalent to the size of my face but is also comes topped with the most delicious Szechuan Tomato Slaw. My first bite left me feeling as if a bunch of fireworks were set off leaving the most savory taste in my mouth, not to mention, every bite of chicken had the same satisfying crispy crunch.  All of the different flavors within the sandwich were complemented with a side of fries which served as the perfect addition to this mouthwatering meal. 

Don’t worry, the fun didn’t stop there, I still got to experience General Tso’s Chicken and the Beef and Broccoli dish with a Veggie Egg Roll and Hot & Sour Soup as my sides. Each of these dishes filled my stomach with just the right amount of deliciousness. And, the House Made Cabbage Pickles accompanied with each entree was the cherry on top!

The General Tso’s Chicken dish features eight ounces of chicken smothered with a sweet and flavorful sauce with a dash of onions. The Beef and Broccoli dish provided me with the perfect meat and vegetable combination. Not only were the flavors bold but the tenderness of the meat paired with the rice made it particularly enjoyable. 

I admit the Hot & Sour soup had a very different flavor from any other I’ve ever tasted but their take on it had me licking the bowl clean. The Veggie Spring Roll was very fulfilling and I felt as if it was the best add-on to munch on while taking a break between all the entrees. I found myself switching back and forth between each dish and taking occasional sips of water to cleanse my palate in order to fully immerse myself with all the different flavors. 

After clearing my plates to the best of my ability my body finally got the message that I was ready for a fat nap. There wasn’t a time where I didn’t feel safe because of how spread out the tables were from others and the utensils were delivered to me fully packaged. If you find yourself wanting to sit-down and enjoy a meal in a cautious manner this is the place for you. Even the Mona Lisa has her face covering! 

Now who could leave without having a fortune cookie? I was surprised I had room in my stomach to enjoy it but, nevertheless, I still did. I was refilled on my water and brought to-go boxes right away in case I didn’t finish so once again I would like to highlight how accommodating the employees were. If you find yourself craving some Chinese food I definitely recommend giving Old Thousand a.k.a. Dope Chinese a try! And check out our TikTok from the visit here.