The dinner special for two is a highlight at Tai Chi (2031 Polk Street). For merely $14 a head, you and a friend–or date–can enjoy a cornucopia of Chinese flavors guaranteed to satisfy even the fiercest of munchies.

What impressed me most about my recent experience at Tai Chi was that the friendly wait staff just kept laying down plate after plate of well prepared Hunan and Mandarin specialities. Their delicious chicken spring rolls came out to the table fresh from the fryer, stuffed with chewy, savory bits of cellophane noodle that were, at first, too hot for the tongue. Ouchey. Good thing I’m not afraid to sacrifice my body for this job.

The next serving was a crackling rice soup finished off tableside, as the waitress brought out crispy fried noodles and slowly poured them into the soup’s classic, light, chicken broth. The crunch brought an added texture to the free-floating chewiness of the chicken, shrimp and mushrooms that make up the main ingredients of this hearty dish.

The main course was actually two separate entrees: General Tso’s Chicken and Shrimp and Vegetables in Brown Sauce. Both dishes consisted of heaping portions of meat bathed in thick, dark sauces. The Tso’s was a sweeter offering balanced out by the salty, soy-infused goodness of the Shrimp. Two reasonably hungry grown men would not find it unreasonable to leave Tai Chi with leftovers in tow. Of course I’m not suggesting that I would commit such an ill-mannered faux pas–not finishing your meal in one sitting is shameful and a sign of certain weakness…

…Nonetheless GForce and I found ourselves with barely enough room for our fortune cookie dessert.

My fortune warned me to watch the wallet at the moment, advice that can be readily heeded at a restaurant serving up a small feast for under $20 dollars.