Chronicle employee since 1992, with stints as assistant features editor and features editor; previously worked at The Gwinnett Daily News in suburban Atlanta, The Anderson Independent-Mail in Anderson, S.C., and The Rome News Tribune, Rome Ga.
Posted March 30, 2009 04:49 pm - Updated March 31, 2009 11:21 pm

Hunan Cafe a longtime favorite for a hot quick lunch.

There’s a figure of a big red pepper on the front of Hunan Cafe, 403 Furys Ferry Road in Martinez, and that draws me in.

Lunch Money has a thing for spicy food, and Hunan has been a regular destination.

Hunan started out as a hole-in-the-strip-mall type eatery that served up good food cheap, and has evolved with a bit of renovation into a nicer, intimate sit-down restaurant, but it still can’t be beat for a top-notch Oriental fare served up fast, even if you’re on a budget.

We visited on Monday.

Here’s the deal:

Hunan Cafe
403 Furys Ferry Road (Publix shopping center), Martinez
What: Lunch for two; General Tao chicken and Hunan chicken, with hot and sour soup for each and unsweet ice tea
Cost: $20.94, including 20 percent tip
The food: This is the place for the best hot and sour soup in Augusta. It’s fiery, but not overpowering. The sauces on the chicken dishes also were flavored just right, even with the whole pepper buried in each. Eggrolls were appropriately crisp and not at all greasy, and the tea was fresh, clear and tasty. We’ve never had a bad dining experience here.
Ambiance: Cozy comfortable. You can easily carry on a conversation here, and you don’t feel like you’re sitting in your neighbor’s lap.
Watching the clock: We were in and out within 40 minutes, Not great for digestion, but perfect for a fast lunch.
Call them: (706) 869-1480