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'Lutheran hour' and the search for Chinese cuisine in Saskatchewan

My search for the revealing Chinese-Canadian restaurant continues in Langenberg, Saskatchewan, a part of the country where you see billboards that say "Life: What a Beautiful Choice!"

The Golden Bowl is on the town's main street, which is also the highway, but temporarily slowed down. The Golden Bowl has an excellent sign and is open 7 days a week. Runsheng Li and Hongzheng Li, a pair of brothers from Taishan, China, have owned it for 5 years.

As is often the case in Chinese-Canadian establishments, the Li brothers embrace a Catholic approach to visual stimulation: color photographs of their children hang side by side with pictures of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Langenberg has a way of making Paris seem far, far away.

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That is not a bad thing. At the moment it is Sunday morning, and the place is packed with dozens of Lutherans from St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

Ian Brown eats Canada

The Golden Bowl serves "Chinese Food American Dishes." (Specialites of the House include the "Chinese schmorg," as it's known locally, and the Chinese Combo for $7.25: Chicken Ball, Deep Fried Shrimp, Fried Rice, Mixed Vegetable and Coffee/Tea/Pop.)

The Breakfast Special, on the other hand, is only $4.99, which is why the Lutherans are here for eggs and bacon. They come every Sunday.

"We like to call it the Lutheran hour," a woman named Dorothy explains. She is her early 60s, and younger than most everyone else in the room. "Though we've got some Catholics here," she adds, after a glance around the brown interior of the restaurant.

"And they're the only restaurant in town that serves breakfast all morning," another woman named Joan says. There are seven Lutherans at her table alone.

They are a cheerful crowd, now sated by breakfast.

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"What was the sermon about?" someone asks.

"Plowing the field," Dorothy replies, instantaneously. "He was talking about how we change our lives by turning the fields."

How true.

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