OH YES it’s the dirty world of Chinese takeout! Greasy, fried, MSG-laden, Asian-styled food based off of bastardized recipes copied and pasted so many times over that it seems there may in fact be a portal going from the entrance of every takeout Chinese restaurant to the same gross, sweaty kitchen. Why do they exist in such numbers? Why do they have to have such stupid names (Happy Wok, Golden Dragon, Ho King, Wok Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, etc)?? And is it racist of me to say all these restaurants look the same??? Probably. Probably.
One hungry afternoon, my girlfriend and I decided to get some delicious Chinese food, and rather than do something nice like TC Choy’s, we instead opted for shit. Near our apartment is a little joint called Wok N Roll, proud winners of the “I’ve heard that one before” restaurant name award. They’re stuck on Kennedy and South Habana, they do takeout and delivery, and there’s a bit of space inside to sit down if you’re so inclined. And they are exactly what you’d expect. There. That’s it! Review done. DONE.
We rolled up and perused the menu, which may or may not double as a placemat. And when I say “may or may not”, I’m being serious; these places meld together, so it could have been the one with the placemat menu, or it could have been the one with the foldy menu. I don’t know. I don’t really care. It’s all the same stuff anyway. We ordered a couple lunch specials, and crab rangoon as a little treat. A tiny delight.
I got my standard order, the pork lo mein. I find it to be the most awesome of Chinese foods, and I think you should too. It came out exactly as it does in a number of other Chinese places. Nothing special. Didn’t have those pea pod guys… I don’t know if that was a loss or not, really. Basically, if you want standard lo mein, you can get it here. Maybe it’s a bit greasier.
On a repeat visit, I ordered pork lo mein, and got magic lo mein with shrimps and chickens in it. Still no pea pods.
Their crab rangoon was also middle-of-the-road-tastic, with not very much cream cheesey goodness on the inside, and the outside was a bit soft. They tasted fine, but they were definitely lackluster. They enjoyed a delicious rebirth, though, when we reheated them by way of deep-fryer. They were then much crispier and far better overall.
And finally, their nasty orange chicken. The orange flavor tasted artificial to me, like something you might find in a candy, and too sweet. I could stand no more than one of these nuggets, and even then it caused me to shudder as though I were a kid taking nasty medicine. My girlfriend liked it though, and she was the one who ordered it, so I guess I can’t really fault them too much for it. She noted that it was very saucy, and a little bit spicy. Also: chickeny.
And that’s it. I wish I could say more, coming down hard on one side or the other. But honestly, you know what you’re getting into here. I’ve eaten from here twice, and was neither time thrilled nor all that disappointed. Uou want some average, shitty Chinese? Go here. You want something a little nicer? Just who do you think you are, buddy? You think you’re better than me? Huh? HUH? Yeah. I thought so.