Monday, May 2, 2011

Wang’s Restaurant – Minnetonka, MN

My friend A-Wow got a job at the same company as me a few months back. Unfortunately, he’s in a completely different building across the Twin Cities from me. But that’s alright because now when we make lunch plans, we have many options between us that we can meet at. I found one of those places between us and, after IS topped giggling like a 12-year-old, I told him we’d be eating wangs. Er… rather… Wang’s Restaurant.

I met him there and walked past the smallest buffet I’ve ever seen. Seriously. D.Rough’s mother puts on a larger spread than this and that’s even when you show up unannounced at her house! We were both looking forward to chi-buf fare, so we rolled with it. Maybe those food items were carefully honed and going to be stellar, right? Well, maybe.

A-Wow is one of those curious people who judge a restaurant on its appetizers. I’ll never quite figure that out, since appetizers seem to be such little effort items in most places. (Another person I know who does this pre-judging is HotGirlsBrother – he judges Mexican restaurants on their free chips and salsa, which seems like judging how good someone is in bed by reading a name in a phonebook)(that’s just me though). A-Wow returned with a heaping pile of appetizers. Some of each, in fact. There were only two – cream cheese puffs and dumplings. Meanwhile, I took a large plateful. And in fact, got everything on the buffet in one trip.

Fried rice, cream cheese puffs, dumplings (with chicken on the inside), garlic chicken, sweet and sour chicken, chicken Lo Mein, chicken and mushrooms, and chicken wings (sense a theme here?).

The appetizers were actually quite good. Crispy cream cheese puffs with plenty of filling and the dumplings were good and full of insides (chicken) and not rubbery. Delicious. The rest of the food was just alright. Slightly over and under par. It’s a good thing I like chicken. The sweet and sour chicken was sort of what you’d expect (and A-Wow and I were both glad you could tell it was chicken). The Lo Mein was a bit flavorless. The chicken and mushrooms and garlic chicken were just alright. The fried chicken (literally just fried chicken) was really greasy, but actually had a great flavor. I was a little alarmed that all of the chicken drumsticks were bent at some unnatural angle. Seriously, look in both photos - the chicken has some crazy curve in it. Maybe bowlegged chickens or something. It was very weird, in fact.

For such a small buffet, it took a REALLY long time to refill the buffet items. In fact, I only got one round of dumplings since when they brought them out, they only brought out 8 and a couple of old guys stole them before I could get them. There were things that just never appeared again, so I heaped up on what I could – I was really more hungry than I thought I was. Note, that both A-Wow and I were clearing our throats after we ate from the commonly found “grease throat” at places with a LOT of grease on their food. It isn’t a complaint – unless you don’t like greasy food – then Wang’s may not be your go-to place. Just saying.

It is a sure sign of a low-expectation place when the only regulars in the place are really old white people. The server seemed to know many of their names – they must come in a lot. But the server was really nice and friendly, so maybe she’s just a super server with a good memory.

Neither A-Wow nor I hated the place, but there are definitely better places. However, the price can’t be beat. Both A-Wow and I double checked to see if the price on the ticket was EACH or TOTAL. Since it was total, I offered to pay (in return for him picking up our next fifty dollar lunch, of course).

Top 5 things about Wang’s Chinese Restaurant
1. Amazingly inexpensive
2. Dumplings
3. Cream Cheese Puffs
4. Fried Chicken flavor
5. Sweet and Sour Chicken

Bottom 5 things
1. Smallest buffet ever
2. Really long time to refill the food
3. Flavorless Lo Mein
4. Flavorless Garlic Chicken
5. Fried Chicken grease

Wang’s Chinese Restaurant
10928 Greenbrier Road
Minnetonka, MN 55305

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