The experience

Chopsticks Chinese Restaurant and ClubOgre has some good memories of a little Chinese restaurant where he got Mushi Pork as a kid.  He decided this would be fun for us to eat at for dinner tonight.  Mina had music class with Oma and Grandpoo and honestly had already eaten at McDonald’s.  We considered eating without her, but thought she might enjoy Chinese food also, so we waited on her and ate a somewhat later dinner at Chopsticks.

We arrive to the restaurant that sits in an old strip mall.  Walking in, I see your standard Chinese Buffet set up, although the selection seems smaller than most.  The hostess tells us we can sit anywhere and I choose one of the booths that is furthest away from the other patrons.  We dutifully grab one of the clean plates and peruse the buffet.  I let Benji walk beside me and he remains pretty close to me except when he goes to inspect the Chinese Lion and calls it a ”daw” (dog).  That’s my smart boy.  I tell him it’s a lion and to come back over to the buffet line. 

I choose fried rice, sweet and sour chicken, the pork with zucchini, szechuan green beans, and broccoli beef.  I grab some Crab Ragoons for Benjamin and a bowl of Hot and Sour Soup as we walk back to our table.  Papa's plateI look over at Ogre’s plate and he has lo mein, black bean pork, pork dumplings, sezchuan green beans, an the pork with zucchini.  I give Benji some fried rice and a green bean.  He immediately decides the fried rice on my plate is more appetizing and tries to spoon rice off my plate.  I move my plate out of his reach.  First, I try the Crab Rangoons, normally a favorite of mine.  Ogre sees me and says, “Oh, I must’ve missed those.”  Nope, nothing missed here.  They were stale and chewy.  I take a bite of my sweet and sour chicken.  Cold.  And off a buffet line?!  Immediately, my stomach is saying, “Nooo! what are you doing??”  I agree with my tummy and put the chicken to the side, no more of that.  The fried rice is also kind of funky.  It’s dried out.  Should I keep eating, I wonder?  I keep trudging on, sacrificing my bowels for the blog.  Thankfully, the rest of my plate seems to be an appropriate temperature and doesn’t taste half bad.

Ogre gives Benjamin some of his lo mein.  Benji tries some, cries, and then tries it again, and cries again.  I give Ogre the usual stinkeye.  Ogre says that there must have been some of the black bean pork sauce on the noodles.  Apparently, it had jalapenos in it.  Ogre goes back up to the buffet line to get non-contaminated lo mein.  He tells me that there is some “fresh” items on the buffet line.  I raise an eyebrow and head up there.  I get the lo mein and some General Tso’s Chicken and steamed rice.  I am able to stomach this okay and decide I’m pretty much done with dinner. 

Meanwhile, Benjamin is totally digging on his lo mein.  Mina is using the lo mein noodles for other things. 

Mina with a Fu Manchu moustache


There are some tunes kickin’ overhead and Benji and I dance to It\’s Tricky.  I head back to the Buffet of Doom to pick up some Chinese Donuts (another item that is usually a favorite) and some cookies for Benjamin.  Nilla Wafers can’t be harmful.  Benjamin is very excited to see the “Coo-coos” and I give half of a donut to Mina.  Ogre gets some ice cream for the kids.  He puts chocolate sauce on Mina’s and she sweetly asks me, “Mommy, would you like to try some of my delicious sundae?”  I decline.  Benjamin asks me the same question in his own little way.  He shoves his spoon in my directions and says, “Mmmm.”  I concede.

Benji subu's mommy

Mina finishes up her donut and we head out of the hot zone.


The food

For a buffet, I would say that it had below average food.  It wasn’t just my concern over the temperature of food that is just sitting out, the tastiness wasn’t there for even the dishes that seemed appropriately hot.  Ogre came here seeking Mushi Pork, and probably should have just ordered off the menu, but we opted for the buffet.  I can’t speak to the quality of their “off the menu” items, but I’m not really willing to come back for it at this point.  The buffet is $5.95 per person, so that is rock bottom cheap (although quality might be right there with it). 

There are no children’s choices.  Typically, though, you can find items on a Chinese menu that kids will eat. 


The service

It was buffet service, but they’re attention to drink refills was lacking.  Definitely not stellar, but not the worst we’ve had.


The kids

So I’d say not very kid friendly.  Definitely nothing that stood out to welcome kids or keep them entertained.  You will be able to find items on the menu and buffet line that your kids will like -I’m not sure if I want to risk the buffet line for the kids though. 


Rants, Raves, and Ramblings

Let me start by saying that Ogre and I disagreed on this restaurant’s star quality.  He wanted to give it 2 stars.  I’m giving it 1 star.  His argument is that if someone suggested they go to this restaurant, he’d say, “Sure, it’s not that great, but I’ll go.”  I told him that there is no way that I, as a mother, pediatrician, or friend, could recommend this restaurant to anyone and I would not go here if someone suggested it. 

I realize that karma may be present with this post.  I write a bad review.  I get bad GI upset.  Awesome.


And now, our fortunes:

Ogre: Through greater effot and hard work a precious dream comes true.

Grace: Traveling this year will bring your life into greater perspective.

Benjamin: Anyone can memorize things, but the important thing is to understand it.

Mina: The secret of staying young is good health, and lying about your age.

-Without missing a beat, Mina smiled, and sheepishly said, “I’m six.”

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