Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WokChow--Knoxville




I never met an egg roll that I couldn't finish....until today. 

Reluctantly, I was taken to Wok Chow in Bearden.  I don't care for the "fast food" concept that many new restaurants have adopted.   Walk up to the counter, place your order;  then you are on your own to fend for napkins, silverware, find a table, get your own drinks all without the assistance of a wait staff.    I observed staff milling around, looking busy when they could have be waiting on tables, cleaning dishes, refilling drinks and EARNING TIPS!   

Hot & Sour Soup
We placed our orders at the cash register and found a seat.  A staff member did bring our soup ($2.50 per cup)  to the table.  The soup looked appetizing but upon first taste, we both found the soup very amateurish.   The flavor was lacking....a hint of sour in the background but nothing like it should have been.  The entire bowl had more of a thick beef broth consistency with a little "hot" in the forefront.  Our won ton noodles were stale.   Soon, our Egg Rolls ($3.75 for two) arrived and this had to be the first time I couldn't finish mine.  It was just dreadful....with a boxed grocery store frozen flavor. 


Kung Pao Beef @ $7.75
Pad Thai @ $7.50
Our entrĂ©es arrived in a timely manner.  The Pad Thai was good and we upped the hot level upon request.  The chef accommodated that request...wow, it was spicy hot.  The chicken had a very good texture, not rubbery.  My Kung Pao Beef was OK...but the overall flavor development was just missing, and the only way I can describe it would be the flavor just hadn't bloomed yet.  The dish had twelve or more Tien Tsin peppers which provided the "hot" but didn't contribute to flavor development.   The beef obviously had been prepared before hand since there were tough pieces that had not softened with the stir fry sauce.  


With the counter order system, I had to pay before the food arrived.   Total Price was $26.22.  I paid the price and must admit this had to be the MOST EXPENSIVE THAI LUNCH I have ever had in Knoxville.   There are dozens of other Thai restaurants in Knoxville that provide much better food, service and cloth napkins for much less.   After looking around the restaurant, I can understand why the place was practically empty for lunch.   The food quality just doesn't demand the price they ask.

   
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