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Kira’s Number Two: American Chopstick

02 Apr

Update: American Chopstick has closed permanently.

The Time: Saturday, April 1st, 2006 7:30PMish

The Place: American Chopstick
We have eaten here several times before and enjoy it. Although other Mongolian BBQ places have a better selection (such as YC’s Mongolian Grill back in the Phoenix area), it’s kinda hard to screw up make your own stir-fry. This time we went with 2 friends, Neeraj and Kellan, who had also been there before. It has all you can eat Mongolian BBQ as well as a small Chinese buffet with 2 or 3 entrees. Supposedly you can order entrees from a menu, but we never have.

The Atmosphere:Interior of American Chopstick
Nothing fancy. Comfortable. A little bit grungy, but not dirty, I don’t think. They have booths and tables.

The Food:
Veggie, meat, and noodle stir-fry, crab rangoon, yummy doughnuts, water. The way this works is that you fill your bowl with as much veggies, meat, noodles, and sauce as you want, and then you give it to a guy who cooks it in front of you on a big flat grill thingy. There is a decent, but not great, selection of veggies, along with beef, pork, chicken, and sometimes some sort of seafood. I wish they had tofu, but they don’t. Also, their noodles are like spaghetti instead of rice noodles or other Chinese noodles that I am more used to. But it still tastes all right in the end. Other places I’ve been to you usually add your own sauces maybe with advice from the people working there. It seems like it’s more customary here for the cook to add the sauces, although you can make suggestions, such my usual ‘not spicy with extra garlic please’ (see Erik’s review). Generally it turns out well, and if it doesn’t, you can always try again since it is all you can eat.

American Chopstick's Chinese buffet sectionI very much enjoy crab rangoon, which they have in the Chinese buffet section. The ones here are usually pretty good here, although this time they weren’t very fresh. Asian doughnuts, or whatever they are called, are also always good, even if slightly overcooked. You can’t go wrong with fried dough covered in sugar.

The Service:
A waitress seats us and gets us drinks. She is attentive on the refills. The cook, however, is quite amusing. He seems to enjoy adding the sauces, and kinda looks at us weird when we try to do our own. And I think he was listening to my suggestions, although it seems like he doesn’t. We are always amused by the cook, although we’re not sure if it’s been the same guy each time.

The Price:
Something like $8 for dinner. It’s cheaper for lunch. Come hungry at it will be worth it.

The Rest:
Over all it’s a poor substitute for YC’s, but it still not too bad. It’s decent for vegetarians, although it would be better if they had tofu, and I’m pretty sure they cook the veggie stuff on the same surface as the meat. I appreciate the mini Chinese buffet, since I often get tired of eating the same bowl of food for an entire meal.

How Often Would I Go Back?
Every 3 weeks.  (what’s this?)

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