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Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Adventures of Jack Jackson: Golden Wok

Golden Wok

27th & Y

It seems strange that I am a lifelong Lincoln resident, but had not been to the Golden Wok until just last month. I always knew it was there on the corner of 27th and Y in the blue-sloped Oriental roof, but I honestly thought it was vacant. You can’t see inside the windows, and the parking lot is never really full.

My dad suggested the place for lunch because it’s fast and cheap, the two qualities my dad likes most about lunch. It is fairly decent, which is also important to my dad, but not as important as being cheap and fast are.

As noted before, there is a parking lot. This ought to be a thrill for all Lincolnites, who think it is their God-given right to park within about 10 feet of wherever they are going. After the quick journey from the lot to the door, you are almost immediately greeted and seated. Everything is ship-shape and efficient.

The lunch deal is good: an entrée; a side (no thanks to the Crab Rangoon, I’ll have the egg roll please); and a soup, either egg drop or hot and sour. All of this comes in at under five bucks. While the soups are tasty, they suffer from the high viscosity endemic to many Chinese restaurants. Maybe they could put, say, only half of a cup of corn starch in?

My favorite Chinese dishes are anything General Tzo (Tso) [Dzo] cooks. Thank God for giving us General Tzo (Tso) [Dzo] and his amazing invention of coating foodstuffs with rice flour and frying ‘em up good. The chicken is actual chicken pieces, not that chewy, fatty gackle you might get at Taste of China. I think there is actual breast meat in there.

Also of note, the food comes to you immediately after it is plated. This is the closest I’ve seen to “wok hay.” Wok hay is the Chinese culinary concept of getting the food immediately from the wok and into your mouth, because it is supposed to be cooked at a high temperature and the heat helps all the diverse flavors mix and shine. The problem with most American Chinese restaurants is that building codes and other regulations only allow stoves to get half of the temperature they would in China.

I’m not saying that Golden Wok is doubling the heat and ducking OSHA, but I am saying that at least your food gets to you right off the wok, and it is the closest I’ve been to experiencing wok hay.

Yes, it appears Jack is alive and well. I'm kind of surprised Jack's dad ate at the Golden Wok since we're in McRib season. Anyone who knows Jackson the Elder knows he loves McRib.

My only experience with the Golden Wok was when I drove through about 7 years ago and a 10 year old Vietnamese girl was running the drive-thru. It was a little off-putting but she got the order right and counted the change back to me correctly which is a rarity in any restaurant.


Blogger Gary said...

Golden Wok is a great lunch bargain for Chinese food in Lincoln.

I recently found, however, the best General Tso's in Lincoln at Wok Express II on Sun Valley Boulevard toward Haymarket Park. You have got to try this lunch buffet. Fantastic potstickers too.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love and would highly recommend the Orange Beef at Golden Wok. The Crab Rangoon is pretty good - lighter than some places. They must use different oil for frying.

I was tempted once by the Salty Shrimp in the Specialties section, which is served with shells (making it tedious to eat) and sans any kind of sauce. Skip this selection and make it at home where you don't have to be self-conscious about using your fingers to peel the shrimp.


4:05 PM  

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