Mandarin Bistro – Restaurant Review
I’ve been wanting to try Mandarin Bistro for some time now, but its been pretty hard because its right next door to Joey’s Pizza, which I’m a big fan of! I finally made it, and it was nothing like I expected.
First of all, this is not a table service restaurant. It’s more of a takeout place, with a few tables up front (three, to be exact). Each table has four chairs, but I think it would be pretty crowded if there were a dozen people in there! It’s small.
I went up to the counter to order, and asked the young lady who worked there what was good. She told me “everything.” I tried another tact, and asked her what her favorite was. At this point, she appeared to get frustrated with me, and grabbed one of the paper to-go menus, opened it up, and placed it on the counter in front of me. Maybe there was a language barrier, or maybe she just didn’t want to be bothered with my questions.
I decided to go with my Chinese default – Mongolian Beef. I asked for it “extra hot”, and was informed that it came hot, and would I like it even hotter? ”Yes please, extra spicy!” I also chose hot and sour soup.
Before long, the food was delivered to us, in a styrofoam to-go box. No big deal, since dine-in service isn’t really their thing. I asked for some water, and was given a styrofoam cup of tap water, no ice. Not great, but at least it was wet.
The meal came with hot and sour soup, an eggroll, a wonton, and quite a bit of mongolian beef served on a bed of fried rice.
The soup was excellent, but HOT. Very hot. It maintained a ridiculously high temperature for a really long time, so I had to sip at it periodically while I was eating. I think the folks at Mandarin Bistro should tap their soup for power, and solve our global energy crisis. Not sure how it stayed so hot for so long, but it was pretty crazy.
The eggroll was pretty good, I liked the larger chunks of vegetables in it, as if it was hand chopped, not pushed through a food processor. The wonton was delicious as well – they did not skimp on the cream cheese! They gave me TONS of rice, and a good portion of beef. The Mongolian beef was decent, but not great, and after all that effort to order it extra spicy, I didn’t really feel like it was very hot at all! The rice was fairly average, and I was glad the beef had lots of sauce to mix in with it.
There was enough food that by the end of it, I was picking the bits of meat out of the rice, because I couldn’t finish it all.
For around $7 it was a pretty good deal, although when you are competing with Rong Cheng just down the street, where you can get full table service, better food, and ice in your water for the same price, I think you need to step up your game a little bit. For call ahead/pick up orders, this is probably a fine and convenient place, but If I were going to sit down and eat, I’d go someplace else.