Thursday, August 25, 2011

37th and Woodlawn: The Asian Haven

I eat out for lunch quite often. I can probably count on one possibly two hands the number of times I've brought my lunch to work.

Let's face it, I don't cook often and when I do, it's not that good. I stick to the basics like spaghetti and meatballs, frozen pizza, spaghetti and chicken, pasta and chicken. If there was a TV show called "Can you cook better than a fifth grader?", I'd lose. Hell if there was a show "Can you cook safer than a fifth grader?", I'd lose that too. This is coming from a person who started fires at his parents’ house on two different occasions while cooking. Only one they knew about.....well until now.

I noticed on my lunch adventures that 37th and Woodlawn is a food haven for Asian food. There are five different places to go if you're craving some of that high sodium delicacy. Tsunami, China Go, Great Wall, Samurai and Dillon's. I've been to all five and I thought it'd be nice of me to rate all five of them from least favorite to most favorite. Notice I kept the glass half full and said least favorite instead of worst to best. I'm turning over a new leaf readers and readettes! Stay positive or try to at least!

Let the countdown begin

5.) Samurai Japanese Grill
Menu - http://www.urbanspoon.com/u/menu/1336119?p=0

This place is located a block east of Woodlawn at the SE corner of 37th and Woodlawn. Near the Taco Bell and connected to the Dollar Tree building.

Samurai is the only place of the bunch that serves sushi. They have four different rolls (California, Samurai, Dragon, and Snowcrab). Avoid. Avoid. Avoid. While it's not horrible, it's not that good either. Their sushi lacks flavor. Most people who go their stick to their Entree menu which consists of Teriyaki Chicken w/ Broccoli, Hibachi Chicken w/ mushrooms, Teriyaki Steak w/ broccoli, Hibachi Steak w/ mushrooms, Shrimp w/ broccoli, and scallops w/ broccoli. All of those meals come with fried rice and sweet carrots. It's very Americanized Asian food. Stuff you could easily make at home. For instance, fry some rice, cook some chicken, and steam some broccoli. You're done. Samurai's entrees, which I usually order if I'm there, is also pretty bland. No stand out flavor that makes me really want to go back. For a while there, when Samurai was one of the few spots at that corner, I did eat there if I was in the area. But since more options came up, I've changed my mind.

If you're looking for good Asian food, read options, 4, 3, 2 and 1.

4.) China Go

Located at the SE corner of 37th and Woodlawn just south of Walgreens.

China Go is like your typical Dillon's Chinese food in my opinion, except it has its own storefront with seating. The people there are very nice and friendly. They have your typical array of Chinese food like teriyaki chicken, Szechuan chicken, sweet and sour chicken, kung pao beef, etc. You get very good sized portions for everything you order.

But why did I rate this below Dillon’s? For the simple lack of side items. The prices are about the same as Dillon's except at China Go there are two things missing. You don't get an egg roll, spring roll, or crab rangoon. And worst of all, they charge you for a fortune cookie. I love reading my fortunes and look forward to that more than the meal itself!

China Go is still a good spot to go but if you want those extras, go across the street.

3.) Dillon's

Located at the SW corner of 37th and Woodlawn. You can't miss it. BIG BIG BUILDING that says Dillon's on it. Walk inside and stay to your right.

Who here hasn't had Dillon's Chinese food once in their life? It's much better than people would expect. I'm not sure if it's a mental thing but I think Dillon's Chinese food tastes better than China Go and possibly better than some of the stuff you find at a Chinese Buffet! They have all the staples, you get Dillon’s gas points with your food order, they offer extra sides AND they have fortune cookies. For free. Hey did I mention they give you a fortune cookie for free?

The menu items are your basic staple of Chinese food items you find anywhere. If you go around lunch time, it's all pretty fresh too since they get busy. If you're eating there, the seating is limited. I believe there were 3-4 tables last time I ate there for lunch. And worst of all if you're eating there by yourself for lunch, sometimes little kids shopping with their parents may point at you and laugh like you have no friends. It makes for a sad lunch :(

2.) Great Wall
http://www.greatwall37.com/
Their website has coupons and music you can really jam to!

Located at the NE corner of 37th and Woodlawn in the same little area as Subway.

What sets this place apart from all the other places is their extensive food menu. Nearly anything Asian will be on this menu outside of Jackie Chan. They offer a lunch menu, wings, many different appetizers, seven different types of soup, three different Moo Shu Dishes (which I have no clue what that is), tea, yogurt drinks, shaved ice, and milkshakes which I don't believe brings all the boys to the yard.

Seriously, this place has nearly everything. The food quality is fresh, everything is cooked upon ordering. Some people are turned off by their atomic yellow rice. I'm not, if I get sick, I get sick. It happens. I've been meaning to ask why their rice is such a different color but part of me may not want to know.

Its great food and a place I've frequented many times. Not just that location either. Some of my favorites there include the Pepper Steak Meal, Hot and Sour Soup, Wonton Soup, and their spicy Singapore Rice Noodle which is excellent.

People there are very friendly as well and they have a box of fortune cookies so you can take as many as you'd like! I only take one cause two fortune cookies might equal bad karma!

That brings us to the obvious number one.

1.) Tsunami Char-Broiled Teriyaki
http://www.tsunami-teriyaki.com/

I have lost count of all the times I've been here. Absolutely love this place and when I go eat lunch with friends, this is one of the main places we frequent.

They offer a variety of different dishes. Their menu is online too to check out. My favorites there are the Pad Thai, Night Market Noodle, Thai Basil Pepper dish, Teriyaki Bowl, salad rolls and Pho. Now their Pho isn't as good as the Pho-specialty spots in Wichita but it’s the only option I have at 37th and Woodlawn.

I usually call my orders ahead and they have it all ready for me when I arrive and bring it to my table. Great service there as well. They offer tea for free and their ice is the crushed ice you can eat. It's like its own built in desert! The worst part about Tsuani? No fortune cookies.

If I had to choose a place to go eat for lunch and they wanted Asian food, 8 times out of 10 I would vote for Tsunami. It's that good and the most recommended place of the 5 by Wichita By E.B.com

That folks is our Lowdown of 37th and Woodlawn's Asian Haven of Food.

While not located at that corner if you drive all the way down to 37th and Rock, check out Hot Stone Korean Grill. That place too is absolutely delicious and their lunch menu has all sorts of options. Stay away from the Spicy Octopus meal, I didn't feel so hot after eating that and my stomach can take almost anything outside of super dairy foods.

Would love to hear your thoughts on what your favorite is!

Hopefully the next blog that'll be up is the official Letter L.
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1 comment:

Adam said...

Great read!