Asian lunch stop results in excellent lunch
By Bubba Scott, GLOB Correspondent
Editors Note: Farmer Bubba Scott is a container vegetable farmer. To help support the farm, he is a P.H.D., Professional Home Developer, AKA The House Doctor.
It was a long over due lunch out for GLOB Master Mike and me. Mike chose the Asian Wok & Grill (AW&G) for our noon lunch time destination. It was the first visit to this far eastern lunch place for both of us. I like that. I felt like we were modern day food explorers, tracking prize lunch trophies in uncharted GLOB territory.
Upon arriving at the AW&G Archer Rd. location, just down from the Five Guys burger shop, I started having my doubts. Here's this little 'walk-up-counter' restaurant in a crowded strip mall, easily unnoticed, that is supposed to be creating excellent Asian lunches.
Looking inside I noticed the lunch entrees were under glass at the main counter, sort of like a buffet. You know, like an all you can eat lunch experience. I also noticed a sign on the front of the glass that read 'free samples.'
I was thinking the GLOB Master had taken me to just another fast food place, like all other fast food places. You know, the 'greasy and all you can eat' type of location. The kind of lunch spot hungry people seek out when they only have 30 minutes to eat.
When we walked in, we were greeted with smiles from our servers. Now that's always an immediate plus on my score sheet. Mike introduced himself as the GLOB Editor and explained that we were there to have lunch and to report to Gainesville's GLOBers exactly what made the AW&G different from other Asian lunch spots.
Before Mike could finish talking, we were handed some food samples on toothpicks to try. Now think about it. When anyone can stop the GLOB Master in the middle of a asentence, they must have something to offer.
I noticed right away that this little diner was real clean, and there were not a lot of unnecessary items crowding the table tops. You know, things like salt and pepper shakers, Tabasco bottles, or American soy sauce.
When it comes to Asian eateries, I don't think they need any additional condiments to make the food taste better. The bare tables were telling me they put all the emphasis on the cooking being done in the kitchen to prepare our lunch.
I always check the serving spoons on an Asian buffet as an indicator of the quality of the food - I check if they look wet or dry, in which makes the spoons look clean. Asian food is supposed to be served on the dry side. That is, unless it's soup. Remember, Asian food is eaten with chopsticks. If the food has so much juice or sauce you need a spoon, it's probably something which you can still use chopsticks on and you can lift the bowl up to take a drink.
Mike ordered Pepper Steak and I ordered General Tso's Chicken with veggies and fried rice (topp photo). Like mine, his veggies were fresh, crisp, bright. and green. The GLOB Master quickly mixed all his food together not understanding the value of enjoying each lunch component flavor separately.
I tried a variety of AW&G's fried and wok style chicken and pork (bottom photo). The meat and chicken AW&G prepare is authentically Asian in texture, flavor and presentation. The noodles and spring roll I ordered were prepared just right and to my complete satisfaction.
This lunch outing added up to a what I would expect from all Asian restaurants I visit. I always expect that each item on my plate should complement the other. The Asian Wok & Grill does this to perfection.
All my angst on arriving at this lunch stop was washed away by one of the better Asian lunches I have had in quite some time.
This is a place I'll put very high on my list of 'return' visits.
Uh oh, I missed one very important excellence indicator at the Asian Wok and Grill. The entire time Mike and I were eating, the front doors opened continuously with new customers ordering, picking up, and taking out their Asian lunch surprises.
This tells me good food is hard to stay away from, and GLOBers know a good lunch stop when they see it.
The Pluses and Minuses of the Asian Wok and Grill
Asian Wok and Grill + Indicators: Perfectly prepared authentic Asian cuisine.
Asian Wok and Grill - Indicators: I need more reasons to be on this side of town at lunch time.
Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Asian Wok & Grill. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!
- Phone Number: 505-5757
- Address: 3314 SW 35th Blvd., Gainesville, Florida
- Urban GLOB Location: Archer Road
- Web Site: Asian Wok & Grill
- Latitude: 29.629690
- Longitude: -82.373529