With more than 200 plates to choose from, your taste buds will wok 'n' roll at Wok Cuisine. This Albany Park strip-mall stand, steps from the Brown Line, serves the best in Chinese cuisine, with a focus on Hunan, Szechuan and Cantonese styles. And we mean the best; in a mystery dining survey conducted by AboutFace
, Wok scored 98.15 percent, and was named one of the top 100 Chinese restaurants in the country.
In one of Chicago's most diverse communities, flooded with ethnic eateries, Wok works thanks to friendly service and quality plates at an affordable cost. Not to mention, the small stand (seats 20) remains spotless. Go ahead and rest your elbows on those wood-laminate tables, you won't find yourself glued to a coat of sweet and sour sauce as you experienced elsewhere. Shuffle your feet over stone tiles to the reflections of a Chinese guitar; you won't slip on a film of grease.
While waiting for your meal, comb your eyes over mint green walls; they match the lush shoots sprouting from exotic pots. They also mimic your divine avocado smoothie the owner, Tony Chen, mentioned was his favorite. He likely recommended your entree, sweet and spicy chicken wings ($7.95), his other fave. The platter also serves as the restaurant's bestseller, as it goes through 200 pounds of wings per week.
Busiest times occur during lunch hours, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The high traffic area helps, parading in students, couples, nurses and area business workers. However, the lunch specials ($4.95) don't include the restaurant's signature dishes like the sesame tofu and General Tso's tofu, both worth trying nonetheless (free hot tea served with each meal). While Wok delivers, residents outside the Albany Park area and closer to the Jefferson Park/Sauganash 'hoods may opt for Chen's other Chinese eatery, Hunan Spring.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: David-Anthony Gonzalez