Size does matter

Jim and Nancy do not disclose the fact that they will review a restaurant before they attend, ensuring their reviews are unbiased and uninfluenced by their position with the Sun Day.

Cosmetic companies have very clever ways of enticing customers to buy their products. Several times a year they offer a “Bag O’ Free Stuff” if you purchase a certain amount from their make-up technicians that look like nurses. One Saturday during their “Bonus Time,” Nancy decided to stock up on her war paint. While she was doing this, I sat in the Streets of Woodfield parking lot waiting patiently getting hangry (meaning hungry and angry), when I spotted a giant red bowl. This was on top of the Big Bowl Chinese and Thai Restaurant in Schaumburg and decided that’s where we’re going for dinner.

Big Bowl Chinese & Thai

1950 E. Higgins Road
Schaumburg 60173
(847) 517-881
www.bigbowl.com

Directions: Take Rte. 47 South to I-90 East to Rte. 53 South to Woodfield Drive Exit to Streets of Woodfield

Estimated Travel Time: 34 minutes

We arrived at 5 p.m. and there were only a few tables left. This is an upscale Asian restaurant with a modern décor. There are four parts to their menu, Chinese, Thai, Curries, and a Stir Fry Bar. With the Stir Fry Bar, you put in the veggies of your choice in a big red bowl, and the chef adds the protein of your choice, and cooks it to perfection.

For an appetizer this evening we decided to try their Homemade Chicken and Peanut Egg Rolls (2) for $6.50. These are hand rolled daily and served with sweet and sour sauce and mustard sauce. They were different from the normal egg rolls because of the peanuts and chicken inside. I didn’t care for them as much as Nancy did.

Jim was still a bit “hangry” so he decided to order a cup of Chicken Wonton Soup ($3.95). This turned out to be the deal of the evening. It was overflowing with crispy vegetables, two wontons, and jam packed with noodles. He said it was the best he ever had, but I had no desire to try it because of the floating fungi.

The Crispy Golden Tangerine Chicken caught Nancy’s eye, but it came with zucchini and she asked for a different veggie. The waiter said, “No problem.” He then returned minutes later saying they could not leave out the zucchini and asked if I would like something else. So she went with her standby of Sweet and Sour Shrimp ($16.95). This consisted of shrimp, pineapple, snow peas, red peppers, red onions, carrots, and served with rice. Fried rice was available for a $1 up charge and she asked if they could keep the fungi out of it. Again the waiter said, “No problem.” Minutes later he returned and said they couldn’t keep out the fungi. Nancy admitted defeat and went with the Shanghai Rice Noodles instead.

This was not the normal sweet and sour recipe because it had an overpowering flavor of lemongrass. In the Dining Duo’s professional opinion, this seasoning is akin to lemon juice mixed with cheap floral perfume that just overpowered the whole dish. Some people really enjoy it; we do not. The only part of this dish that she enjoyed was the shrimp; she said they were delicious.

Jim tried the Kung Pao Beef with Wrinkled Green Beans ($15.95). This was flank steak cooked with blackened chilies and chopped peanuts. He opted for the fried rice for a $1 up charge. The peanuts over powered the dish and be forewarned, do not eat the chilies. His Sweat Head Meter went off the charts when he mistakenly ate one and burned off more precious hairs on top of his never ending forehead.

It’s all a matter of personal taste, but we did not care for the seasonings in our entrees. Try it, you may like it. Evidently some people do like it because there was a long line of people waiting to be seated.

FYI: This is a handicap accessible venue.

The cost for this evening’s dinner was $53.87. Keeping the “hangry” husband happy, priceless…

We decided to play it safe for dessert and stopped at Portillo’s drive thru for some chocolate cake to take home with us. This is our most favorite chocolate cake in the whole wide world, and we don’t mind waiting through a long line in the drive thru.

Jim’s take: My soup was a meal in itself. The beef was a little “chewy” for my taste.

Nancy’s take: Unless the items are pre-made, I don’t understand why they couldn’t leave something out.

Have comments or restaurant suggestions for the Dining Duo? Send them an email at thediningduo@gmail.com.

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