18 Jun 2010 @ 7:12 PM 

Ok, so again we’re not updating quite as often as I would like, and I have the best of intentions. But you know how it is – life gets in the way.

LIFE, man.

Grand China Buffet – Roughly 112th & Chicago (by Parable book store).
Ok, people. Don’t roll your eyes. It’s a buffet. It’s a CHINESE buffet. Sounds a LOT like China Buffet right across Dodge street at 114th. But you know what? WOW. This place offers the standard Chinese buffet, Mongolian barbeque, and…wait for it…SUSHI! Not the premade sushi a lot of buffets have, but fresh, prepared on-site where you can see it, sushi. I’m not going to lie – it’s not on par with our favorite sushi, but you know what? It’s not half bad! Their buffet is expansive, with many, many selections including some non-Chinese options. My personal favorite? Their coconut shrimp. AWESOME. They also have the standard crab legs at dinner, and all the Blue Bunny ice cream you can handle for dessert! SO – as buffets go, it’s a win. The restaurant is clean, the staff has been very attentive on the several occasions we’ve gone. The food is buffet food quality – but not bad, and plentiful. I’m going to give this one a solid 4 napkin rating. It is definitely well worth it.

Posted By: The Critical Wife
Last Edit: 18 Jun 2010 @ 07:12 PM

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 06 Jun 2009 @ 5:27 AM 

I know we’ve mentioned Hiro Sushi a time or two.  There’s a reason for that.  From the moment you walk through the door at Hiro, you are transported into a serene, beautiful world that delites the senses.  From the design of the restaurant itself, to the wonderful service, to the amazing food, there is no aspect of Hiro with which we can find fault.  Ok, that’s not entirely true.  They’ve become pretty popular, and it’s not as easy to pop in and get a table anymore!

One thing we have failed to mention here due to our pure love of their sushi is that Hiro DOES serve many other non-sushi items!  While we most frequently enjoy their sushi (Wasabi Stingers, Baby.  Wasabi Stingers.), The Critical Wife’s pregnancy, and occasional lunacy have driven us to order other things from Hiro’s Menu.  I can’t say that we’ve ever been sorry.

Over our five years of patronage, we have enjoyed both the Japanese and Chinese food served at Hiro.  This post, however, is specifically about the Chinese Menu.  The dishes we have most recently tried are Milton’s Chicken, Imperial Chicken, and the Peanut Butter Chicken.

The first thing you will notice about Hiro Sushi’s Chinese food is the extremely high quality ingredients.  Each dish is cooked to order, meaning that your food hasn’t been sitting around in a warmer, flash fried at the last minute, and served gooey or mushy after reheating.  The chicken is beautiful white meat – freshly cooked and not at all “ambiguous”.  There are no nasty bits or questionable pieces floating around in these dishes.  On top of that, the flavor overall will leave you amazed and impressed.  I challenge you to try Hiro’s Chinese food and tell me you’ve ever had better.

Price-wise, Hiro’s Chinese food may be a few dollars more than your average Chinese restaurant.  The thing is?  It is so worth it.  Every bite is fresh, hot, flavorful, and cooked just for you, when you ordered it.  The owners’ pride in their restaurant once again comes through in every dish.

Plusses:  Hiro’s Chinese food is by far the best we’ve had, and we have eaten A LOT of Chinese food, in a lot of cities, with a lot of “Ambiguous Chicken”.  The owners are also a big plus, as is the spectacular service we’ve come to expect at Hiro.

Minuses:  The only one we can force ourselves to come up with is that Hiro has gotten very busy.  Thankfully, the owners are opening a second restaurant in the Old Market area – so we expect this mini-minus to be resolved soon!

Overall Impression:   You will not find better Chinese food in all of Omaha than that served at Hiro Sushi.  The biggest problem is picking just one dish.  So we recommend choosing several.  Have we mentioned it’s also great cold the next morning?

Posted By: The Critical Wife
Last Edit: 25 Jun 2009 @ 03:56 AM

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 21 Aug 2007 @ 5:14 PM 

BoBo China (156 and Q Street)

It’s time to redeem myself in the area of Chinese cuisine. I have a place I like to hang out in believe it or not and it’s called BoBo China. I have been going there for about a year and a half. I spotted it while going into Bag and Save one day and always said that I wanted to go in there… It only took me a year and a half to do so. (Bad choice on my part).

When you walk in, you notice the poster board specials taped to the wall, and a white board listing other specials after entering the second door. The place is a pinkish beige color, and it’s rather unpretentious and simple. There are many small tables and one large table for larger families and groups. The menus are sparse and the server will go nab them off another table for you.

The waiter, and I don’t know his name, is a tall oriental man, very thin and lanky. I think he either owns the place or is related to who is. The first few times I went there, I wasn’t too sure about him. Very quiet and reserved. As I continued to frequent the place, is personality began to show. He’s funny. I like him a lot. Once you spend some time there, you will see it too.

ON TO THE FOOD!!!!

Ok, again, I live for eating…. Yes, I know, I should eat to live. Get over it. If I didn’t feel that way, this site would be boring!

Anyway… I have to say that this is one of the top 5 Chinese places in Omaha. The menu is inexpensive, you get a boatload of food, and the flavor in each action packed bite of my Kung Pao chicken is awesome. I can honestly say, that whoever is in back cooking should get a medal. The fried rice is fantastic, and the orange beef is really crispy and tasty. This last time we went there, someone ordered the peanut butter chicken. Oh man… that was tasty. One of my favorite things on the menu is their Egg Rolls. I don’t know if they make them there or what, but they have got the best flavor. The texture of the filling is real good, kind of becoming one piece of meat, instead of over-flowing with veggies that nobody likes.

The garbage to meat ratio (Veggies to meat) is rather low. There are tons of shrimp in my Kung Pao shrimp, and most of the other dishes that I have had are not overloaded with vegetation. They really focus on the flavor of what they are making instead of the profit from it. It’s fantastic. I am really impressed with the consistency and quality of every dish that comes out. The service is real good and they do a good job keeping everything moving.

Overall impression: It’s a little Chinese food hole in the wall that has really good food and good service. I give this place a solid rating! A “Must Have!”

Plusses: Great food, great prices, large portions. Good service and good location if you live in Southwest Omaha.

Minuses: Need menus for each table and sometimes the food doesn’t come out all at once. (Its not too bad, like a minute or two.) I think they need to get boards for their specials and perhaps a professional looking menu for behind the counter that doesn’t involve poster board and a sharpie marker.

I love this place…

~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 22 Aug 2007 @ 03:34 AM

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 21 Aug 2007 @ 4:26 PM 

(Never going) Back to Guangzhou. (98th and Giles)

There are times in a person’s life where you just want to “try something new” and you head to this new restaurant that you heard about. I don’t remember where it was advertised. It could have been on the radio or TV, I really don’t remember. I do remember that the food looked more like art than food. So the Critic Wife and I went with a few kids and decided to try it out.

As I have stated in a previous post, I believed myself to have a rather worldly pallet. So that being said, I want to put this disclaimer in: This is very traditional cooking for the Guangzhou province of China (At least I think so) and they have a very different sense of taste from some Texas raised, Omaha transplant who thinks he’s got a worldly pallet. This is a completely foreign culture that needs to be respected…

That being said and disclaimers made, I will now start my review:

As I walked in, my eyes were immediately drawn to the amazing decor. The tables were all hand carved, and they had this glass sculpture in the middle of the room that was breathtaking. Looking up, they had a “Best of Omaha” sign hanging from the ceiling for “The Best Mongolian Beef”. Then, the owner flicks on the lights, because at 12:30PM on a Saturday, nobody else was there and we thought that a little odd. We got a better look at the place and there were offerings and incense scattered around the room, some in various states of decay. Some of the window sills had toys and books on them, and I couldn’t tell if they belonged to a child, were for guests, or were part of some offering. But, being the “man of the world” that I am, I respected it, it didn’t stink, and there were no “flies” swarming the oranges, so I just nodded and went to my very beautiful table.

The woman who took our order was very nice and was very attentive. Our drinks were never empty, and she checked on us throughout the meal. She kept asking us how we liked the food, and we always responded well, even though… well… read the review.

My family ordered a dimsum combo, pot-stickers and spring rolls to start with. They were interesting. Very southern China… Good, fried and fast. They were nice. The presentation was artistic, and they had these seafood/crab-ball/corn fritter things that were very tasty. I was thinking that I wasn’t sure about the menu as a whole, but at least I had something that I found I liked.

So I ordered the BBQ Pork, my wife orders a noodle dish, my younger daughter orders the Mongolian beef, and my oldest orders Chicken Fried rice. It was a rather tame order, considering that this place had a more varied cuisine and they were voted “best Mongolian Beef” in Omaha, I figured it was a good bet that if one of us didn’t like our dish, the rest of us would share.

Out comes to food… Plate one, Plate Two, Plate three, and Plate four. (away walks the woman) “Daddy? This smells funny.” – “Pappa? Mine tastes strange” – “Honey, I really don’t like this.” – “Uhhh this tastes like *insert word for behind here*” The waitress walks up: “How is your food, you like?” Kids: “Not a word.” Wife: “It’s pretty good.” Me: (they always walk up when you take a bite) *thumbs up*.

None of us liked what we had. It was to say the least, not tasty at all. I would have to say that it was horrible. (Sorry!) There may be people that like this type of food, but the four of us weren’t one of them. So we all switched dishes, (except me, I know nobody would like what I had) and my wife took the Mongolian beef, the oldest got the noodle dish and the younger one got the fried rice. My wife took one bite of the Mongolian beef and almost threw up on me. The texture to her was way off, and the flavor had the aroma of rotting meat. I tried to get her to try the rice after that and she was too grossed out to even bother. I tried the fried rice and it had some goofy flavor to it that was unappetizing. The chicken had a strange texture to it as well, and my wife’s noodle dish had the same rotting meat smell and flavor that my BBQ pork had. It was not good at all. I tried the Mongolian beef that my daughter had and I have to say, it was icky. We made nice, and got all of our food put in to-go containers and hastily paid and made our exit. We got in the car and drove directly to a gas station that was next to the restaurant and promptly threw our leftovers away because the smell was making us ill.

Overall impression: If you are going to go there, I would suggest doing the dimsum and tea ceremonies only. It is a beautiful place with good service. The entrées that we ordered were not good.

Plusses: Great service, beautiful presentations of the food, the food was like artwork. The dimsum plates and appetizers were good. The place was beautiful.

Minuses: The entrées stank and were “unappetizing”. There was rotting fruit on the floor and window sill. (We understand it was an offering and want to be respectful of that, however, you shouldn’t have rotting oranges next to your potential customers). It’s way out on 98th and Giles.

(Apologies:) I am very sorry that I had to give your establishment such a bad review. We had very high hopes for it because we love to try new food. I am going to give you a better rating simply because the service was outstanding, your dim sum were good, and your decor (other than the fruit) was stunning.

Food – 2 Napkins (3 for appetizers, 1 for entrée)
Service – 4 Napkins

~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 22 Aug 2007 @ 03:35 AM

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