Wok Box
736 17th Avenue SW

Hours of operation: Mon - Wed, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Thus - Sat 11 a.m. - late., Sun 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Rating: ** 1/2
Price range: $
Reservations: Yes
Client negotiations: No
Lunch w/co-workers: Yes
Social Lunch: No
Quick solo lunch: Yes
Time in: 2:00 p.m.
Ordered: 2:10 p.m.
Food arrived: 2:20 p.m.
Time out: 2:40 p.m.
Total time: 40 minutes
Low $: Egg Roll, $1.50
High $: Asian Feast, $39.99
Lunch menu: Same menu, daily lunch sets
Licensed: Yes

I’m bored of eating out in Calgary — mainly because I am consistently underwhelmed by the mediocrity of restaurants in this city. As our city grows, shouldn’t our selection of good eateries grow with it? Not yet, apparently.

On Sunday, a couple friends and I tried Wok Box on 17th Avenue, which is an inexpensive, “fast-food” type take on Asian-style food. Nearly everything they offer on their menu is cooked in a wok.

The menu posted behind the counter at Wok Box had those of us in line asking each other how to order, or as one fellow put it: “What’s up with the menu here?” They would do well to explain it more clearly. The jist of it is, you order a type of sauce for your stir fry, and from there pick your meat and noodle type. It sounds simple, but somehow it’s confusing for first-timers.

I was feeling unadventurous, and despite the very friendly staffer’s suggestions to try the Mongolian stir-fry lunch box, I went with black bean ($6.49). It was OK at best — but for a dish that is listed as having broccoli and other veggies, it was seriously malnourished. I think I counted a vegetable total of three carrot slices, three snow peas and one water chestnut.

The ginger beef ($9.99) we shared was pretty good — but was drowning in sauce and not very fresh. My friend Sara seemed to enjoy her Kung Pao stir-fry.

All in all, Wok Box is a cool concept and a welcome addition to the 17th Avenue dining landscape. I do, however, think their food quality could be a bit better. Maybe I should just avoid the black bean and dive into more adventurous culinary options next time.

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