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Beijing Restaurant

Update: Beijing is closed.

In a word: They were rather gracious to an army of hungry non-students, but then there was that ice water down the back thing...

The specs: #0028
Nine diners is a lot to paraphrase. Sue gave Beijing Restaurant an A; JM and Sam gave it a B; John R., John A. Sams, Jr., Renee and Nichole gave it a B-;  Kayla gave it  a C+ and Rose gave it a C. The average grade was a B- (see our grading rubric).

Latest Beijing Restaurant news and reviews

JM sampled the beef with peapods, and appreciated the family-style rice bowl. The water was served warm, to JM's chagrin (and Samantha's good fortune). Overall, he found Beijing Restaurant "good for what it is," and our waitress was good-natured in dealing with such a large party. His fortune was: "Your ability is appreciated."

Upon seeing the vast menu written on poster board and tacked to the wall, John R. commented that some darts might come in handy for choosing a dish. The cherry flavor in his sweet and sour chicken was good, but the dish suffered from a paucity of pineapple and came with too much clumpy rice. The lack of Coke products was also a downer. His fortune was: "Your cheerful outlook is one of your assets."

Kayla got the house special tofu and a taro smoothie (which turned out to be more like an Icee) to complement what the menu marked with a pepper icon as a spicy dish. She noted that her entree wasn't spicy at all, just "very red and oily." She liked the appetizers but not the entree's crunchy carrots, droopy broccoli and not-so-good tofu, though the mushrooms were okay. Her fortune was: "To effect the quality of the day is no small achievement."

Nichole got the egg with tomato, which came in an awesome boat-shaped dish and was quite tasty. The rice was a tad dry, the hot and sour soup good and peppery, but she discovered she doesn't actually like bubble tea. She also found it very cool that the chopsticks are sturdy reusable plastic. Her fortune was: "Patience is the key to joy."

Renee, who ordered the cashew chicken without mushrooms and a bowl of wonton soup, wrote a few concise comments.
"The chicken and cashew were good, but the steamed vegetables overpowered the sauce taste. The fact that my fortune cookie was true boosted the overall score.
wonton appetizers: good
wonton soup: okay
main meal: good
fortune: excellent
fortune cookie: stale"
Her fortune was "Your artistic talents win the approval and applause of others."

Though impressed by the big menu, Rose wasn't particularly happy with the orange chicken, commenting that it should have been given a "hotness" warning (contrast with Kayla's experience). Her fortune, in a cookie that "could have been more tasty," was: "Sitting toward the South may bring you good luck."

Samantha ordered the Szechuan chicken and wonton soup with a mango smoothie - again, more like an Icee, but the whole fruit chunks were good. She observed that they seemed to use the same red sauce for most entrees. The chicken was mediocre, and the button mushrooms atypical. She found the appetizers excellent and the portions and selection nice. She'd like to add: "Showers optional."

John A. Sams, Jr. tried the shrimp with cashews and an egg roll, commenting, "It was okay, better than expected for the location, but not great. Better with a small group, I'm sure." His fortune was: "Never bring unhappy feelings into your home."

Sue liked the experience best of all.  She had the cashew shrimp, wonton soup and the bubble milk tea.  She found the portions plentiful and very reasonable.  The tea was unique and tasty and she appreciated the availability of lunchtime dishes served at supper.  Her fortune was: "Nature, time and patience are the three great healers."

All in all, a mixed experience.  If you're downtown, you could do worse  than Beijing Restaurant.

Comments

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The secret dish that I discovered at Beijing was called something like Beef Ja Jeng, and was beef and a little brown sauce with some hearty noodles. Because it's a noodle and not a rice dish, it's a little harder to find on the menu, but Beijing was a staple of my early days at the Cardinal (which is hq'd right across the quad in Vilas Hall). As the years went by, I tended to seek out cheaper climes.

Just realized today that I confused A8 and Beijing Restaurant. As such, I will repost my comment from A8 here. I'm glad to see that Kayla agreed with my assessment.

Ordered: Hunan chicken and General Tso's chicken.

Received: Anonymous red-tinted Chinese Chicken A and Anonymous red-tinted Chinese Chicken B.

Grade: D-, in that at least it was edible.

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