Golden Wok and Chinese Homestyle Cooking Both good Lunch options

Bringing a sack lunch from home every day can get rather boring. Fortunately, there are a number of restaurants in Ames that students — upperclassmen only: sorry, underclassmen, not your time yet, with “Open Lunch” can go to switch it up . Many restaurants serve traditional Chinese dishes. Chinese Home Style Cooking and the Golden Wok are two within reasonable driving distance of the high school. With this in mind, we visited these restaurants not only to try the food, but to see if students would be in a hurry to get back to class. Chinese Home Style Cooking and Golden Wok are both located in Iowa State University’s “Campustown”: Chinese Home Style between the former Fighting Burrito and Swift Stop on Lincoln Way, and Golden Wok on the corner of Welch Avenue and Hunt Street. Both are nearly the same distance from Ames High. The first stop on our lunchtime quest was Chinese Home Style Cooking. The simple and efficient ordering procedure used is a great feature for those in a hurry: order and pay at the counter, seat yourself and the meal is brought to you. Hot tea and water are free with the meal, with other soft drinks and juices available for purchase. Both dishes we ordered, chicken lo mien and sesame chicken were delicious. However, there was a disagreement over whether to use chopsticks or a fork. One of us wanted to be a traditionalist and used the ceramic chopsticks, while the other was more “American” in her choice of utensils. Decorations included Chinese-styled lanterns, Chinese calendars hanging from the walls and window art depicting nature scenes. Also, the menu was translated in English and Chinese. Music from Star 102.5 was played. Lunch for each of us was $6-some. However, do plan accordingly if trying to eat there and drive back in one lunch period. You might be cutting it close on time. Next on our restaurant hit list was the Golden Wok. The restaurant is on the second story of the building. A wall of windows on the front of the building allows customers the chance to “people watch” while enjoying their meal. The sit-down dining style used is similar to other formal, dining experiences. Each lunch included the ordered dish, a cup of soup, an egg role with sweet and sour sauce and a drink. Everything was scrum-diddly-umscious, and the food was brought to us five minutes after ordering. Perhaps a “golden wok” has magical and speedy cooking powers. The dining area is surrounded by a wooden wall with scenes of animals etched into glass on top. Chinese dragons and patterns are carved into the back of the chairs, and other Chinese art is included in the décor at the restaurant. Golden Wok also played music from Star 102.5. Lunch for each of us was $7-some. A student could make it back for class in one lunch period if time isn’t wasted. With our quest complete we are left with a simple conclusion. Both Chinese Home Style Cooking and the Golden Wok are tasty options to break up the mundane school day and habit of bringing lunch from home. Rating for Chinese Home Style: 5 out of 6 Rating for the Golden Wok: 5.5 out of 6