We were furniture shopping in the 96th and I-69 corridor and decided to grab lunch. I was running out of places to blog, so instead of going to Noodles & Co., I suggested we try King Chef which is next door. It was a while back, but my brother had mentioned that the food was pretty decent there. I should have called him before we actually went in because the restaurant had since changed owners and the food isn't as great as it used to be. Although I can't fault him for this suggestion, he did steer us in the wrong direction in what is to this day the WORST dining experience I have ever had. This was well before my blogging days, and I had always wanted to work in a reference to said experience into a post. The place was El Sol del Tala on East Washington St. We must have either gone on a bad night, because this place is historically rated as one of the better Mexican restaurants in the city. The service was atrocious and the food was even worse. The chicken was still pink. The food came out cold. It was just very bad. So the tie that binds El Sol de Tala and King Chef is my brother.
King Chef was very clean. The staff was friendly and welcoming, Where it lacked was the most important piece of a restaurant, the food. They are very generous with their portions for the price. You get soup, an egg roll, fried rice, and an entree for under $6. Where I used to base Chinese restaurants on how good their General's Chicken is, I have had too many bad experiences with General's Chicken and now I go with the Kung Pao Chicken. It is simply chicken, peanuts, and veggies in a spicy sauce. When my plate arrived, I was able to pinpoint how they can have their price point so low. They load up the veggies. I have never had a Kung Pao chicken with diced celery and carrots before, but this had ample amounts of both. I really don't like cooked celery in anything but soups and stews. I think it overpowers the dish. This was the case here. Each bite was mostly carrots and celery I found myself digging around and just eating the chicken. The egg roll was huge. I probably should have eaten that first, because it was the more enjoyable part of my meal. Like the entree, it was full of veggies.
The restaurant was very clean. The service was quick. Our server was friendly. I was watching an old episode of Top Chef this week, and they mentioned you go to a restaurant for the food, and come back again because of the service. If only the food was better, I would make a return trip.
"I was EAting at a Chinese restaurant downtown. There was a dish called Mother and Child Reunion. It was chicken and eggs. And I said, I gotta use that one." - Paul Simon