Ok. I take my words back. I have found fancy Chinese food that is done well at a great price in a great atmosphere with a great menu and great service and egg rolls to die for!
So, right across the street from PF Chang’s in Schaumburg (at Woodfield Mall) is a place called Big Bowl. It too, like PF Chang’s is an upscale Chinese/Thai chain restaurant and oh man, it blows PF Chang out of the water.
Shall we start with the walk-in. The atmosphere here at Big Bowl is more laid back, just slightly, with the typical red walls, cool “Asian paper light fixtures” and paper trays made into light gobos in the one room and mixed seating types.
Their menu is made up of: appetizers/small items/drinks, main menu, and then create your own stir fry. Our waitress proceeded, since we said we hadn’t been there, to point out all their “hit” items on the menu. One of those items happened to be the chicken egg rolls and me, being one to always want to try an egg roll at a restaurant ordered those. The other thing I recently wanted to get was some Pad Thai. So I ordered the chicken Pad Thai hoping it didn’t taste like the one at Noodles and Co (didn’t like it).
Their drink menu includes homemade ginger ale and lemonades however they aren’t free refill drinks which made me slightly sad however, they do have a homemade hibiscus tea which I’m told is very good and a regular brewed iced tea.
So, then came the appetizers. It was love at first sight. The egg rolls. They’re nearly indescribable. The shells were perfectly crunch, perfectly amazing, perfectly slightly salty. The insides. They were real chicken, not the paste filler type chicken and the cabbage was actually present. The two rolls were sliced on a diagonal and stacked presented with a sweet and sour sauce and a mustard sauce. I am absolutely in love with these egg rolls. Never before have I experienced egg roll perfection such as this. No where else. So, pretty much, I could have left after having ordered another plate of these and been completely happy with Big Bowl, but alas, I waited for my entree, the Pad Thai I have wanted to have for so long (haha, ok, like three days).
Pad Thai came. One thing I didn’t like about PF Chang’s is the presentation makes it seem like you’re not getting a whole lot of food with some of the items (crunchy honey shrimp comes to mind) but not here. I got a plate FULL of pad Thai. And what to say about it’s taste? Slightly spicy, slightly sweet, slightly citrus, totally awesome! Noodles weren’t rubbery, weren’t mushy but perfect. It definitely had well balanced flavors and it didn’t skimp on them either. Would so order this again, but sadly, I wanna try some more of their stuff! 🙂
So…this place is definitely my favorite Chinese restaurant; a spot that was only briefly filled by another restaurant until the English barrier got annoying. I completely and totally recommend this place for a nice Chinese meal if that’s what you’re looking for. Don’t go to PF Chang’s. Go here. Order the egg rolls. Order the lettuce rolls (they looked great). Order the Pad Thai. Just order it all, if you can!