The bros traveled to Hoover for a late lunch at local Chinese institution Mandarin House. It’s been in operation since 1976 which is longer than even Greg has been alive. Three bros could make it this week as Brad was visiting New York.
Greg: I have always known Mandarin House as “that old Chinese restaurant between Purple Onion and Sneaky Pete’s in Hoover”. I know it has been around since I was a little kid, but I have never eaten there. Inside the restaurant were all the classic decorations and nuances you would normally see in a Chinese restaurant. We took this lunch a little late, so there weren’t too many other customers. I wonder aloud how long the chip appetizer things had occupied each table. I did not sample one to find out if they were still fresh. We were able to slide in under the lunch special timeframe. I got an old standard, Sesame Chicken. The appetizer of Hot and Sour Soup came pretty fast and it wasn’t too bad. Very hot in temperature. The egg roll was pretty good as was the sweet and sour sauce. The Sesame Chicken arrived in about 10 minutes. When I eat Sesame Chicken, I enjoy the chicken texture to be crunchy. This version was not, but instead was very soft and chewy. Also, the sauce was extremely sour, without much sweet. I got a water to drink. In addition, this meal didn’t really pass the 3 hour test. The price ended up being $8 or so with tip, not bad at all for BLC standards. This wasn’t too bad and wasn’t too good, but I wouldn’t recommend you drive from Birmingham to have it for lunch. Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Bros
Joey: I was excited to make the first Birmingham Lunch Club trip to a Chinese restaurant. I’m a big fan of the lunch specials at Chinese restaurants as I can normally get an egg roll, soup, rice and a main dish for under $10. Luckily Mandarin House was just like every other Chinese restaurant and I was able to order the Mongolian Beef lunch special for around $7. The downside is there is not much differentiation between Chinese restaurants and nothing about Mandarin House stuck out to me. It was a fine dish, but it was the same one you can get at any Chinese place. Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5 Bros
Blake: The eggroll at Mandarin House was the best eggroll I have ever eaten. The hot mustard was incredible. Together, that were the high point. It was a lot of food for a very good price, but it was much too far for me to consider going again because I don’t have enough SkyMiles after burning through them all for this BLC stop. YOU SEE, I WORK JUST INSIDE THE CITY OF BIRMINGHAM ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF MOUNTAIN BROOK VILLAGE. IT IS A MORE THAN TWENTY MINUTE DRIVE TO HOOVER, ONE WAY, AND I AM TYPICALLY ONLY ALLOTTED 60 MINUTES FOR LUNCH, WHICH IS PROBLEMATIC.
I ordered the wrong entree, the garlic chicken, which was mostly a pile of mushrooms. It was only okay. I prefer Chinese buffets, and not just because I am a fatty, but I like getting a little lo mein AND fried rice AND random chicken product. I also like that meat on a stick thing. Also, I like soft serve ice cream at the end. OVERALL RATING: 2 out of 5 Bros
OVERALL SCORE: 2.66666666667 BROS