No, we did not stop eating or eating out. But, now that it's once again freezing outside and I have to spend about two hours each Saturday sitting against the wall on the hardwoods watching both my kids play Y basketball ... I once again have time to update the world on our dining adventures. And, I shall begin with last night at the Wokery.
We ate at the Wokery for a pragmatic reason--it was near the IMAX theatre where we were headed to see Frankenweenie and folks seemed to like it on Urban Spoon and Yelp. Apparently it has been around forever, but as we approached, things were not promising: the Wokery occupies a spot in a nearly empty strip mall right next to the Pioneer Bingo Hall. However, as soon as we opened the door, our spirits lifted, and we knew awesomeness awaited!
The decor of the Wokery is straight out of the late 70s, and the menus with taped up black covers had a print date of 1983. When our super friendly waiter took our order, he opened with "talk to me" and tempted my children with "kiddie cocktails." (My daughter loved hers so much, she stood at the table finishing it as the rest of us walked out the door. She's requested we make them at home.) We sat next to the official "Wokery," a glass walled room in the corner with a pass through window to the kitchen: ingredients are passed through in aluminum tins, cooked in gigantic flaming woks by a single chef, who took time to wave at the kids as they stood at the windows watching him cook their meals.
We started with a Chinese restaurant staple for my family: pork fried dumplings. They were firm and crisp with lots of pork filling and a nice soy/ginger sauce. As my daughter exclaimed, "they are so good!" She also got the chicken soup with rice, which she proclaimed as "fine." My husband and I split a Tom Kha Gai soup, which was a bit too sweet and not very spicy.
The Wokery has a kids' menu. My son ordered the sweet and sour chicken and my daughter the pork low mein off that menu. He liked the chicken but not the sauce; she liked his more than hers. She also really liked the pork fried rice we ordered for the table (another family staple).
My husband ordered the garlic chicken. It had a nicely spiced red sauce with firm yet tender broccoli. I ordered pork with vegetables: large slices of roast pork, mushrooms, broccoli, corn, onion, and more in a lightly seasoned sauce.
Was it the best Chinese food we've had in Rochester? No. Would we go back next time we went to the IMAX theatre? You bet. The service was wonderful; the ambience, perfectly funky; the wok room, on fire; the kiddie cocktails, addictive!