Rice Bowl's Menu Writes Checks Its Food Can't Cash

Categories: Cheap Bastard

rice bowl exterior.jpg
Photos by Alice Laussade
Rice Bowl Express, 11419 Garland Road, is fast and cheap. How could Cheap Bastard not love it? By eating there, unfortunately.


Times I was like, "Is that a hooker? Yes. Is that also a hooker? Yes.": 12
Trucks in the Fiesta Mart parking lot next door count: 21

I've driven past Rice Bowl Express a million times on my way to the Dallas Ourlawnwillneverlooklikethisbo​retum. This time, I saw their signage boasting orange chicken for $3.99 and I thought, "Why the dong not?"

The guy on the intercom at Rice Bowl Express expected me to know what I was going to order as soon as I rolled up, so I knee-jerk ordered the orange chicken and an egg roll. My total was five bucks. (Yes, they take credit cards.)

After you order, the drive-through takes you around the back of the building for a scenic tour of the trash and towels stacked outside the kitchen. Mmmm. The smell of dead General Tso plus fonky egg drop soup. Make one last left turn and that's where you'll find the pick-up window, with someone already ready with your food. That was quick. A little too quick, actually.

rice bowl food.jpg
A feast for the eyes, not the mouth.
In my experience, the general rule with mom 'n' pop drive-throughs versus chain restaurant drive-throughs is that at the mom 'n' pops, if they're making the food fresh to order, it takes a little longer to get your food.

When I opened the big plastic bag with my food in it, I saw a Rice Bowl Express take-out menu. Its headline: "We serve the best and freshest Chinese food in town." That's a bold combo statement, y'all. I really hoped it was true.

It wasn't. The egg roll was crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside and there was a strange aftertaste about it that said, "I think I'm fried in super-old grease. Yeah. Yeah, I

rice bowl fortune.jpg
Find what? That's the important question.
am." And maybe with less sauce, the orange chicken wouldn't have been so soggy? I was upset by the mediocrity of this box of Styrofoam-ed food, especially since the dang menu hyped me up and said it was the best in town. It was like that time I believed the preview for Haywire. Yeah, I know it immediately looked shitty to everyone else, but I still had to try it out. And as soon as Gina Carano spoke, I was like, "DAMMIT, ME!!"

On the Chinese food scale I'd put it at better than Panda Nutspress, but worse than Jumbo Super Buffet (mostly because of its bad-ass name).

My fortune cookie said, "Those who seek will find." I'll keep seeking.


Location Info

Rice Bowl Express

11419 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant


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15 comments
cp
cp

So, Alice..... does this mean you live in Garland? Pleasze say no. 

mmarks
mmarks

My husband will not (repeat NOT) allow me to eat at a Chinese buffet. Not now, not EVER. I don't even indulge in Chinese fast food like Panda or Rice Bowl because it's not worth two days of exploding intestines for a $3.95 special. I don't know how you do it.

East Dallas Res.
East Dallas Res.

10 years ago that was The China Bowl and lines were around the corner. Cheap price, good  food. China Bowl is now around the corner off Jupiter in a new building. Only people that eat at Rice Bowl are looking for cheaper food.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Im consistently amazed at the risks you take in every hole in the wall in this town...thank you for taking those bullets Alice...You are forever in our debt ;)

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Is Jumbo Super Buffet the one on Park next to Bed Bath & Beyond?

TLS
TLS

I'm beginning to think you're not human.  Anyone that eats what you eat (and worse, seeks out what you eat) and doesn't get sick must be all nuts and bolts.  Definitely the nuts part.

primi timpano
primi timpano

 Like all forbidden things in life, don't tell him.

Alice Laussade
Alice Laussade

Is this new China Bowl location any good? The lines still there? (I hope.)

Alice Laussade
Alice Laussade

The only time I've ever had killer food poisoning was after eating free samples at Eatzi's. 

I think my body's beginning to reject normal-people food.

James Davenport
James Davenport

I ate at the new China Bowl location and it was good.  Cash only... I have also eaten at Rice Bowl.. China Bowl is much better I think.

Ed D.
Ed D.

In the former Bennigan's? Yeah, that place is pretty good.

primi timpano
primi timpano

 I go to that BBB and have always been intrigued by the JSB signage, which is as bad ass as the name.  Will give it a try next time.

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