I grew up in Grand Forks, and one of my absolute favorite restaurants back in the 70's and 80's was the Shangri-La. I still get wistful and nostalgic thinking about their egg rolls and fried rice.
My S.O. and I had to drive through Grand Forks a couple months back, and I tried to bring him to some of my favorite places-- most of them are no longer in business, thanks to the flood of '97, as well as 20 years passing since I left Grand Forks. The Shangri-La was one of them. :(
I was excited to try out the Phoenix Wok, since I heard the cook from the Shangri-La was here, and the food was *cough cough* the same. I was sorely disappointed.
The menu seemed okay, but nothing moved me. They had a lunch buffet available, but I scoped it out and it was extremely limited- one hot table full of food, maybe 10 items, and most looked like beef, so I passed. If I'm going to have a Chinese buffet, I want a kazillion items with a huge variety. Not 3 entrees.
I ended up having the General Tso's chicken. Not bad, but not stellar. I'd give it 3 stars. You might want to order something else as a side, since an entire bowl of just sweet fried chicken chunks can be a bit much. At least they give you some white rice to go with it.
SO had the shrimp in lobster sauce.... OMG what a hot mess. His review was much more polite then mine. Honest to goodness, it looked like a bowl of vomit. It was a bowl full of nasty grey soup with little chunks of pork (???) in it, with a bunch of big shrimp floating on top. Totally unappetizing. I ended up being a trooper and tried it.... not good. It just tasted WRONG. He choked it down, mainly because we had a long drive ahead of us and just wanted to get out of there.
The highlight of the meal was the consomme soup. THAT, at least, was old-style Shangri-La, and it was incredibly yummy. If I'm ever in GF for an extended period of time, I would think about grabbing some take-out of just the soup and enjoying it at my hotel. But I don't think I will ever be going back to the Phoenix Wok. Maybe it was just a bad day, but since I only hit GF a couple of times a decade, I know there are many other places to explore. I really, REALLY wanted to like this place... just didn't happen.
BTW, when I paid for our meals, I complained about the shrimp in lobster sauce and said how vile it was. The server looked surprised and said it was one of their most popular dishes. Still in shock over that one.
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