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Restaurant Review: Wow Bao

Full Disclosure:  I paid for this meal with my own money and I was in no way reimbursed for this blog post.  The opinions are completely my own.

Last weekend we went to Chicago.  (We actually had this trip planned before we knew we would be in California for two weeks.)  We were there to see two different comedy shows – Joel McHale and Seth Meyers.  Both were hilarious, fun and a great show.

When we got into Chicago on Friday afternoon, we were definitely ready for lunch.  However, since we know we should probably eat dinner earlyish (before the 7:30pm show) we wanted something easy and maybe not so filling.  As we were sitting in our hotel room trying to decide, the husband suggested Wow Bao.  I hesitated since I knew it was a chain, but there isn’t one in Madison (as far as I know?) so I decided it was a good choice.  Close, interesting, and inexpensive.  (Edited to add: After looking more at their website, it isn’t a nationwide chain, but they do have 3 locations in Chicago.)

I went into the restaurant not knowing anything besides that it was Asian food.  Which is a pretty general statement in itself.  As we approached the restaurant, there were two kiosks outside where people were placing orders.  Ordering from a touch screen kiosk?! Cool!

Wow Bao Kiosk

The husband and I each ordered the 2 Bao Combo.  He had one Thai Curry Chicken and Spicy Kung Pao Chicken Bao with Spicy Peanut Noodles.  I had one Teriyaki Chicken and one Whole Wheat Edamame Bao with the cool Pad Thai Salad.

Wow Bao

I should have taken a photo of the sides by themselves since you can’t really see them in the containers….oh well.  They did look pretty though :)

The husband really enjoyed this meal.  He liked how it tasted and that it was so different than things that we usually have to eat.

I didn’t love it, but it was pretty good.  The idea of the Bao I really liked – a doughy ball filled with things. The flavors unfortunately were not my favorite.  I would have enjoyed the edamame one I think except that there were red peppers in it and I’m not a fan of those.  The Teriyaki I liked the more, but still didn’t love – though I think that is just because I don’t really like the teriyaki flavor.  The cold salad I think I enjoyed the most.  The noodles were a bit stiff for my taste, but I think they were supposed to be that way.  Other than that I enjoyed the sprouts, carrots, peanuts and other things that were mixed in with the noodles.

Taste: B+, I liked it, but I didn’t love it.  I wish there had been a Bao variety that I enjoyed more.
Cost: A, Each combo was $5.99.  Even though it didn’t seem like a ton of food in the beginning, we were both very full in the end, so I would say it was a great deal.

Would I go there again? If their menu changed to include Bao varieties that I liked more? Probably.  Otherwise I’m not sure.

Wow Bao on Urbanspoon

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