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.
Sometimes “fast food” doesn’t mean greasy fries and not so appetizing meat. Living in a college town, there are many other options to eat quickly without soaking up grease and other not so nutritious menu items. When Chins first came to Madison, it landed on State Street – the heart of the UW Madison campus and where I was going to school at the time - and then shortly after opened another location on the west side of Madison. Up until minutes ago (as I was writing this post) I was under the impression that Chins was a midwest restaurant chain. But apparently (according to their website) there are only 3 restaurants total -the two in Madison, and one in Minnetonka, MN. Interesting.
I remember when Chins first came to town I was skeptical of it. It seemed just like another Chinese restaurant. Not that I don’t enjoy Chinese food, I’ve just never found a place I love…..and definitely more that I don’t like than ones I do. I’ve been to Chins many times since they opened, especially once they opened a second location on the west side of Madison.
When the husband and I went to Chins a few weeks ago, it was to use a Living Social group deal that I had bought earlier this year. The deal was for a $20 gift certificate, so we got an appetizer along with our meals to get our money’s worth.
For our appetizer we had the cream cheese puffs, which are basically crab rangoon without the crab. Deep fried cream cheese pockets. So good.
For my entree I had the chicken with mixed veggies, sweet and sour sauce and white rice. It was good, as usual. Oh, and don’t be fooled, I did not eat all of those carrots that you see in the photo. And yes, the pineapple (also seen in the photo) is probably from a can. But it is still delicious.
The husband had the Bourbon Chicken with brown rice.
And of course our meal was accompanied with fortune cookies for dessert.
One of the things that initially made me want to try Chins is that the menu is very open. There are a few specific meals (like the bourbon chicken) but most everything else you make your own combination – choose your protein (tofu, beef, chicken, pork, shrimp) sauce (there are many, most typical Asian options), and white or brown rice. For someone like myself who is very particular about what they eat, this was MUCH easier for me to try than somewhere that had more limited choices.
I also really enjoy that the food is good quality AND they are fast.
Taste: A, delicious.
Cost: A, all of the things above plus a soda for the husband was just over $20. Not too bad at all for a dinner for two.
Would I go there again? Definitely. Maybe next time I should branch out and try something different…..