Sometimes, when the mood hits you just right, you manage to find something to suit it perfectly.
And that's how it went for the Buds last week. While deciding on our next foodie stop, we both mentioned that neither of us had eaten Chinese food for quite some time. An eagle-eyed co-worker spotted an ad for Bridgelin Restaurant in Wheeling offering fine Cantonese cuisine, so the Buds headed to town with hungry bellies and high hopes.
The parking lot in front of Bridgelin, located at 76 29th St. in Wheeling in the former Bachmann's location, was full when the Buds arrived - that's always a good sign! Once inside, the Buds made note of the clean and nicely decorated dining area, then settled at a table near the buffet to peruse the menus.
A plate of fresh Chinese food from the lunch buffet at Bridgelin features vegetable lo mein, an egg roll, sweet and sour chicken, fresh vegetables, sauteed mushrooms and crab and cheese wontons.
The Buds immediately noticed that not only did the Bridgelin menu feature most of the dishes they'd come to expect on a Chinese menu, but also a few surprises. Among them were Minced Chicken Corn Rice Soup, steamed or fried spinach dumplings (as well as the typical pork), dishes seasoned with black pepper sauce, Hawaiian Fried Rice and even a variety of meals that feature angel hair pasta. They also have several vegetarian meals and 22 lunch specials.
What to choose, what to choose?!
After looking over the menu, the Buds knew the way to go was the lunch buffet. Available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m . to 3 p.m. for $6.95, the buffet was sure to offer plenty of appetizers and main dish courses to give us a good sampling of the cuisine we'd been craving.
The buffet featured soups, egg rolls, crab and cheese fried wontons (so help us God!), fried rice, vegetable lo mein, mixed vegetables in white sauce, yummy sauteed mushrooms, chicken and beef with garlic sauce, chicken and broccoli, Kung Pao chicken, General Tso's chicken, sweet and sour chicken and a baked fish and watermelon.
After getting the drink order, the friendly waitress didn't have to tell the Buds twice to "help themselves to the buffet"! The Buds sampled nearly all of the tasty dishes. Bud Em enjoyed the sweet and sour chicken, an egg roll, a smidge of lo mein, mixed veggies, sauteed mushrooms and - of course - plenty of wontons. Everything was fresh and delicious. Bud Shaunna tried the chicken and beef with garlic sauce, some fried rice, General Tso's and Kung Pao chickens and some of the fish. She thought everything was great, but did find the Kung Pao chicken to be a little too spicy for her taste.
The only thing the Buds thought would have made the buffet better was a dessert option and perhaps a dish that featured shrimp. Because we love shrimp. But then again, maybe they don't feature the same items everyday! We just don't know!
But we will - because what we DO know is that we will surely be returning to Bridgelin in the future.
The Buds may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org