Did we even have a winter? Well, technically of course its still winter, but these last few months months were mild and foggy, temperatures above 30 most days. I barely got a chance to wear my new fancy winter coat. That snow you see in the photo above lasted around 12 hours before melting away. Now that it's finally March, it feels like summer has come early. Thunderstorms and tornadoes, humid and hot. But my fave thing about spring is the longer days, more time to photograph food!
Katy and I eat at Chow Bar quite often for lunch. Mostly the buffet, it's easy and fast, just far enough from the library to feel like a real break. It also has quite a few options you don't see at the average Chinese buffet. Lots of seafood and scallions, I think the menu leans Taiwanese. I like the salt and pepper squid and chicken. Katy loves the mapo tofu. The green bean and eggplant in garlic sauce is delicious. There are also tons of flavors of bubble tea. The regular menu is massive, so when we order instead of eating from the buffet it can be hard to choose. Here's a recent lunch.
Dumplings in Chili Oil. These were pretty good. Filled with a scallion and pork mixture, the wrappers were bit too thick and chewy. The chili oil had good heat and maybe even a touch of sesame rich tahini? If I was going to order an appetizer again I'd probably go for the chicken wings - extra crispy and seasoned with tons of salt and pepper.
Rice bowl with fried chicken and miso sauce. Not my fave, but still tasty. The miso sauce is mild and salty but the initially crisp chicken gets soggy pretty quickly. Tons of steamed white rice is hiding under that chicken. The bonus greenery of the boc choy stalks is appreciated.
Eggplant with garlic sauce. Smothered in sweet-spicy brown sauce, I love that they use tons of actual garlic. The eggplant flesh becomes meltingly tender, pulling easily away from the skin. Plus how pretty are the shimmery purple hunks of eggplant?
Szechuan Tofu. The slippery hunks of bean curd are slicked in a slightly funky, spicy chili oil sauce. This one is pretty addictive, I bet the Szechuan chicken would be excellent as well.
Chow Bar 336-3888
216 S. Indiana Ave
Bloomington, In 47408