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Thursday, June 13
The Indiana Daily Student

arts food

COLUMN: Discovering my new favorite rice dish at Uncle Wang’s Alley

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There is no better feeling than discovering a town’s best-kept culinary secret. Whether you walk into a local restaurant on a whim or follow a friend’s recommendation, it’s  gratifying to stumble upon an underrated restaurant.  

This week, after driving by the restaurant front on E Third Street, I decided to try Uncle Wang’s Alley, and it took the underground dining experience to the next level. After walking into the shop’s front doors, I was immediately met with five steps of stairs and railings decorated with small pandas hanging onto rows of bright green ivy. The steps led me down to one large dining room area with about 20 rectangular tables in the space. 

The restaurant is literally underground.   

With two televisions and a few food posters on the wall, Uncle Wang’s Alley created a casual and relaxing dining environment.  

I submitted my order online and easily picked up my dinner at its allotted time. As soon as I left the building with my items, I rushed home so I could try it.  

One of my favorite meals is chicken fried rice, so I had to try it with my first order from Uncle Wang’s Alley. The food was still hot when I arrived at my house, so I transferred my rice into a bowl and dove in.  
 
At a first glance, I was shocked my fried rice looked like white rice. While fried rice usually has a distinct brown color from the frying and soy sauce, Uncle Wang’s fried rice was white.  

However, after I took a bite, my preconceived notions dwindled away. The rice was instantly one of my favorite dishes in Bloomington.  

I enjoy crispy fried rice  with thin slices of chicken breast and a distinctive soy sauce flavor. I think the staff executed this perfectly in all three aspects. I received a heaping portion of fried rice and am already looking forward to eating my leftovers tomorrow.  

I also ordered General Tso’s Chicken because I wanted to try an item I do not typically order. The General Tso’s had fried chicken bites covered in a sweet and spicy sauce mixed with cooked peppers and onions. I enjoyed the sweet but mildly spicy sauce on the meal and thought General Tso’s Chicken meshed nicely with the fried rice.  

While I chose two American Chinese dishes, I noticed the menu also offers traditional Chinese meals. If you are looking for an authentic Szechuan meal, Uncle Wang’s Alley offers plenty of options.  

For a high quality and large portion of food, I thought both meals were fairly priced and extremely tasty. If you haven’t tried Uncle Wang’s Alley yet, I urge you to stop by one of the most underground restaurants in Bloomington.

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