Making the Grade: Beyond the Wok

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PHOTOS BY MIKE WALLACE

By STACEY PATTON WALLACE

Last week, I polled some of my female relatives and friends to prove a theory I have. I asked them the following question: Did you eat less when you were a single woman on a date than you do as a married woman? I wasn’t surprised when most of them answered, “Yes.”

  As Erma Bombeck once said, “Single women go out to dine. Married women go out to eat.” My unofficial poll seems to back up that idea.

  In fact, back when I was in high school, a friend told me that she’d eat just a little on a date. When she returned home, her mother would ask her, “Did you have a good time?” However, she’d say, “I’m starved!” and head directly to the refrigerator.

  Even I, as a “Pooh-sized” nerd, ate less on a date, not that I dated much. I guess that most women want to appear dainty in their eating habits. Thankfully, that habit seems to fall away after marriage. Maybe it’s because you’re comfortable with your spouse, so you feel fine mowing down your supper and taking a bite or two of his as well.

  When Mike and I were dating, I ate less, too. Now that seems silly because I didn’t become a “Pooh-sized” woman from eating small portions. Once we fell in love and got married, my appetite asserted itself, unfortunately.

  On one of our first dates, Mike took me to a Chinese restaurant in Columbus. Since we taught at the same school in LaGrange, we went out to Columbus, Auburn or Opelika so that our students wouldn’t know that we were dating. Obviously, we didn’t want them giving us a hard time at school by writing, “Mr. Wallace loves Miss Patton,” on our blackboards. The plan worked for almost a year, but that’s another story.

  Since those dating days, Mike and I have enjoyed eating Chinese food quite a lot. Therefore, about a week ago, we dined at Beyond the Wok at 339 S. College St., Suite F in Auburn.

  Since Beyond the Wok is on campus, the restaurant has plenty of Auburn pictures, which was fine with this Auburn alumna. Yang, our server, was very sweet, helpful and attentive.

  For our appetizer, Mike and I chose the crab Rangoon. The wonderful smell of the food got to me, and I bit into the crab Rangoon before Mike had a chance to photograph it. Ever the professional, Mike managed to hide the bite marks and took his picture.

  Our appetizer was delicious, warm and crispy. We also ordered pork egg rolls. They were quite tasty, too; I liked that they were narrow because they were easier to bite.

  For his entrée, Mike chose the Mongolian chicken with fried rice. Mike said, “You can tell that this was cooked fresh.” He really enjoyed his meal.

  I ordered my favorite Chinese dish, sesame chicken with fried rice. It was also very good.

  Besides our delectable dishes, Beyond the Wok offers diners an extensive menu of chicken, pork, beef, lamb and seafood entrees. Some of them include: orange chicken, Kung Pao chicken, salt & pepper pork short ribs, farmhouse smoked pork, Mongolian beef, sliced beef with garlic sauce, sliced lamb with cumin sauce, General Tso’s shrimp, sweet & sour fish and broccoli shrimp. The restaurant also serves dry pots, sushi, sashimi and a wide variety of rolls. Believe me, you will find something to love at Beyond the Wok.

  Beyond the Wok is open on Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

  Beyond the Wok makes the grade with an A+ from this retired English teacher. Remember,
“Pooh-sized” people NEVER lie about food. Enjoy!

PHOTOS BY MIKE WALLACE

  Stacey Patton Wallace, who retired from teaching language arts for 30 years, is a professional diner. Her column, “Making the Grade,” will appear each week in The Observer. Stacey may be reached at retiredlangartsteacher2020@gmail.com

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