Making the Grade: Wok ‘n Roll Restaurant & Bar

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STACEY PATTON WALLACE

OPELIKA —

The Fearsome Foursome — that’s the nickname that my husband Mike gave to Tom Patton (Daddy), Barbara Patton (Mama), Aunt Jenny and Aunt Betty (Daddy’s older sisters) some years ago. That lively, funny quartet had a lot of adventures before my aunts and Daddy left to be with the Lord in 2017 and 2018, respectively. In fact, Mike and I were blessed to have traveled with this group on at least four occasions; we only wish it could have been more because they always kept us entertained and on our toes.

 For example, on one trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, we went to dine at the Old Mill Restaurant, a very popular establishment in the area. Mike, who drove Daddy’s maroon Honda Odyssey van, dropped us off at the curb while he went to find a distant parking space.

 “I’ll go and put our names down for a table,” I told the Fearsome Foursome. In a few minutes, I returned and the group was nowhere to be found. When Mike walked up after having parked a few miles away, I asked, “You didn’t tell them to wait right here?” Mike erroneously thought that they would stay put. The Fearsome Foursome was on the loose.

 We began searching for them, walking up to strangers and asking, “Have you seen four octogenarians walking around? One is on a walker.”

 Unfortunately, no one had seen them; however, one very sweet lady offered to pray for us, and I thanked her. We even looked in the little store which was attached to the restaurant. Nothing. I hadn’t seen them coming up the ramp when I had been walking down it after having given our name for a table, so I couldn’t imagine where they’d gone.

 A few minutes later, Mike saw a sign for the elevator, so we took it. Sure enough, as we got out, we spotted the four senior delinquents calmly waiting for us. “We thought we’d go on up in the elevator,” said Mama. Of course; sigh. After supper, we saw the sweet lady, who had prayed for us, and thanked her again.

 Besides going on trips to the mountains, Daddy LOVED going to eat Chinese food. Therefore, the Fearsome Foursome usually traveled from Alexander City (“Eleck” City to the locals) to the Auburn Mall once a week to eat Chinese food for lunch. In fact, they’d have enough for supper as well.

 After eating, Daddy would hang out in the mall, chatting up strangers, while Mama and my aunts did a little shopping. Then they would pile back into Daddy’s van and hit 280 Highway, stopping at the Tiger Express, a convenience store. The Fearsome Foursome had to fortify themselves with peanuts and soft drinks for the 40-mile trek back to Alex. City. After all, they didn’t want to risk a drop in their blood sugar levels on the way home.

 Like the Fearsome Foursome, Mike and I love Chinese food, too. Recently, we dined at the Wok ‘n Roll Restaurant & Bar at 1703 Columbus Parkway in Opelika.

 Elaine, our server, was so charming. Also, she was helpful and patient; we really enjoyed chatting with her. Elaine told us that she had been working since she was 15. Currently, she works at Wok ‘n Roll and attends Auburn University, both full time. As retired teachers, Mike and I know that this young woman will be very successful.

 As an appetizer, I ordered an egg roll. Also, Mike and I split an order of crab wontons. They were crispy, warm and very tasty.

 Mike ordered hot and sour soup, while I chose egg drop. For his entrée, Mike selected cashew chicken with fried rice, while I chose crispy sesame chicken with fried rice. Again, everything tastes better fried.

 Our dishes were really delicious. I did warn Mike against the spicy mustard sauce since he’d had two bouts of acid reflux in a week. Of course, he ignored me. “Just a little,” he said. Oh, well. We wives do try to look out for our husbands. Thankfully, acid reflux didn’t show up a third time.

 Besides our wonderful appetizer, Wok ‘n Roll offers diners spring rolls, Thai spring rolls, Peking dumplings, chicken lettuce wraps, vegetarian lettuce wraps, crispy tofu and crispy calamari.

 Wok ‘n Roll has an extensive menu of seafood, pork, beef, chicken, duck and vegetable dishes.

In addition, the restaurant also serves cold dishes, soups, noodle dishes, burgers, sandwiches and catfish. Believe me, you’ll find plenty to enjoy at this restaurant. Fearsome Foursome, this review was for you. Love y’all bunches!

 Wok ‘n Roll is open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; closed on Monday; open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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

 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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