New Season’s Market Wok Bar

Date: July 1, 2007
Times Visited: Countless

My sister and I have a joke about vandalizing New Season‘s slogan that says “Friendliest store in town” to “Friendliest store in the world.” That will give you an idea as to where this review is going.

If you’ve only got $5 and want a warm meal, or two, go to your closest New Seasons and hit up their wok bar. You grab a metal bowl and start filling it up with all sorts of noodles, veggies, tofu, nuts, whatever you want to make up a stir fry. When you get to the counter they give you a choice of a sauces to mix it up. Many of their sauces are vegan and are clearly listed.

Alright. Now you have the basic idea, so back to the beginning with the tips. When you choose
your stir fry items start with with the more fluid items first. I always go for noodles first, tofu next, then if I am going with some smaller vegetables like corn and peas, those go in next to to fill in the gaps made by the tofu. Broccoli is almost always a constant in my stir fry so I will make a ring of broccoli around the bowl to help keep additional items in – remember you can pile the bowl as high as you want.

My top choices are: rice noodles, tofu, extra garlic, broccoli, purple cabbage, onions and green beans (which always go on top because they are unruly!)

When you pick out your stir fry sauce remember you can always combine two or more. My recent choice is half shanghai and half thai peanut. You can always add extra spice, pickled ginger and sesame seeds at no extra cost. Add rice to the meal for an additional 50 cents. If you do this, always ask for extra sauce!

The outcome of your choices thus far does not end here. Unfortunately, the outcome is dependent on the chef that day and that’s why they get a 4 out of 5. Sometimes you’ll receive a huge pile of wonderful food with crispy tofu and perfectly cooked green beans still with their crisp. Other times you will receive tofu that is only hot and broccoli that is a bit too mushy.

No matter the outcome of your food, it’s worth it. If you fill your bowl right you will get two or three meals for the week. Remember you don’t always have to get it to go, New Seasons has a little seating area waiting for you.

Shanghai Sauce stir fry
New Season's wok bar

Half Peanut Sauce, Half Kung Pao
july 2007 046

Half Shanghai, Half Singapore Curry
New Seasons - Wok 1

Peanut Sauce with Rice
New Seasons - Wok 2 with rice

Rating: 4 out of 5
Addresses and Hours: There are stores in all sections of the city


23 responses to “New Season’s Market Wok Bar

  1. This was such a great suggestion! Last winter I discovered their vegan noodle bowl and enjoyed it often. I had never tried their wok until last night, after reading your recommendation. YUM! Thanks!

  2. I love the strategies people use to fill the metal bowls as full as they can. I’m interested in your noodles first idea. Usually people recommend putting the noodles in very last, because they will stay in place as a towering heap on top of everything else.

    Someone else makes a giant stand-up wall with green beans all around the bowl, which makes the bowl taller & able to hold more stuff. I think that’s clever, though not something I would copy.

  3. After much practice in filling the bowl as high as possible, I have found that piling the rice noodles on top LAST, after everything else is already precariously balanced and stuffed in the bowl, works best. They are sticky and hold everything in. So try that…your meal will end up being 5 pounds but still cost next to nothing!

  4. I support the noodles on top, myself. The rice noodles are a little slippery so I work on having just enough room for them at the top of the bowl, so they don’t slide off.

    Liz – I’ve also heard of a broccoli structure, too. I’d like to see these wok bowl architects in action!

  5. Be careful –

    I’ve been told at two separate New Seasons that the only vegan noodles are the rice noodles and buckwheat. The other noodles have eggs in them.

    I love this blog! 🙂

  6. I can believe that. Both places where I asked (Raleigh Hills and Lake Oswego) didn’t bother to check the ingredients, but they did seem to know what they were talking about…kind of. 🙂

    I’m a rice noodle guy myself, so I haven’t ventured into the noodle fray.

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