Off on the far-east end of campus is the Cornerstone building, and it took me quite a while to realize that there were good eats to be had on the south side of the block (having been stuck, for some time, at Ichibankan Express).
Note that this post is not from a single monster-sized lunch, but rather 3 separate visits. I’m not a crazy ravenous eater all the time, after all! :)
First off, the poorly signed Bamboo Garden Chinese Restaurant – it does have a full menu, but the real draw here is the hot table of about 30 different dishes you can get as combo plates.
If you choose 2 items on plain rice, your hefty lunch will cost you $7. There are many meat options, and usually at least 2 tofu options – though note that there will definitely be meat in the tofu/veggie options too. Sadly, nothing is labeled, so you have to point and sometimes guess at what things are. The combo above included stir-fried veggies (cabbage, carrot, celery, onion, bamboo shoots) with the bigger pieces of firm tofu, and thin slices of stir fried pork belly; and on the left (though the container did get shook up a bit), was spicy tofu with ground pork. The spicy tofu was way better than the veggies which weren’t cooked in a hot enough pan.
You can also pay to upgrade your bed of carbs (either $0.50 or $1) to fried noodles or fried rice. Here I got the braised fried tofu (which was really good and flavourful) and stir fried green beans (with sneaky chicken pieces hidden in this dish when I was trying to have a “meatless Monday”). The noodles were good, but nothing to write home about.
One thing you can really see in the 2nd food picture is the generous portion you get… In both cases, my container was *heavy*!
Bamboo Garden is open from 10:00 AM to (according to their take-out menu) 9:00 PM. The lineup can go out the door, but the line moves quickly. I think they take debit.
Right next door to Bamboo Garden is Spicy Stone, the Korean restaurant on campus. I saw that lots of people were enjoying mini hot pots, which were very cute, but clearly not convenient to bring back to my office :)
I ordered the Bulgogi beef Be Bim Bap (and added chili sauce to the dish). For $8, it was not quite as good a deal as Bamboo Garden, but there was much greater care in presentation.
Overall, this dish was okay. I appreciated that they didn’t shy away from including the traditional raw egg to this dish, but I wish that some of the individual components were hotter (especially the beef and the rice), but the real kicker was the mushrooms which were not rehydrated properly (very tough). Maybe having this at the shop instead of as takeout, would have helped? Anyhow, not bad, but could have been better.
Spicy Stone definitely takes debit, and their lineup also moves quickly.