Rice Box offers meals at affordable prices

Junior Graphic Designer Jackie Willis prepares to eat her honey sesame chicken at Rice Box. The location in Seven Points won the most votes for best off-campus restaurant.

Managing Editor Jasmine Fleming [email protected]

Members of The Flor-Ala staff ordered four meals at Rice Box Asian Cuisine for under $20.  It is no wonder the restaurant won over 52 percent of the votes for best off-campus restaurant.

Chicago Café placed second with almost 24 percent, and Ricatoni’s Italian Grill’s came in third with 19 percent of the  votes. Because of this victory, incoming staff and I ventured to Rice Box Asian Cuisine March 17 with one goal in mind: Finding cheap food.

Associate Life Editor Monday Sanderson, Graphic Designer Michael Meigs, Junior Graphic Designer Jackie Willis and I arrived at Rice Box around 8 p.m. We had previously decided to order the cheapest meals we thought we would enjoy to see how little a group of four could spend on quality food at the restaurant. We had all eaten at Rice Box before, but finding ways to make it more cost efficient made it an adventure.

After a 10-minute wait, a waitress sat our party at a corner booth. After perusing the menu, we discovered the cheapest option would be ordering from the kid’s menu.

Jackie and I ordered honey sesame chicken, and Michael and Monday ordered sweet and sour chicken. Everyone ordered rice as the accompanying starch, varying between fried and white rice. All meals without tax were $3.50, and Monday added two eggrolls for 99 cents to her meal.

The eggroll appetizer arrived first, and the four of us managed to split it. From the two bites I had, I found the eggrolls fresh, crunchy and flaky. That, combined with sips of my free water, temporarily staved off my hunger.

Ordering from the kid’s menu proved to be a smart decision. When my meal arrived, my first impression was there was plenty of honey sesame chicken, broccoli and fried rice to fill me up.

The chicken, drenched in almost too-sweet sauce, still maintained its crunchiness. When the food arrived, it was still steaming. Although I would have liked more egg in the rice, It was filling and had a sufficiently fried flavor.

I also wished for cooked broccoli as well, instead of having cold sprouts on the plate.

With Monday’s sweet and sour chicken, she said although the carrots were “a little dry,” overall her kid’s meal left her “full with plenty to go.”

Michael said he preferred more than bell peppers and carrots as the vegetables in his dish, but he found it “delicious” nonetheless.

Jackie said although she would have had food to take home if she had the regular menu version of her meal, she found the kid’s size “perfect.”

As the meal ended, we received our bills. Jackie’s and my combined total was $7.60, Michael’s total was $3.80 and Monday’s total was $5.96. Four people dining for less than $20 should be another reason to visit this “best off-campus restaurant.”

To see the rest of the results for the Students’ Choice section, check out the April 14 issue of The Flor-Ala.