Where: South 13th Street, next to X-mart and across from IHOP.
When: I went to Chopstix Cafe on Thursday May 17, the restaurant moderately busy.
Atmosphere: Quite nice, actually. Though a lot of restaurants along 441 suffer from dingy surroundings, Chopstix is very lucky to be on a nice looking lake. The inside is decorated well enough to make guests feel comfortable.
Menu: The menu at Chopstix made me wish I was vegetarian. So many options for them! Unfortunately, I was really craving some kind of beef dish. Their usual dishes were standard chinese takeout fare, though prepared authentically. Think kung pao, general tso's, etc. but prepared without all the frying and MSG. They had some unique (and tasty!) appetizers, along with sushi, soups, salads, and other options. Definitely enough options to satisfy any diner.
Service: Suprisingly good, actually. The reason it's a suprise is because from every story I've ever heard about Chopstix, the service is horrible. I have heard so many horror stories about rude waiters, wrong orders, long wait times, etc. So unless there's been a major change lately, I think it should be safe to assume my experience is out of the ordinary. While it was far from perfect or corteous, the wait staff kept my glass full of water, and the food came out in a timely fashion. It was enough to keep me happy.
Food: I ordered the house kung pao beef for my entree, wth an appetizer of fried frog legs with garlic. The appetizer was decent, though the breading did not stick to the meat in the least bit. The sauce was quite tasty, and made up slightly for the bad frying.
The kung pao beef arrived, and was very simply good. That's not a slight. It wasn't amazing, but it was solidly good. It had good fresh ingredients, the sauce tasted good, and the portion size was perfect. It wasn't great, but it's about the best 'good' cuisine you can find. My friends dining with me all had no complaints with their food, as well.
Price: Quite reasonable. Appetizers from 3-5$. Soups 2-4$, Entrees 8$-10$. I didn't catch the prices of their noodle bowls or vegetarian options, but I'd imagine they fall slightly below that of the entrees.
Overall: Feel like a sitdown asian meal, but don't feel like paying out for a meal downtown? Go to Chopstix. Familiar dishes made well and offered at a reasonable price. Make sure you have a few hours in case the service is as bad as history suggests, though. 7/10