Let me just go ahead and get this out of the way – The Rice Box is phenomenal and exactly what you could want for casual Chinese take out. Located in a former Chirps Chicken & Rice at 300 W. 20th St., the takeout-style Chinese restaurant has made the most of their space and is making ample strides to show the neighborhood just how great their brand is.
I ventured in on a Sunday, the weather was spectacular and the service matched to a T. Our cashier greeted us upon arriving, asking if we had been with them before, and offering to answer any questions on the menu.
I ordered the General Tso with medium spice, and the order comes with steamed white rice and an egg roll. I also ordered the fried dumplings.
While the space is limited in seating, meant to be a takeout-style concept, there are seats at the inside counter/bar, and a great patio with seating and additional counter space to enjoy a meal outside.
While checking out the inside space, samples of the Lao Pan Black Nitro tea were offered to myself and those sitting at the counter, along with words from a kind manager explaining their tea options on the menu.
We eventually found seating outside, and our food quickly followed behind us. Orders are served in a paper to-go style container, with instructions on the side showing how to unfold the box into a plate. While the instructions are handy, I wasn’t all that confident in tearing this box open – and I wasn’t the only face on the patio that read the instructions multiple times. That same manager eventually came outside to check on each customer, making sure everyone knew how to open their Rice Box.
A much appreciated gesture.
The food wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t something that was talked up or trendy, and didn’t deliver; it was simple and great.
The menu offers Chinese favorites like Sesame, Kung Pao Chicken, Chow Fun, and even a wing and rice option. Good beer on tap being a plus.
Conveniently located on 20th Street, I can see myself eating here all too often, and I’m OK with that.