Thanks Ryan Kneller of the Morning Call for article on Wok Box opening in Allentown, at 818 Hamilton Street, Here, words by Kneller, for the Morning Call’s Retail Watch. Wok Box is located in a building owned by Cityline Construction, the Allentown company that also did all of the construction work on the property.
Here, Kneller of the Morning Call’s words….. “Maybe you’ve grown tired of egg rolls, pork fried rice and other predictable dishes from your favorite Chinese restaurant.
Or perhaps you’re looking for an alternative to that burger, chicken or taco fast-food joint you frequent.
There’s a solution for you in Wok Box Fresh Asian Kitchen, a fast-casual pan-Asian chain that opened its first Lehigh Valley location Friday at 818 Hamilton St. in downtown Allentown.
The space was previously occupied by Fegley’s Burrito Works and Coffee Works, which closed in 2014 after a fire.
What is pan-Asian? It’s influenced by the flavors of various Asian regions — in this case, 10. You’ll find specialties from China, Cambodia, Korea, Japan, Singapore and more.
The 65-seat restaurant’s main entrees are fresh stir-fry noodle and rice boxes ($5.99, $8.99 and $11.99), which include popular selections such as lo mein, pad thai, crispy orange chicken and Mongolian beef and broccoli. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available and there is no added MSG.
You can also build your own box by picking one of four types of noodles (chow mein, rice, Shanghai or udon) or brown or white rice.
Next, you choose your meat (grilled chicken, beef, pork, shrimp or tofu) and one of eight signature sauces (teriyaki, pad thai, spicy peanut, lemongrass coconut, firecracker, sweet Mongolian, dan dan and Hong Kong spice).
Finally, you pick from 14 toppings, which include chopped peanuts, fresh jalapeno, pickled ginger and sesame seeds, among others. The garnishes for most dishes consist of fresh bean sprouts, cilantro, lime and green onions.
“You just can’t compare us to any other Asian restaurant,” said Lower Macungie Township’s Brandon Zimmerman, who is operating the restaurant with David Greenstein, Syed Ahmed and Syed Hassan. “Our fun atmosphere, quick and friendly service and fresh, quality ingredients really separate us.”
Among Zimmerman’s favorite dishes are the Sweet Mongolian noodle box and Jungle Lemongrass rice box (yellow lemongrass Thai curry, pineapple, Asian veggies, herb garnish, sprouts and choice of meat).
“Sidekicks,” most under $5, range from spring rolls and cheesy kimchi fire balls to cold edamame and samosas, which Zimmerman describes as “Indian pierogies” with potatoes, peas, carrots and curry spice inside.
Other menu highlights include Indian butter chicken naan-wiches, Vietnamese beef pho and orange Mandarin chicken salads.
While you’re enjoying your meal, you also can watch various programming on three televisions, play music via a downloadable Rockbot app and charge your cell phone, laptop computer or other device at numerous power outlets with USB ports.
Wok Box, which was founded in Alberta, Canada, in 2004, has more than 80 locations in Canada, the U.S. and Qatar.
Zimmerman and his partners plan to open five to seven restaurants throughout the Lehigh Valley within the next few years.
The Allentown Wok Box, which offers catering and outdoor dining, is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Info: 484-350-3160 or wokbox.us.