Jingo's mystery reviewer is a prominent local foodie
COLUMBIA, 2/10/12 (Review) -- Whether youâ€™re downtown looking for lunch, grabbing a bite after a weekend show at Ragtag Cinema or just looking for something new, Jingoâ€™s fits the bill.Â Â Just come with an open mind.Â
Dining at Jingoâ€™s requires making peace with certain... eccentricities.Â On one recent visit I found the doors locked and lights off during posted hours of operation.Â Â A phone call likewise went unanswered.Â On a later visit, a booth stands in as a playpen for the (very adorable) toddler-aged son of one of the staff. Construction work next door can make parking dicey and loud.Â Â
Thereâ€™s even the name itself, alternately â€śJingoâ€™sâ€ť and â€śNew Jingoâ€™s,â€ť depending on where you look.Â
But inside itâ€™s all comfort and soulful food.Â Handsome booths sit snug against large windows and overlook the activity on East Broadway.Â Â Grab one if you can.Â Most get snatched up by the restaurantâ€™s dedicated Chinese patrons, for these are prime, pleasing tables.Â Service is efficient and friendly, the language barrier surmounted with easy smiles and broken English. Â
The menu, like the street outside, has a few potholes.Â The Chinese-American standards are solid and serviceable, but ultimately dull.Â Â Hunan Triple Delight is your find-it-anywhere stir-fry of vegetables, chicken, shrimp and beef with brown sauce, though admirable attention is paid to cooking the vegetables until just done.Â The crab rangoon, for which Jingoâ€™s is known, are homemade, plump with more crab than youâ€™re used to and delicious.Â
But still, weâ€™re in well-charted territory here.Â For a real treat, steer yourself over to the large soups and chefâ€™s specialties.Â Hot and Spicy Beef Noodle Soup is as good a soup as youâ€™re likely to encounter in town, brimming with chewy flank steak, yellow noodles and tender Swiss chard.Â Â
The broth is light and beefy, with just enough black pepper to alert the sinuses. Order it â€śextra spicyâ€ť and youâ€™ll find a half-dozen dried, charred Szechuan peppers making things even more interesting.Â Â However you prefer it, the soupâ€™s enough for at least two meals - and at $10.95, a winter-beating steal.
Mandarin Duck is also a popular item, and made to suit your preferred level of heat.Â
If youâ€™d like to have them come to you, Jingoâ€™s delivers.Â Â Theyâ€™re also open late at night on the weekends.
Jingo's Chinese Restaurant
1201 E. Broadway Columbia, MO