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Ho Ho Chinese Kitchen in Skokie

Ho Ho Chinese Kitchen in Skokie
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  • Ho Ho Chinese Kitchen in Skokie

    Post #1 - December 4th, 2020, 7:01 pm
    Post #1 - December 4th, 2020, 7:01 pm Post #1 - December 4th, 2020, 7:01 pm
    Oh boy, a new LTH topic!

    Tonight we got carryout from Ho Ho Chinese Kitchen, and we really liked it.

    Ho Ho is carryout and delivery only - as are all restaurants in Illinois at the moment, due to the pandemic - but even when restrictions are lifted, Ho Ho is so small they don't have room for more than a couple of tables. It's located in a strip mall on Main Street; park on the street.
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    They have been distributing flyers in our neighborhood. The flyers offer the choice of three items for free: an egg roll or can of pop with $20 purchase, a small chicken fried rice or 6 piece crab Rangoon with $30, or a large sweet and sour chicken with $40.

    I avoid using Doordash, Grubhub, and their ilk because I don't want to force the restaurant to pay for the fees from those services. When a restaurant has its own website, I sometimes order there, under the assumption that there is no per-order cost to the restaurant, but that's not always the case, as you'll see. I went to their website to place an order, but didn't see anything there about the free items, so I called them to ask about that. They said they don't offer the free items when using the website to order, because they have to pay a fee, so I placed my order over the phone and got the free item with it.

    They quoted me a 15-minute wait for my food. I got there a few minutes early and my order was ready already.

    Everything we had was very good, very tasty, and the hot-spicy dishes had just the right amount of spice (not overly incendiary but definitely present). Portion sizes were quite generous. And they all traveled reasonably well with the twelve-minute drive home. Based on our experience tonight, this will be our go-to place for carryout Chinese.

    Deets:

    Ho Ho Chinese Kitchen
    4149 Main St
    Skokie IL 60076
    847-568-9898
    hohochinesekitchen.com

    And now for the food porn:

    011b Chinese Chicken and Shrimp Egg Roll (2 per order)
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    102 Orange Chicken (small)
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    231 Crispy Lemon Shrimp
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    225 String Bean Jumbo Shrimp (Szechuan)
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    185 Mongolian Beef (large)
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    105 Sweet and Sour Chicken (large) (free with $40+ order)
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  • Post #2 - December 4th, 2020, 9:32 pm
    Post #2 - December 4th, 2020, 9:32 pm Post #2 - December 4th, 2020, 9:32 pm
    This is our go-to Chinese as we live down the street. It is inexpensive, very good, and ready in about 10 minutes. The portion of fried rice is huge, and everything we have ordered we have enjoyed.
  • Post #3 - December 5th, 2020, 11:33 am
    Post #3 - December 5th, 2020, 11:33 am Post #3 - December 5th, 2020, 11:33 am
    Ho Ho is also our go-to for Chinese carry out. Although very few dishes wow us (with the exception of the various string beans plus choice of protein in Malaysian sauce), nothing ever disappoints. I am happy this friendly mom and pop store is getting some love here. Also, as mentioned above, it's best to order over the phone, not online
  • Post #4 - December 5th, 2020, 11:45 am
    Post #4 - December 5th, 2020, 11:45 am Post #4 - December 5th, 2020, 11:45 am
    On the good reviews here, I'll give them another chance, but over the past 10 years, I really never had a meal here that was even average. Now I just keep driving to China Chef.

    That said, can anyone tell me, do they still have Pancit Guisado on their menu, and if so, is it any good?
  • Post #5 - December 5th, 2020, 12:29 pm
    Post #5 - December 5th, 2020, 12:29 pm Post #5 - December 5th, 2020, 12:29 pm
    They're just one Ho away from being the perfect restaurant for the season! :D

    They're a bit outside of my convenience zone (probably also too far for the food to fare well) but if I lived closer, I'd give them a shot.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #6 - December 5th, 2020, 12:48 pm
    Post #6 - December 5th, 2020, 12:48 pm Post #6 - December 5th, 2020, 12:48 pm
    rfleisch1 wrote:On the good reviews here, I'll give them another chance, but over the past 10 years, I really never had a meal here that was even average. Now I just keep driving to China Chef.

    As I mentioned in another topic, our recent carryout meal from China Chef was disappointing, while previous dine-in experiences there were mostly very good. Based on the comments from others in that topic, they appear to suffer from inconsistency. (More specifically, the Mongolian beef at China Chef can be awesome, but not always so; the same dish at Ho Ho last night was very good, although not quite as tender as China Chef's best. The egg rolls from both places were similar.)

    rfleisch1 wrote:can anyone tell me, do they still have Pancit Guisado on their menu, and if so, is it any good?

    Ho Ho has six dishes in the noodles section of their current menu, numbered N13 to N18, for "Stir Fried Pancit Noodle". I have not had them, and I do not know whether these are the same thing as Pancit Guisado (noting that pancit means noodles, and guisado means sauteed).
  • Post #7 - December 9th, 2020, 2:20 pm
    Post #7 - December 9th, 2020, 2:20 pm Post #7 - December 9th, 2020, 2:20 pm
    As promised above, I gave Ho Ho another chance for lunch today.

    I went with a fair variety of items I like: Cashew Chicken, BBQ Pork Fried Rice, and since I received the info I wanted [thank you, nsxtacy], the Shrimp version of the Stir Fried Pancit Noodles. I didn't realize it, but since my order exceeded $25, I was given a free egg roll.

    As others have mentioned, a phone in order required a 15 minute wait, and my meal was ready when I walked in the door 14 minutes later. Credit card processing was touchless, and reasonable COVID precautions were visible. Pricing was fair, I would easily be able to feed 4 people a good lunch with my order.

    As for the food - I concede it was better than the last time I visited.

    The BBQ Pork Fried Rice was right where it should be. Lots of soy flavoring, and the sweetness of the pork was a nice balance to the salt. The Cashew Chicken was also pretty standard, although I was surprised that zucchini was one of the vegetables in the mix - I usually expect nappa cabbage instead. The egg roll was OK - but even 4 minutes of travel cost it crispness.

    The Pancit had good elements, with obviously fresh and plump shrimp, and properly cooked glass noodles, with really nice bite to them. That said, the preparation had much more soy flavor than I am accustomed to, and there were not a lot of other vegetables in the dish; the Pancit Guisado I am used to (from several other Philippine restaurants) simply has many more ingredients, more vegetables, and much more subtle flavoring.

    So overall, I'd say it was a fair meal, but not great. Based on my history, I am more likely than not to continue on to China Chef (where I have yet to experience a poor meal), but at least Ho Ho will go back on to my approved list, especially if I don't feel like making the drive to Morton Grove.
  • Post #8 - December 9th, 2020, 3:52 pm
    Post #8 - December 9th, 2020, 3:52 pm Post #8 - December 9th, 2020, 3:52 pm
    I'm semi-tempted to give this place a try, but I just can't see how in the hell it's better than Peppercorns or Joy Yee, and probably not Shang either. But noodles would be what I went with.
  • Post #9 - December 9th, 2020, 8:07 pm
    Post #9 - December 9th, 2020, 8:07 pm Post #9 - December 9th, 2020, 8:07 pm
    It seems Dr. Emmett Brown was correct, time travel exists. Ho Ho is 1970 Milwaukee Chinese suburban, right down to salty brown hued BBQ pork fried rice, no teeth mushy over marinated chicken in bland white corn starch sauce so hyper viscous it could double as background on PornHub.

    Sounds like I hated Ho Ho's food, no, brought back memories and was ~fine. I might even go back to Ho Ho in a year or two, once my salt levels even out.

    The only thing I did not like was the decibel level of the woman on the phone and in the restaurant when I picked up. Her normal tone seems to be megaphone.

    Edit to note:
    3:30am woke up to a raging thirst. 20oz Ice Mountain from Costco, 12oz TopoChico, 12oz La Croix and one and a half cans of diet Sprite. Still thirsty from the Ho Ho salt load.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #10 - January 22nd, 2021, 2:34 pm
    Post #10 - January 22nd, 2021, 2:34 pm Post #10 - January 22nd, 2021, 2:34 pm
    Lucky me! Today, I was able to time my semi-regular delivery of groceries and other stuff for my dad in Skokie to coincide with lunchtime. Cruising down Main St, it was a coin toss between Skokie Bakery & Ho Ho.

    I walked in at 12:05. I was the only one in the place. Yes, they have a huge menu with the usual suspects along with the previously mentioned noodle dishes. I went Old School and selected BBQ pork fried rice. Don't mock me LTH!

    Nice lady behind the counter quoted me a five minute wait. She lied. Six minutes later, my order was ready. I enjoyed my piping hot lunch in my car. It was almost as good as the rendition from Siam Siam in Buffalo Grove. I'm looking at you jnm123! I'm not sure if I'm going to share the leftovers with my wife.
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #11 - November 3rd, 2021, 6:39 pm
    Post #11 - November 3rd, 2021, 6:39 pm Post #11 - November 3rd, 2021, 6:39 pm
    Got carry out today from HoHo. There was a sign saying they were under new management and sadly the food was pretty bad. We ordered our standard items, including egg rolls, pot stickers, and string bean chicken with Malaysian sauce, and ended up throwing half of it away ( we were hungry but not that hungry). Sorry to say it is out of the rotation.
  • Post #12 - November 4th, 2021, 7:29 am
    Post #12 - November 4th, 2021, 7:29 am Post #12 - November 4th, 2021, 7:29 am
    bungalowgirl wrote:Got carry out today from HoHo. There was a sign saying they were under new management and sadly the food was pretty bad. We ordered our standard items, including egg rolls, pot stickers, and string bean chicken with Malaysian sauce, and ended up throwing half of it away ( we were hungry but not that hungry). Sorry to say it is out of the rotation.


    Nooooooooo. It was my only decent option in the area (despite the positive experiences of others I have only had bad ones at China Chef).
  • Post #13 - November 4th, 2021, 8:25 am
    Post #13 - November 4th, 2021, 8:25 am Post #13 - November 4th, 2021, 8:25 am
    spinynorman99 wrote:Nooooooooo. It was my only decent option in the area (despite the positive experiences of others I have only had bad ones at China Chef).

    I've had 90% good experiences at China Chef though, for Americanized Chinese, I prefer Great Beijing. Same general area, value priced lunch specials, better base ingredients than most in this category, and speedy. Terrific kung pao chicken, hot bean curd, and tip-top hot and sour soup to boot, though I typically add a little white vinegar and white pepper to the soup. No delivery, and I refuse to use 3rd party apps.

    Great Beijing also has a selection of Korean/Chinese, Northern Chinese offerings. Cha Chiang Mein, Gan Pon wings (similar, but not exactly the same as Great Seas), Tang So Yuk (Korean sweet and sour pork) and others. Check the GB website menu Link

    Great Beijing
    6717 N. Lincoln Ave.
    Lincolnwood, IL 60712
    847-673-5588
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #14 - November 4th, 2021, 4:08 pm
    Post #14 - November 4th, 2021, 4:08 pm Post #14 - November 4th, 2021, 4:08 pm
    Funny, I picked up at Ho Ho today and saw no sign that there has been a change in management.

    But then again, I wasn't paying attention ...

    I got a lunch special, BBQ Pork with almonds and a side of chicken fried rice, and on the whole, it was exactly what I expected... heavily soy flavored rice and sauce, with fresh veggies and reasonable quality BBQ pork. Not great, but certainly not terrible, and a decent large lunch for me.

    So Ho Ho remains on my approved list, but only on days like today, when I just don't feel like going as far as China Chef.

    And yes, I still have Great Beijing on my "soon to try" list...

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