An incredibly underappreciated restaurant

JJ China doesn’t get talked about enough

Albi Dell Apa, Staff Reporter

Located at 18202 Wright Street, JJ China is something I don’t hear being talked about enough. It has been open for many years and only just recently did I discover it. It is incredibly close to another popular restaurant chain Panda Express as I’m sure most if not all people have heard of. Sitting at 3.9 stars, it is standing its ground against Panda Express. 

A few days ago, I was taken to JJ China for some quick food, which I was granted as we went through the drive thru. JJ China’s menu has numerous options to choose from, with things like lo mein, fried rice, soups, appetizers, with the ability to top it all off with eighteen different flavors of chicken, nine different types of beef, nine different types of seafood and four different flavors of pork. Not to mention they served platters as well. The best part of it is that most of the things I just said can be bought for as much as $9. That is for the largest size however, smaller would obviously cost less. 

The day I went, I got a small box of fried rice with garlic sauce-glazed beef. The box however, was anything but small. From memory, the box was maybe eight inches by six inches. That is not small. My meal ran me about $7 for what really was a meal and a half. It took maybe 10 minutes to get the food out with myself as well as my two friends who both got regular chicken fried rice. The convenience of a drive thru as opposed to walking into the restaurant made the whole process much easier in terms of speed. 

After a slight delay, I finally got to take the first bite. My immediate thought was “wow I really should do a review of this place.” My second immediate thought was “I’m really glad the box is absurdly large for the smallest size,” because I could not get enough of my food. It smelled immaculate and tasted exactly as I hoped it would. The garlic glaze brought the whole thing together, but even without it the rice and vegetables would’ve tasted fantastic as well. I had to try my friend’s food to verify of course, and theirs tasted as good as it could’ve been in comparison to my own meal. 

Although I didn’t go in myself, the brief look at the interior looked fairly simplistic and easy on the eyes. The employee who served us was very polite and made sure our food made it to us in a timely manner. Not to mention the quality of the food should make this place much more talked about than it already is.

I think it is appropriate to create some comparisons between JJ China and Panda Express, considering they are both the same style of food and are in close proximity. The very first thing I noticed was the amount of options that were available at JJ China. You had a whole array of different base foods and different toppings. From what I recall, Panda Express has three bases, that being white rice, fried rice, and chow mein, as well as twelve toppings. Those toppings consist of seven types of chicken, three types of beef, one shrimp, and one with just vegetables. The prices of both are relatively similar, but obviously I’d be going with JJ China. 

One final comparison of the two is the quality. Many times I’ve gone to Panda Express when I was younger, and many times I was unknowingly disappointed. The orange chicken I always ate was just pure sweetness with no kick. The fried rice felt slightly undercooked whenever I took a bite. The vegetables inside the fried rice tasted bland. The craziest thing about it is that JJ China is not as big of a company as Panda Express. JJ China has two buildings, one in Omaha and one in North Carolina. Panda Express has notably more, and that should in theory be synonymous with higher quality. It is not, at least not locally.

It should be obvious enough at this point that my feelings toward JJ China are nothing but positive. Large portions, cheap prices in comparison, good service, all are to the benefit of my thoughts about it. JJ China feels like it should be a much more fancy restaurant with the quality of their food, but instead it is a cheap and quick option to satiate hunger. One of the few times I’ll ever rate something this high, JJ China has rightfully earned a 5/5.