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Old 02-07-2013, 11:32 PM
 
59 posts, read 66,935 times
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Well, it looks like I'll be in Gillette from Sunday to Tuesday for business. What's good there?
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:54 AM
 
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Shopping?

Entertainment?

Lodging?

Restaurants?

Auctions?

Cam-Plex events?

Sure would help for a meaningful response if we had an idea what your interests are ....
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:42 PM
 
Location: In a city
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There was a good Chinese (Great Wall, I think...was in a strip mall south side of town) restaurant that I visited while there. Walmart was nice too... <g>
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:34 PM
 
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Mostly talking about eating, or maybe just kind of what little points of interest, etc. I'll have most of the day Sunday, Monday evening, and possibly Tuesday morning to mosey around.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:53 AM
 
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Seriously, Chinese food in the Wyoming area is generally crap ... typically, standard "moo goo gai glop" bulk steam table garbage of the lowest common denominator. It appears that all of the folk who go into the "chinese" restaurant business around this area look at the operations of the existing places, their margins, etc. ... and figure it's a way to make a living. I like Chinese food (grew up on it, with friends whose families owned some very fine restaurants ... and I ate in their homes, too), but what passes for it in this area is commendable only for the quantity that may be served or at a buffet, it totally lacks the essence of good chinese cuisine of any region. Saucing here tends to be heavy handed and very much the same across the spectrum of meats ... seriously, it's hard to tell the difference between the pork, chicken, beef, and shrimp dishes sometimes except for the texture of the protein. When I was a kid, this type of cooking reflected the contempt that the ethnic chinese had for the unknowing about their cuisine .... it was stuff that they wouldn't consider serving to an unknowing chinese, let alone a knowledgeable other. I've written on these pages about my experience in a very expensive chinese restaurant in San Fran ... and how the identical dishes served to a knowing chinese family next to our table that were spectacular in appearance, aroma, textures were served to us at a level that wouldn't make it for a school cafeteria (same price for our crap meal as the one served next to us).

Anyway, lest you accuse me of being totally slanted about this observation from traveling all of Wyoming, here's a review of the Great Wall posted in "yelp" ... which reflects the common thread of reviews there ... While this take on the food is a bit different than mine as to why it's crap, the net result is the same ... it simply isn't chinese cooking, it's just food presented in a chinese style. Totally missing is any "air of the wok", any real sense of flavor balances, and ... in my experience ... any sense of textures to the food.


"Great Wall, Gillette

6/23/2012
This place is really 2.5 stars, but I decided to round down (to two stars, ed)

I really wanted to like this place. We read the reviews on Yelp, and decided to give it a go. I consider myself an American-Chinese food addict. It's Chinese food, how bad could it be?

Let's start with the pro's:
- Very quiet atmosphere. Perfect lighting, flowers on table. Very nice touch.
- Prices were reasonable for a high-end Asian restaurant. About equal to a Thai bistro.
- Fantastic waiting staff. I thought everyone from the very beginning to the very end was great. Exactly why I left a great tip too!

There's only one con, but it's huge:

- The food is under-flavored. Seriously, I can't even describe how bland *everything* was. The worst part was that everything looked so good to eat, that didn't help either. It wasn't "nasty", but it was far from "delicious" too.

The Coke I received with the meal was even watered down. That's understandable, it happens from time to time.

Next up was the won ton soup, mine was pretty good. The flower soup was bland, a little salt/pepper action worked there.

Next up was a huge sampler for an appetizer. We had about 6 different items on the plate. All looked extremely delicious. But in the end, every single one was bland. The chef seriously needs to learn how to marinate and/ or add more spices to his food. Everything tasted just like the meat that it was, not the spices/sauce that it was in.

Finally I had a large plate of some vegetables with orange chicken, and fried rice. The orange chicken had the same issue. Even the fried rice was bland! I've had at many many Chinese restaurants across the country, and have never experienced even fried rice being bland. It doesn't take a rocket science to make fried rice.

At the end of the day, I loved the place and the people. The food was so bland that I couldn't justify nowhere near the cost that I paid for it. Food is what keeps people coming back to a place, and this one just doesn't have it. My suggestion to them would be to replace their chef with someone who knows how to properly marinate and spice food."

Yet another, typical review, again Great Wall review on "yelp" ... and this one wasn't bad, they actually had some that were very detrimental where the diner didn't finish a meal because it was so bad ...

"We weren't expecting superior Chinese food and we didn't find it. But it was tasty enough to eat. When I ordered Orange Chicken the server asked if I wanted it mild, regular or spicy. I asked for spicy; it was so bland I wonder what mild was like. The pork with garlic sauce wouldn't have been bad if there were more than 5 pieces of pork in it and it had any garlic. Mostly it was sauteed onion and water chestnuts. The place was crowded on a weekday and two of the tables were all Asians speaking languages I couldn't understand. Usually this would be a good sign, but in Gillette it probably reflects the fact they didn't have too much choice."

and so forth for the other reviews ... these are typical reviews, and they clearly define that it's a foodlike substance being served, but a poor value, poor/indifferent cooking. One must put this in the context that chinese food is among the cheapest cost basis food to serve in a restaurant; ie, there's very little protein content in a dish made up primarily of vegetables, a little basic sauce, starches, and some spices compared to the cost basis of serving up dishes that are more protein based (such as a steak, etc). Not only that, but the common dishes are very simple to prepare and cook in a wok to order; stir frying is quick, simple, and a very simple sequence to freshly prepare a flavorful combination of textures, tastes, spicing/seasoning. The bottom line is that this is easy food to do right, but many folk in the business spend just as much time/expense to do it wrong, and it's deliberate as a business choice/model.

I've eaten at several other chinese restaurants in Gillette, and the results are comparable for the food. I assume they're getting their primary ingredients from the same food purveyor catering to the chinese restaurant community.


Now, onto a bright spot in the Gillette restaurant scene ...

if you like mexican, then head over to "Los Compadres" (1700 W. 2nd). Fairly recently opened, it was a refreshing surprise when one of my clients, knowing that I'm a foodie in my travels, took me there. Far far superior to the common denominator mexican themed food found throughout most of Wyoming, this place is a breakthrough of that mold. I'm not fond of Gillette as a destination, but this restaurant mitigates much of that ... it's worth the trip. What's important here is to break the mold of thinking that mexican food is only tacos, burritos, enchiladas, etc. There's a lot more to this cuisine, and these folk have much to sample on the menu. I've yet to be disappointed in several trips to the place ....

For entertainment or recreation while traveling on business, I've yet to find anything in Gillette that stood out. Unless there's an event at the CamPlex of interest, I haven't found anything that stands out for me. Not into bars, movies, etc. ... I've spent more time at my 'puter, holed up in my RV across from the CamPlex than anything else when in this area except when I've been with clients during the day. From my perspective, recreation is some distance away to the lakes or hills of the region. With a winter storm in the offing for the next few days, travel out of Gillette may be problematic and the outdoor activities limited ... while the regional tourist attractions are essentially shut down for the season.

CamPlex shows a country western living show on their schedule for this weekend ....

Last edited by sunsprit; 02-09-2013 at 08:40 AM..
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:47 AM
 
Location: In a city
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Well I didn't say "great" Chinese food... but good

If you are into fitness, there is a wonderful fitness centre in town... complete with Devil's Tower climbing wall... pools for adults and kiddies, work out equipment galore, racquet ball courts, bball courts... to name a few. I was impressed.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:53 AM
 
11,307 posts, read 46,414,171 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Froggie Legs View Post
Well I didn't say "great" Chinese food... but good
Too bad that it doesn't even rise up to the level of good. It's only slightly better than awful, you could do better in the WalMart frozen food section and a microwave in your motel room.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:01 PM
 
Location: In a city
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I admit I may have the name wrong.. I do remember it wasn't a buffet-type place, as they prepared individual menu items.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:55 PM
 
11,307 posts, read 46,414,171 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Froggie Legs View Post
I admit I may have the name wrong.. I do remember it wasn't a buffet-type place, as they prepared individual menu items.
You got the name and location right, FLegs ...

It's the place where the "pork in garlic sauce" is cooked to order with only a few pieces of pork and "no garlic, mostly sauteed onion and water chestnuts", per the review that I quoted. Garlic isn't an expensive food ingredient, so there's no excuse to be hoarding it like it was truffles ....

Makes my points about sloppy, indifferent food prep and a very poor value.

What's really sad is that this is probably the best chinese in Gillette ....
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:21 PM
 
Location: In a city
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Well then I must have got them on a good day ... to each his own (heck, some people like White Castle, right?) ... to the OP... eat what you like..
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