The food at Hot Food Express is okay, but not really anything to shake a stick at. I’ve had quite a few things on the menu to try and find something different that might justify the costs. It’s also overpriced in my opinion. Think about how cheap you can buy rice at the store. The menu has a lot of options, but whenever stir fried rice with some “curry” chicken throw on top costs about $10, it better be some damn good rice. It’s not. It’s edible and tastes okay, but for $10, you could run to a chinese place and get the same fried rice, even with chicken for $7. And you’ll likely get the same amount. I just looked at a local Chinese food menu at the lo mein prices. Shrimp lo mein at Hot Food Express costs $11. An order of shrimp lo mein at a Chinese place that’s about 1-2 miles away… $7. That’s for a whole quart of the stuff. The flavor of the food just doesn’t justify the costs in my opinion. That being said, there is likely some vocal proponents of Hot Food Express that will claim otherwise. This is my opinion, keep that in mind. So far, the only thing that I can say I was relatively impressed with on the menu was the fried shrimp platter, and that was decent enough. My Dad ordered it and liked it, so there you go.
It’s like this place was painted and decorated by a 13 year old girl who happens to be a music lover. There’s a cheesy crane game with money and crappy prized right by the door when you walk in. The walls are lime green and covered in old records. The bar area is not too bad. The coloring is less intense and the room is usually lit by outdoor lighting. I suggest eating in the bar area if you care for your eyeballs.
The food usually takes forever here. I’ve ordered 15 minutes ahead, drove there, and it still wasn’t ready. They get relatively busy for the lunch rush, but that’s no excuse for food taking as long as it does. I could understand if it was elaborate meals that require heavy prep, but it’s fried rice with stir fried chicken on top.
I’ve called at 11:15 before and still be put on hold. The counter employees are not very friendly and one particular one was just downright rude. Seriously, she was so dismissive when I asked her about the sriracha chicken. She acted like I didn’t know what I was referring to, even though there was a sign about the damn chicken 4 feet behind me. I ended up walking over and pointing at it. She eventually just said, “I don’t know.” It was like nothing I had seen in a long time.
The flavor of the food is okay, but doesn’t merit everything else. They have other places that you can go to get some fried rice or a far superior burger. If you want to spend $14 on a pretty good size plate of stir fried rice with chicken, then this is the place for you. I’m not sure what the hype is all about, but I can say that I’ve not quite fallen for it as some others have. If you have a differing opinion, express it below. Maybe you see the light. I don’t.