Everyone needs a First Wok in their lives.
There is, believe it or not, a bit of a downside to living in a major metropolitan area that is bursting to the seams with varied and authentic Asian cuisines. And that downside is the difficulty you run into when all you really want is some old-school takeout Chinese.
You know the food I'm talking about. Brown sauce. Fried rice. Spicy garlic sauce. Beef and broccoli, if you're into the broccoli thing. The kind of food that subtracts from your food nerd cred every time you think about it, but feels so, so good as you leave with a paper bag full of white cartons and desultory fortune cookies. No fusion, no Thai basil, just straight-up American Chinese from the post-chow-mein period. That's what First Wok serves up, and does so mere blocks from my home. Also possibly blocks from your home if you live in Bloomington - there's a couple of them.
They have tables, but I doubt I've sat down in the place more than twice. No, First Wok is all about the takeout, which will always take ten minutes. I don't have any hard data on how long it actually takes, all I know is that for the better part of a decade, I've been told ten minutes, unless it's REALLY busy, in which case it'll be "ten, fifteen minutes". If it's warm, you can venture out into the strip mall and poke around in Walgreens or a normal-sized old-school Barnes and Noble, but usually you just sit and wait and read old newspapers because it's a bit too far away from Burger Jones to latch onto its free wifi.
I have two standbys there. If I want vegetables, I usually get the double-sauteed pork, which is pork and cabbage and bamboo shoots and bell peppers in spicy brown sauce. If I'm in a more junk food comfort mode, it's subgum lo mein all the way, baby. Thick stir-fried noodles with beef, chicken, and shrimp that taste a lot like each other, along with a bit of scallion and an unhealthy amount of oil. One day, I had the bright idea to add a bit of sriracha to it once I got home, and all of a sudden, I was even happier, because it's a bit on the bland side normally.
People often use "mediocre" as a criticism, but mediocrity is, by definition, neither good nor bad. When judging something that's mediocre, you have to look at the context of the mediocrity. For example, a mediocre sit-down Mexican restaurant in a Knollwood strip mall, with gluey, dense tamales, bland refried beans, and slightly weird rice is also bad, because of the context. That context being a combination of the availability of better Mexican food in forms that are both cheaper and more convenient, plus a personal lack of emotional nostalgic attachment to Chi-Chi's.
But mediocre takeout Chinese has no equal. If you go cheaper, into the steam table land of Leeann Chin's or food court, you enter a nightmare of awfulness. It's tough to go more convenient. And if you go high-end, well, it's not realliy the same food at all, is it? It becomes something completely different. And that's why everyone needs a First Wok in their lives.