Today’s installment of Adventures in Gas Station Eating brings me to teriyaki.
And kung pao chicken.
You’ll find all of the above at Tacoma’s newest gas station restaurant, Mimi Teriyaki Wok & Burger. It opened May 15 in the Hilltop neighborhood in a new addition attached to the Food Mart and 76 Station at the corner of South 19th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Typically, when I write about gas station restaurants, they’re tucked into the back corner of a gas station mini mart. Consider Mimi Teriyaki to be gas station adjacent. The spaces are connected, but with separate entrances.
Jay Choi partnered with the owner of the gas station, Don Lim, to open the restaurant.
Choi said a handful of family members run the restaurant. The menu is that ubiquitous hodgepodge of fast food that most everyone around here has in their regular rotation for take-out: The greatest hits of Japanese-American teriyaki, Chinese-American wok items and American burgers.
The basics: Call ahead for take-out or order at the counter and find a seat at one of the half dozen tables in the simple dining room.
The menu: Find chicken teriyaki ($8.49 to $9.95), beef or pork teriyaki ($9.45 to $9.99), shrimp teriyaki ($9.95), short ribs ($14.45), katsu ($9.45 to $10.45), five styles of yakisoba ($9.45 to $11.45) and six fried rice dishes ($8.45 to $10.45).
Appetizers list gyoza ($5.99), egg rolls ($4.99), shrimp tempura ($5.99), barbecue pork ($5.99) and more.
Fourteen Chinese wok dishes include General Tso’s chicken, kung pao chicken, cashew chicken, orange chicken and broccoli beef ($9.45 to $10.45).
Combinations and dinners come with steamed rice or steamed rice plus salad and egg flower soup.
Seven char-grilled burger choices include a cheeseburger ($4.99), bacon-and-cheese ($6.49) and mushroom-swiss ($5.99). Fried cod and grilled chicken burgers also are listed ($5.99 to $6.99). Turn a burger into a combo meal with crinkle-cut fries and a drink for three bucks.
Curly fries and onion rings also on the menu ($3.49 to $3.99). A fried bonanza of seafood includes oysters, calamari and prawn baskets ($6.99 to $7.99).
Beverages: Bubble tea ($3.85) or fountain sodas ($1.79 to $1.99). Four kids meal choices ($4.99 to $5.49).
Bargain seekers: Check out the lunch specials 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. Chicken teriyaki ($7.49) and chicken teriyaki combos ($7.79 to $9.49).
Food lowdown: Straightforward and just as you’d expect for a take-out restaurant of this kind. Generous portions of chicken teriyaki ($8.49) and short ribs ($14.45) were slathered in a sweet teriyaki glaze with two scoops of rice, a small salad and bowl of egg drop soup.
A char-grilled bacon cheeseburger was built on a sesame seed bun with a thick patty, swipe of special sauce and American cheese on the top bun and shredded iceberg, a tomato wedge, red onions, pickle chips and bacon on the bottom ($6.49).
Fries were crispy, fried right and crinkle-cut with a tangy fry sauce ($2.99).
Mimi Teriyaki Wok & Burger
Where: 1901 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Tacoma
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday