Yep, I went here. Yes, I should be committed to an asylum. I can honestly say that I have seen what death is and I’ve walked away from it. I looked it square in the eye and gave it the bird. You don’t scare me food poisoning, Shigellosis, orBacillus cereus Let me tell you how this all started. I was surfing the web while at work, what else am I supposed to do? And I came across an article on Metro Jax saying this about Chopstick Charley’s “It is by far the best Chinese in town for the price” Let me just say this, you’re full of shit Metro Jax. What the hell is wrong with you? Why would you do this to your readers? Was this a prank? If so, my colon doesn’t think this is one bit funny. At the bottom of this review is a video of every single picture I took, you will want to watch that, I promise.
Location: Maybe you’re like me and have driven by this for years thinking it was an abandoned building? It’s right by the Walmart on Philips Hwy between Emerson and University Blvd.
Food: Let me go over the food first before I get into the nitty gritty about the lack of cleanliness and just the overall creepiness that is Chopstick Charley’s. I will say upfront, yes, it’s cheap. But isn’t most Chinese fast food cheap? Ok, so I ordered a few things so I could get a better ‘taste” of the food.
The first thing I ordered was the Egg Rolls. That is a Chinese restaurant staple, this should be an easy one, right? WRONG. The server brought out 2 egg rolls and my first impression is that they were cooked a tad too long. They were too dark but little did I know that the outside would be the highlight. If you look at the picture, you will see that there is almost nothing inside but celery. I’m not kidding, about 80% of the inside was celery. So much so, that when you went to dip it in some soy, everything on the inside fell out, there was nothing but loose stuff inside, not your typical egg roll. Because it was almost all celery, there isn’t much to review….because celery has little to no taste….MMmmmm deep fried celery…so good? No.
Next up, the Fried Wontons. No way they mess this up. How do you mess up some deep fried cream cheese? Just ask Mrs. Kitty, the cook, because I think she knows how. I know this all may seem to be coming off as mean and everything, but I’m just not going to try to make this place out to be something that it’s not. These little packets were just full of of gooey cream cheese, it almost dripped out. Nothing mixed in with it, nothing. Blech!
Last thing I tried was the Beef Lo Mein. There was no way I was going to try the Shrimp Lo Mein, I had no doubt in mind that they weren’t going and purchasing fresh caught seafood everyday or even rotating store bought stock. I just didn’t have that kind of trust in them after I had a glimpse of the kitchen. I have to say this though, the portion size of the Lo Mein was out of control. HUGE! But is that necessarily a good thing? The meat was very very gristly. The noodles and the other ingredients did taste fresh though. So, there’s that.
Here is a link to their latest health inspection: Nooooo
Extra: Ok, a couple of things. There are NO freaking windows. That, right there, ups the creepiness factor. I honestly didn’t think this place was a functioning restaurant and apparently, after telling everyone on social media that I was going, I wasn’t the only one that thought that. I’m going to make bullet points of my observations below.
- Saw random guy taking buckets of water from The Joe Hotel into the back of the restaurant while I was sitting in my vehicle
- There were about 40 of those air fresheners in the restaurant and it STILL stunk! It reminded me of the scene from Seven with all the air fresheners. Click for video reference in case you don’t know the movie.
- The greeter is socially awkward. After asking if I was eating in or out, he replied “SIT!” and walked away. Weird
- Check out the pics of the kitchen I snuck. Tell me it’s worth it to eat here? Really Metro Jacksonville?
- How about that front door and lack of windows? I’m sure this is how the next Saw movie is going to start.
- This is the one time I was excited to get my drink served in a can.
- Check out the video my buddy @JesseLWilson snagged with his iPhone. No, there is no radio or TV on. That is the greeter talking to himself. It was very unnerving.
- The whole ordeal took 1.5hrs, from order to paying. I’ve spent less time at Ruth’s Chris for a top notch meal.
In closing, I would like to thank the Navy. While I was in, I received all my Anthrax shots and eaten lots of street food, without your help (Navy) I couldn’t have taken one for the team and tried this place out.
My advice: Skip this place at all costs. I think Metro Jacksonville was trying to get too “hip & cool” with this suggestion. Don’t out think yourselves, there is a reason this place looks abandoned and it should stay that way.