Wing Lee doesn't aesthetically stand out from the crowd of Chinese and Thai options in the Ravenswood/North Center area. But then, it's never needed to. A longtime fixture underneath the Montrose Brown line stop, this family-owned, mostly delivery and takeout Chinese (and now Thai) restaurant makes up for its lack of visual impact with its lack of impact on your wallet.
A typical weekday afternoon finds Wing Lee doing brisk takeout business serving the small cluster of businesses up and down nearby Ravenswood Avenue. And no wonder: Lunch specials that include nearly 15 options and an egg roll or crab Rangoon get served up fast for only $5. If you're hungry after a commute home, a dinner-sized portion with just about as many options can be had for $8.
The small space sits less than 20, and although it's BYOB, you're more likely to grab a bite and head home than hang out. All of the appetizers are less than $5, with the fried golden chicken wings (nine in each order) being a particularly tasty standout.
Thai food has been added to the menu, but Wing Lee has always done Chinese best. The garlic chicken ($7) is a sizeable portion, with a brown garlic sauce that's just the right shade of spicy. An even better value is the chef-recommended Seafood Platter Delight, with a mix of shrimp, scallop, squid, crab meat and vegetables, the priciest item on the menu and still only $9.
Wing Lee may never be the prettiest option on the block, but it is a neighborhood workhorse of affordable takeout and delivery. Minimum order for delivery is $15 and the delivery charge is $2.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Bill Burman