Chinese Paradise: Bo Lee on Mintz Lane by Vinh Q. Truong

15102 Mintz Lane, Houston, TX
(281) 880-8019

April 2004–”Hi Gurlfriend! What’s going down?” That is Mrs. Lee greeting a female customer that has just walked in the door.

“Hello!” And that, my friend, would be Mr. Lee yelling out from the kitchen in the back. He always knows if someone has just come in or leaving. Mr. and Mrs. Lee also have a son whom you would rarely see because he is always be in the back taking care of things. Running a restaurant can be a lot of hard work. He is a typical young adult who is very responsible and also very nice and polite. So as you can see, they each have their own ways of greeting their customers. The Lees are the owner of this wonderful place where, when you are there, you are family!

“Bo Lee” was originally located on Bamel North Houston and Veterans Memorial in the same shopping strip as Kroger. This one, a quite small building; belongs to someone else which whom the Lees are renting it from. The Lees have been running their business here for many years and have established a very close relationship with many of their customers. After a few years of saving up, the Lees decided to move on and build their own place. A place they could call theirs, a place that belongs to them. After relocating, Mr. and Mrs. Lee agreed to change the restaurant’s original name, Bo Lee, to Bo Lee on Mintz Ln. because of where it is now located. Mintz Ln. is a very small, about one-fourth of a mile in length, two-lane road hidden on the right side of FM 1960 going toward I-45. Covered by other buildings on both sides of the street, the entrance to Mintz Ln. looks like a driveway to a newcomer’s eyes.

On both sides of the narrow road have a small, narrow waterway that looks like small rivers on rainy days. Tall trees and large shrubs of all types give the small road a shady looks with a country-side like scenario. Also, the power lines run down the road with the light poles hovering everything else every twenty feet or so. The one story building looks like a small local store from the outside; like in of them movies where there is a diner out in a deserted area. But once you are inside, you will get this instant feeling of being home or some place that gives you a warm feeling to your heart and body.

Many of the first timers have a hard time believing that this place is a restaurant because of its looks from the outside. Inside there are about ten tables. Out of the ten tables, six of them are couple tables and the other fours are reserved for larger groups of customers. At Bo Lee on Mintz Ln., you can sit yourself anywhere without being afraid of being put near the bathroom, which sometimes can ruin your appetite. Don’t get the last sentence wrong. The restrooms here are lemony fresh. Some even say that the restrooms at Bo Lee on Mintz Ln. are cleaner than the ones at their own house. The Lees believe that in order for the customers to feel like home, the restaurant must have a house-like environment.

“People deserve the right to feel safe and comfortable when they are eating. Nothing should get in between a man or a woman with his or her meal. After all, they did pay for the food!”Mr. Lee adds. So whether you are sitting near a window or at the counter, here is probably as close to “home” as it can get. A place where you can relax be worry free, and just enjoy some of your favorite Chinese dishes that you have paid for.

If you think picking where to sit is hard (since you never really have that option anywhere else beside smoking or nonsmoking) then you need to think again. Here, at Bo Lee on Mintz Ln., you will not get bugged about getting an appetizer. Even though drink purchases are require. Not really! Everything is at your own will. From egg rolls to crispy fried shrimp served with sweet and sour sauce or soysauce, you would want to try many of the appetizers. There are also many kinds of soup you can choose from to go with your favorite dishes. The soups are rather quite good. The Lees believe that soup should be more than just water in a cup or bowl.

“I like soup with something I can chew on; rather than just me gulping down flavored water!” That would be Mr. Lee theory to making his “kinds of soup”. Soups are among the favorites at Bo Lee on Mintz Ln.; especially in the winter. What can keep you warmer in the winter time than a nice, warm, tasty bowl of home-cooked soup besides getting a big hug from a loved one? Wait! The ice-tea here is FREE! Surprise eh? Nine out of ten customers would prefer having ice tea for free rather than paying for it. The ice tea here is freshly brewed, unsweetened, and served with a fresh slice of lemon.

“When it comes to ice tea, a lot of people like it to be sweet; but many others like it just as it is. Plain cold ice tea served with or without lemon. The customers should have the options whether to sweeten the tea or not. And ice tea should be FREE with refills!” That is Mrs. Lee opinion of how ice tea should be, and many of the customers seem to agree. Here, there are also many varieties of soft drinks or simply if you just want water.

So you have got getting a drink over with, now it is time to order the food. A little warning from other customers: ordering the food can be a little stressful. Sure this place has fried rice and egg rolls like any typical Chinese restaurants. But with so many kinds of fried rice, picking one isn’t very easy, especially when you are very hungry from the smells as you entered the door. The fried rice consists of regular cooked white rice fried with eggs, vegetables, and your choices of beef, shrimp, pork, or chicken. Simply the best option is to order a “combo” which consists a little of everything. There are also many other types of dishes, which are served with plain white rice. If you are a person who is into something spicy then Kung Pow Chicken would be your favorite. And if you prefer something crispy that comes along with a sauce then drop the menu. Beef Low Meing is the one for you. Beef Low Meing is a “stew” with a mixture of beef and all sorts of vegetables. It is served with your choice of fried pan noodles or just plain, soft noodles. There are also Chicken and Pork Low Meing which all have shrimps and served hot. The sweet and sour shrimps and chickens are also among the favorites. And for vegetarians, Chao Meing Noodle is a yum! It is just like Beef or Chicken Low Meing, but without the beef or chicken. Instead, it is served with artificial meat made up of a formula of soy and other vegetables.

Not only there are so many dishes being offered from the menu, Mr. Lee can also change it up a bit so it can be just how you like it. Many of dishes here you can mix and match because of its varieties.

As Mrs. Lee would always say: “Whateva you want, we either have it or we will make it. As long as it is Chinese that is!” Can it get any better than this? Not only you can make your own dishes, the food is freshly cooked right when you ordered.

“No precooked frozen here! If you want microwaved foods then you can always go to fast food restaurants or a drive through. People should deserve more for the money that they paid for anything, especially for food!” Mr. Lee commented.

At Bo Lee on Mintz Ln. the prices are not bad at all. Most dishes here averaged to be about five to seven dollars which are very close to the prices of many fast food restaurants; such as McDonald, Jack In The Box, ect. And what many people do not realize is that even though each dish is single serving, it would usually take two people to finish the dish. So that is like two people eating and only paying for a price of one. Now that is a good deal! All kinds of people come and go at Bo Lee on Mintz Ln. Some would dine in while others would do a take out. With so many varieties of fresh quality foods at a very cheap price, many people make this place as their personal kitchen. Others simply said that this is their favorite Chinese restaurant. Bo Lee on Mintz Ln.!

So why eat at Bo Lee on Mintz Ln.? At Bo Lee on Mintz, customers come before everything else. The service is more than wonderful. Why not ask if you should eat somewhere else? Different people have different tastes. Others don’t even like Chinese food. The only way to find out if this place is as good as it seem is to pay it a visit. Many customers said that Bo Lee on Mintz Ln. is more than a restaurant to them. Many even eat here more than they eat at home. Some people just don’t have time to cook because of a busy schedule. Others are just too tired because they had a long day at work. Whether you are dining in or taking out, this is the place to go to for Chinese. Food that is! With many varieties of freshly cooked dishes and a clean home environment, this is the place to be. No matter the ethnic, sex, or personality, you are always welcome here. And when you are here, you are family! Bo Lee on Mintz Ln. is a “two thumbs up” restaurant.



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