How 'Bout Them Knockers: Oriental Lite Restaurant

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Each week in 'Knockers' we order from a different delivery restaurant, assessing their efficiency and keeping a running score.

Oriental Lite Restaurant
14925 Midway, Addison

Promised delivery time: 45 minutes
Actual delivery time: 31 minutes

Quick and easy ordering: 6
Surprisingly extensive delivery area: 12
Beating promised delivery time by 14 minutes in spite of delivery area: 9
Deduction for damaged probably caused by driver hurtling through the Midway-Beltline intersection: -8
The fact that the same guy who took order (and probably owns the place) hurtled through intersection: 19
Menu that includes Japanese and Chinese items: 10
Better than supermarket sushi: 10
True to name 'lite' dishes: 28

Total Score: 86
(Bumps Tony's Pizza & Pasta from Top Ten)

Top Ten

Scalini's Pizza & Pasta 87
Oriental Lite Restaurant 86

See complete 2009 standings here

These guys don't mind flooring the peddle and careening hell-bent through suburban traffic--but you'd never know it from their demeanor.

On the phone, they come across as efficient automatons, promptly jotting your order, confirming your address and asking repeat customers if they want it on card number '1234' before you even get a chance to bring up payment. Then there's a 'that'll be $20.14. Be there in 45 minutes.' Click. The entire transaction takes less than a minute.

When the driver arrives--the same old guy every time I've ordered from the place--this blank proficiency turns into a proper and courteous display, much like you'd find in old Hollywood encounters between Chinese elders and Americans (Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, for instance).

Sooner or later I'll risk something from their sushi and sashimi list. Given that they can make it from point A to a rather distant point B in 31 minutes suggests the fish won't suffer to badly along the way. The Japanese half of their menu also includes unagi bowls, tempura, udon, bento boxes--even sukiyaki, oddly enough. But I zeroed in on the spider roll, a nicely malty but somewhat soggy presentation served with more than enough wasabi and ginger.

No surprises on the Chinese side, other than the fact that their General Tsao's chicken (I'm sort of an addict) flits in an extraordinarily light sauce from which strides a welcome caramelized citrus peel flavor, both sweet and bitter. The meat itself consists of smaller bites than usual, with a thin coating of batter and plenty of vegetables.

You can actually convince yourself it's healthy and order a portion of fried wonton, too. Yin and Yang, you know.

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