Hawkward Thoughts Hot Woks / Cool Sushi, Drinking and Driving at the Bog

Sun, 2017/11/12

As many college students know, after a week’s worth of dining on microwavable ramen, nothing is quite as good as rolling up to Chinatown, plopping down in a greasy booth or a splintering chair, and tunneling through a gargantuan pile of saucy noodles with a side of steamy rice. Or, if the fancy strikes, risking it all for the sweet, inexplicable delicacy that is cheap sushi.

However, imagine a scenario in which the entire red line subway system was under construction, or Chinatown had been spirited away, or simply that your cousins are visiting town and have dragged you to the mirrored hell that is the Bean. Where would you go, you weak and famished, for your budget-friendly feast? Well, my friend, starve no longer, for the Michigan Avenue Miracle, the Hot Woks / Cool Sushi restaurant, is here to save both you and your wallet.

The restaurant serves a wide variety of Asian cuisine, from Japanese to Thai to Chinese, all equally delectable. The menu is straightforward, equally priced, and, most importantly to those from the states, in English. As well, standard drink favorites like Bud Light and Blue Moon are served along with their foreign counterparts, Sapporo and Asahi. Stunning mixed drinks, like my personal favorite, Thai Iced Tea, are sure to leave your meal diverse and your thirst quenched.

The Hot Woks / Cool Sushi brand has multiple locations across the Chicagoland area, but you would never be able to tell from their décor! Usually with a specialized theme, like the classy Adams Street location or the warm and homey Michigan Avenue dine-in, they provide an atmosphere to all situations; from having a small dinner outing with the gang to a casual date with your partner.

Topping my current list of favorite casual restaurants, to the annoyance of my friends every time I suggest going there, Hot Woks / Cool Sushi is the definition of a thematic crowd-pleaser. They’ll give you what you want, for a fair price, with a smile. Lastly, if you can’t seem to wrap your head around using chopsticks, or simply don’t think they’ll be effective enough in your efforts to shovel your food into your mouth as quickly as possible, you’ll never get a dirty look from the waiter for asking for a fork.


The Bog, Illinois Tech’s premiere night-life locale, is famous not only for hosting a variety of diverse entertainment and club activities, but also for the vast array of video game consoles, arcade games, and classic table sports made available to students. As well, the Bog’s bar and lounge can provide not only a smooth, cold pint of local beer to get the night flowing, but also a hot and greasy meal to fill the void; my personal favorite being their cheese fries.

While one could spend all night surveying the multitude of games available through the front counter, I found out the other day while visiting the hangout with one of my friends that the best way to get right into a competitive spirit is to immediately steer yourself towards the racing games; more specifically, towards Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch or towards the two Initial D arcade machines.

Being the newest addition to Nintendo’s arsenal of consoles, the Switch does not have many games out, yet. However, the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8 was rereleased for the Switch with all new maps, characters, cars, and more! This racing game is geared more towards beginners, with colorful tracks, friendly characters, simple controls, and a helpful rubber-banding mechanic, though it can have some challenges in it for more those who are more accustomed to racing video games. I, myself, who was brought up playing Gran Turismo 3 on the PlayStation 2, still don’t always secure first place against my friends and the computer’s AI!

For those seeking a little more realism in their racing experience, the two SEGA Initial D arcade machines can be found directly to the right of the Bog’s entrance, flashing bright lights and blasting out the sounds of screeching tires and of revving engines. While first premiering in Japan in the early 2000s, the arcade game became a worldwide hit within a few years, and is still considered by some to be the greatest jump in technology made by any racing game for its time. For the casual gamer, however, the game can present quite a challenge, as the controls are fairly sticky and the graphics substandard. Added complications come to players who can’t drive manual transmission or read Japanese!