Best Bets: Kwik Chek's Ninja, Bi Bim Bop

Korean Bi Bim Bop (left) and the Ninja sandwich at Kwik Chek.

Photo by Michael Donahue, Michael Donahue/The Commercial Appeal // Buy this photo

Korean Bi Bim Bop (left) and the Ninja sandwich at Kwik Chek.

Korean Bi Bim Bop (left) and the Ninja sandwich at Kwik Chek.

Photo by Michael Donahue, Michael Donahue/The Commercial Appeal

Korean Bi Bim Bop (left) and the Ninja sandwich at Kwik Chek.

When nobody was looking, I attacked my Ninja like a ninja.

The Ninja is a sandwich made with turkey, roast beef, Swiss cheese, bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, lettuce, sprouts, oriental sauce and spice served at the Kwik Chek on Madison. It's so good.

Sue Reyna, who owns the restaurant/convenience store, said she and her husband created the sandwich for their daughter, Alex, a few years after they took over the store almost 20 years ago.

I discovered the Ninja while eating at Payne's BBQ on Lamar. Ronald Payne, who is a great frequenter of Memphis restaurants, told me to try the Ninja. His description made me hungry.

When I got to Kwik Chek, I saw Jody Stephens, the legendary Big Star drummer, eating a Turk on wheat bread. That's similar to the Ninja, but it's also got lemon herb dressing and parmesan cheese on it. Stephens likes the Turk? Maybe I ordered the wrong thing.

Then I asked Drew Paslay and Jessica Morgan what they just ordered. They said Ninjas. Paslay is a fan of bean sprouts, and Morgan likes the sandwich's spiciness. So I felt more confident.

Barbara and Gary Meloni also were there. They wanted to find out how to prep their new Korean soft stone bowls with sesame oil. They ordered the bowls online because they're fans of Kwik Chek's Bi Bim Bop, a dish made with stirred fried vegetables, spicy Korean sauce and a sunny-side-up egg served served with chicken, beef, tofu or whatever else in a soft stone bowl.

"Bi Bim Bop" means "mix with all different stuff," Reyna said. So I had to order that, too. It arrived steaming with that egg cooking on top. I'd probably like anything with an egg cooking on top of it, but this dish is incredibly delicious.

I had to ask Lee Forrester and Steve Mann what they were going to eat. Lee, a fan of the muffaletta, ordered the turkey club. Mann ordered the Wild Bill. "'Cause I like roast beef," he said.

In addition to roast beef, the Wild Bill comes with turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, jalapeño, Thousand Island dressing, habañero sauce, hot pepper cheese and Western spice. That sounds great, but how much can I eat during one lunch?

If you don't want to ask everybody in the restaurant what they're eating, read the menu, which offers a range of choices, including Hey Zeus, My Bloody Valentine and My Feta Smells Good.

Kwik Chek is at 2013 Madison; 274-9293

-- Michael Donahue: 529-2797. donahue@commercialappeal.com

© 2011 Go Memphis. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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