We all know that Southwest Florida truly has its share of Chinese Restaurants. You don’t have to drive too far in Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres or Cape Coral to find one! I have tried quite a few of them, but mostly for their take out as most do not have a sit down area for eating. A frequent dinning partner of mine had recently told me about JAN-BO, a Chinese Restaurant in Lehigh. They had told me that it is quite far out in Lehigh but that the food was absolutely fantastic, well worth the drive! Living in Lehigh I gathered up two dinning partners and off we headed to try JAN-BO and see how good this place for myself!
Sitting at the end of the Lehigh Town Center Plaza, JAN-BO is not hard to find. To the left you have the take out part of the restaurant and to the right you have the dine in part of the restaurant. Just from the outside one will get the sense that it is just another Chinese Restaurant, nothing special. Walk inside, and you will begin to get a different feel. The décor is not typical of that of what you would expect in a Chinese Restaurant. It has more of a main stream décor, which is actually quite nice and welcoming. The dining room has ample seating, about 15 tables and booths, spacious enough so you do not feel cramped while enjoying your meal. I noticed a lot of plants which looked quite green and healthy. At first I thought, fake plants, nice touch. But upon closer inspection, all the plants are real and very healthy, which to me says these folks take good care of every detail! We arrived at JAN-BO’s around 7PM on a Sunday evening. There were a few dining room patrons, but the Take-Out traffic was non-stop from the time we arrived. That to us was a good sign that we were in for a treat with the food, especially since most of the Take-Out traffic seemed to be regulars by the way there were greeted by the staff. Again, a nice touch by this establishment, as it said to us that the folks that own and operate JAN-BO truly appreciate their customer base, another sign of good things to come!
We were greeted warmly as we found a seat, and handed menus and had our drink order taken within the first two minutes of our arrival. Nice, as there is nothing worse than having to wait to get menus and have the drink order taken well after you have been seated. Quick service, but in no way was it rushed! The menu is quite extensive to say the least, but the most Chinese Restaurants have the same menu, the only difference is the quality. This is where I must add that one of my dinning partners for the evening is picky, picky, picky and will complain about the slightest thing. When I do reviews I like to bring this individual as this one will offer a perspective that often times I do not have, so I was waiting to hear the barrage of complaints and concerns come from them. This one had question after question for the waitress and the waitress did an excellent job of fielding each question, seeming to fully appreciate the questions. After reviewing the menu for a while, we all decided to try things that we knew we liked to be able to compare them with other Chinese Restaurants we have dined at. Dinning partner one selected the Shrimp in Lobster Sauce, the picky dinning partner selected Pork Lo Mein and I selected Hunan Pork as I love a spicy kick. With that being said, I am usually disappointed as the “spicy kick” is usually well below what I consider a “spicy kick”. All the dishes were a Combination Dish so they came with soup choice, egg roll and choice of rice – white or fried. We all choose the Wanton Soup and Pork Fried Rice. This was going to be the first real test with the Picky Dining Partner, as usually they just eat the Wontons and discard the actual soup. The Soup arrived and it was simply delicious. The flavor was rich and robust, each spoonful only wanted you to try more! The picky one actually enjoyed not just the wontons but the soup broth as well. We all noted the flavor and size of the wontons was very nice. Next came the egg rolls. This is where the picky one looked at me and said that they never eat the egg rolls as they never taste good. The egg rolls were a nice size and much to my surprise were not just filled with vegetables but also had meat in them! Yes, actual cubes of meat and oh did they taste delicious. The picky one saw how I and the other dinning partner were enjoying them and decided to try it for themselves. Well before I could ask how it was, they were finishing the last bite. So much for getting an extra egg roll for myself! So far I knew we were at a truly special place just by the reaction of the picky one! Now came the entrees, and let me tell you the folks at JAN-BO know only one thing, large portions! The Shrimp in Lobster Sauce looked like a painting it was so nice. The flavor was beyond expectations. The shrimp was lusciously bathed in a wonderful lobster sauce that tasted fresh and well rounded as both flavors complimented the other very nicely. My Hunan Pork was beyond measure. Now this is a dish that I have loved when I had it at other Chinese Restaurants, but it was as if I was having it for the first time at JAN-BO’s. The flavor of the vegetables and the pork bathed in that Hunan Sauce was incredible. Each vegetable retained its own unique flavor, mixing so nicely with the sauce and finally, yes finally the spice of the Hunan Sauce has been master! The rich flavor and a spice that was present and oh so wonderful! The kick that I like was there, but was not off putting to the taste buds, but rather complimenting as if an orchestra was at work in my mouth. Delightful to say the least. Now we come to the picky one, the one who finds fault with everything! Can we say the Pork Lo Mein was enjoyed from bite one to bite one hundred and one. Not one thing was found to be at fault. The noodles were perfect, the flavor was spot on and the portion size was more than excellent as it not only was dinner but was also lunch the following day, and yes I later found out was enjoyed as much for lunch as it was dinner! Dinner was a huge success, all of us agreed that it was well worth the drive and would definitely come again and would definitely use them for take out as well!
JAN-BO’s advertises “Excellent Food at Amazing Prices!” Believe them when they say that! The food was beyond excellent and the prices are amazing. The total bill for the three of us was under $35.00! Lunch prices range from $6 to $8 and dinner prices range from $9 to $11. When you consider the quality and quantity of food you receive, their slogan is spot on!!! Their hours are Tuesday through Sunday 11:00am to 9:30pm. They are closed on Mondays. We did see a sign that stated that they did not deliver, but this is one place that is worth the drive to pick up your take-out, you will not be disappointed!
Whether you are looking for Chinese Take-Out or Chinese Sit Down, you really need to look no further, JAN-BO’s will definitely satisfy even the pickiest of eaters!