Soho Hibachi is quickly gaining popularity alongside its stretch of Battlefield Parkway in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. When I stopped by for a late lunch, the cozy diner bustled with life. There were nurses in scrubs, professionals in suits, college students and parents with young chlidren who had just stopped in to grab a quick to-go order.
From the back I could hear the hibachi grill sizzle and steam and metal utensils clatter about. All of Soho's dishes are prepared by experienced hibachi chefs using the highest-quality ingredients in order to produce the same expertly crafted traditional Japanese dishes - but for half the price and in the half the time as traditional hibachi restaurants.
After a few moments a smiling server brought me a platter of teriyaki tofu with a side of lo mein in place of white, fried or brown rice. The meal was beautiful, tossed in a tangy golden sauce on a bed of freshly grilled vegetables. A delectable scent wafted with it. The tofu was meaty and soft. The noodles were tender and the vegetables were ripe with warm juices. The portion was enormous, and I've been told that dinner portions are even larger.
I glanced at the table next to mine where two platters of hibachi chicken and shrimp steamed with a side order of harumaki, or Japanese-style vegetable rolls, fried to just the right crispiness. It was a feast indeed.
It is no surprise that customers' verdict on Soho Hibachi is unanimous: The dining area is clean and comfortable, the food is fresh and delicious and the portions are so large that there are plenty of leftovers. Not to mention that Soho's menu covers a selection of truly authentic Japanese foods like udon soup and gyoza, or Japanese- style pork and vegetable dumplings, which were perhaps the freshest dumplings I'd ever tasted.
In a matter of months Soho will celebrate its one-year anniversary. But in the meantime you can still take advantage of its Grand Opening Special. It has become a customer favorite, and so it has stuck around.
LOCATION: 1014 Battlefield Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.
HOURS: Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Grand Opening Special offers teriyaki or hibachi chicken as a lunch special for $5.25 and as a dinner special for $7.50. It also offers two for one harumaki for $1.50.
If you haven't been to Soho Hibachi you will definitely want to make the trip. You will also want to bring your appetite ... and a doggie bag. In fact, bring a couple.