Hibachi-style restaurants have sprung up like spring weeds in Chattanooga over the past 10 years, and the Teriyaki House in East Ridge may be one reason for the proliferation.
The Ringgold Road restaurant has been around nearly 20 years, and perhaps its success has spawned the spray of wannabes.
A quick-in, quick-out stop earlier this week introduced my family to the establishment, and it's no wonder why a nonstop group of patrons came in for carry-out or paused to dine.
We were supplied with decent portions of tasty food in a reasonable time. That's the bottom line for many diners.
As at many hibachi restaurants, chicken, steak, shrimp and scallop entrees are offered in various flavors and in various combinations. Teriyaki vegetable, chicken, steak and shrimp are available in regular and large portions. All entrees are served with fried rice and vegetables, which are onion, mushrooms and zucchini.
Also appealing are the hibachi grilled chicken ($7.55) and shrimp ($7.85) salads, which are not run-of-the-mill offerings in local hibachi restaurants.
Extras, from individual vegetables to meats, can be added to any order for a modest price.
Patrons also can select from three tempting desserts you might expect to find at traditional American restaurants -- banana split, hot fudge cake and sundaes.
In addition, three kids dishes ($4.29-$5.05) are available.
The order (for three): We opted for teriyaki chicken (me), teriyaki shrimp (my wife) and teriyaki steak (my son). My wife and I ordered the regular versions of our meal, and we selected the large version for our son, who'd spent the afternoon playing ultimate Frisbee and was likely to be ravenous.
My to-go dish probably had around a half cup of chicken, while my wife counted seven medium shrimp on her plate. Our son's larger dish had more steak and was probably a bit better value.
None of us were blown away or disappointed by our meals. I actually meant to order the teriyaki garlic chicken, which might have provided a bit more flavor.
The vegetables were tender and were paired well with the fried rice.
All three meals came with a packet of soy sauce and three small containers of white sauce, which my son and I found different than the norm -- theirs may have a bit of mustard -- in most hibachi restaurants.
Time dictated that we order our meals to go, and the hostess was friendly and willing to answer any questions. She told us our order would take 10 to 15 minutes, and it was ready within the time we were told. Patrons came in to dine while we were there, and the limited wait staff seemed eager to please their every need.
The building is a former Pizza Hut, so the dining room is large and can accommodate a number of people. The atmosphere is laid-back, the walls are painted in warm colors, and real and faux plants provide accessories. Both booths and tables are available.
East Ridge residents appear to have made this a restaurant staple, and the value they get for their money is probably why.
Contact Clint Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6497.
* Where: Teriyaki House, 5908 Ringgold Road, East Ridge.
* Phone: 892-8483.
* Hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (lunch) and 4-9 p.m. (dinner) Monday-Friday, 4-9 p.m. (dinner) Saturday.
* Price range: 65 cents (extra shrimp or scallop)-$12.25 (teriyaki shrimp and scallop combination plate).