Sure, Village Wok is greasy, gooey, MSG-laden and buried in corn starch. But as an American Chinese food restaurant, it has inexplicable appeal and also has a huge selection of vegan dishes with the option for mock chicken and mock fish, in addition to ubiquitous standards such as tofu and mock duck.
Warning: Make sure to ask for your dish to be prepared without chicken broth; the menu has a "vegetarian" section but then indicates that you should tell your waiter if you want a dish made without MSG or chicken broth. At least they're upfront about ingredients. My waitress used the word "vegan" without any prompt from me, which was encouraging. I do find it frustrating that chicken broth is somehow considered vegetarian by Village Wok.
I had a mock chicken curry ($8.95) which was a savory, messy dish full of green onions, carrots, water chestnuts and unusual mock chicken. I'm not sure where they got their mock chicken from, but it's pretty realistic and reminded me of just a tad dry, day-old chicken. They also don't scrimp on the portion size. The taste was passable, and probably something I'd appreciate better at a late hour after drinking a few beers. That said, I'd be curious to try some of their other tofu and mock fish dishes.
The place is a low-scale, low-lit dive-esque place, but still was bustling when I went on a Tuesday afternoon.
The service was pretty friendly and attentive (with free tea, like old-school Chinese restaurants back in the day), though my order took nearly 20 minutes to arrive.
Village Wok is no Evergreen, but I appreciate that it offers unusual mockmeats and has such a large array of choices. The food wasn't terrible, but it doesn't stand out; my three-star rating rests primarily on the restaurant's long hours, mockmeats and scrappy mentality.