Restaurant Series – Anh Hong Pho Cafe (28 Sept 2013)

Special B and I stopped by one of our favorite Vietnamese restaurants: Anh Hong Cafe.  The original plan was to get the ‘pho’, a classic dish made of burning hot beef broth with raw meat (the meat is thinly sliced so that it cooks in the hot broth), basil, peppers, peanut roots and rice (or egg) noodles.  However, we decided to try on the Special BBQ deal first…then we could not finish our pho and had to take them home.

What went well:  the food is succulent!  The charbroiled barbecue pork never disappoints.  The BBQ shrimp and the spring rolls are delicious!!  The portions are large and should fill big appetites.

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What was so-so:  the tea cups.  I don’t know if am lunatic, but for some reason, the tea cups in asian restaurants seem to isolate the heat from the liquid and you rarely get burnt.  The cups at Anh Hong did not have the special thermal barrier as my tongue did feel the heat 😉

What went wrong: the beef stew with egg noodle.  No, did not like it at all.

In case you like pho, there are many recipes online. The link HERE is the one am looking forward to testing out in an upcoming Tried-N-True series.  Stay tuned!

Are you a fan of Vietnamese food? Please take poll below and leave a comment!

TnT Series 25 Sept 2013 – BBQ Porc in Oven

Yesterday I tried a new recipe for BBQ pork chops with a homemade sauce.  Recipe from Bobby Deen’s book “From Mama’s Table to Mine”.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the final outcome (the pork chop on a plate with salad and french fries…).  Master Tester said thumbs up, so give it a try and let me know how yours turn out….if you like BBQ pork 😉

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Warmdaddy’s – 22 Sept 2013

Yesterday, Miss P and I went for a dinner at Warmdaddy’s.  This was my first visit and will definitely come back.

What went well:  The food is great! Highly recommend the south jerk chicken roll and the blackened tilapia with shrimp and crab.  I didn’t try any dessert, no more space left!  Menu here. The musicians were great! Remix of “My Girl”, “If I was your woman”, and additional hits by Temptations.  Also, the background jazz prior to the arrival of the live performers was awesome! I was introduced to John Legend live performances (I know, which planet do I live on, miss P said, but John Legend was not on my radar…).

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What was so-so:  So much food! Seriously.  This is authentic Southern food I hear, so they pile on the butter but it is good (not for my waist though).

What went wrong:  Arrival of the live musicians…could have been smoother.  Also, it gets pretty crowded so the waitresses take a long time to take your order.  The food is served quickly though.

Have you been to Warmdaddy’s before? What do you like most about it?

Tried and True Series: One shade of Chicken Thighs and MacNCheese (TnT 17sept13)

While at Target, I stumbled upon yet another cook book but this time I held on NOT to purchase it.  It is entitled ’50 Shades of chicken’.  Agreed, a very poor attempt to draw attention to the popular adult novel (not the Anatomy Grey).  I did not read the book and do not intend to.

Back to the shades of chicken, I browsed through the various recipes and decided to try on the chicken thighs with white wine caramelized onions….It is called the “Dripping Thighs recipe”, whatever that means? I wish I could share a link to the recipe online but there is a video I did not check, and do not want to check just in case the publicity stunt goes too far for my sensitive eyes 🙂 feel free to google the recipe name on your own and you should get a quick access to it.

Below, my tried and true pictures.  Master Tester said it was good but could do better 🙂 I feel should have added some honey…on the other hand, not a fan of  too sweet dinners.   Served the thighs with the Foulds Mac and Cheese.  Let me know how yours turn out!

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Cuba Libre – 17 Sept 2013

Special B and I went on a date last Friday at Cuba Libre.  We originally planned to do Amada, but we realized we had already visited the restaurant about a month ago.  I’ll try to remember to upload pictures from Amada in my next post.

Cuba Libre is a favorite of ours.  My first ever visit was as a chaperone to a dear friend of mine and her fiance at the time.  I was very uncomfortable and was secretly wishing they would behave properly.  I needed worry, they are a very cute pair.  Above all, they are very close friends and I love the way she looks at him…We sat on the balcony that night, enjoyed great food while Tito El Bambino sang in the background…Getting carried away.

For our last visit, special B and I sat on the balcony again.  The decor is pretty interesting with high and low tables, cuban inspired murals and a bar.  Its ambiance definitely encourages private discussions while the background music is clear enough to avoid uncomfortable silence.  Some pictures below.

What went well: The bread with mango butter is very good.  Highly recommend the “15 tastes of Cuba”, an all-inclusive tasting menu, when available.  Also the mojito is the best in the city in our opinion.  I like the classic, but mango and pineapple are excellent as well.

What was so-so:  The restroom with an old liquor bottle for soap….cool idea, if it closed properly 😉

What went wrong:  The server was really nice, but a little too attentive…OK am being picky.

Have you been to Cuba Libre? If so, please rate below!

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Restaurant Review: Bistro La Minette – 6 Sept 13

Friday evening, special B and I stopped by this French restaurant to try it out.  You see, special B is in search of the perfect creme brulee as he desperately reminisces of a childhood event when he first tasted a creme brulee dessert back home with dad.  He was nostalgic and I was hungry….perfect dinner match!

What went well:

Food is great.  We highly recommend the escargots, the soup (potage Saint Germain), the porc chops (Cotes de porc).  The baguette was excellent, so was the butter! The service was good.

What was so-so:

The rabbit (le lapin) was good, but I’ve eaten better at a local Belgian restaurant.  Also, the creme brulee was better than what special B has tasted so far in the tri-state area, but not good enough…the search continues!

What went wrong:

The lemonade with alcohol (cannot recall if it was rum or some soft liquor) was too sweet with an unpleasant after taste.  I didn’t like it at all.

Overall: Would go back to try more items on the menu, and stay away from cocktail drinks 🙂

Pictures below.  Have you been to the bistro, if so what was your verdict? Please share!

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Tried and True Series – 7 Sept 13: Chicken and Herbs

My friend, Miss Cay, was discussing her tried and true list over at her Instagram page.  It was such an excellent idea I am using her approach to motivate me to try different recipes (and justify the purchase of millions of cooking books that I seldom use….).

The first trial for this series is fairly simple: chicken and herbs.  I am posting original recipe and picture, as well as Sissi’s trial 😉  It turned out well, and the master tester (aka my very picky baby brother) loved it….I guess we passed the test! Let me know what you think!

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Mixing mint with almond and lemon juice

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Chicken I roasted, here half cut as I was getting ready to serve 🙂

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And the final product! Pretty close to the original picture 🙂 Good job!trieNtrue_8sept13_pic3

If you would like to try a different recipe for Chicken and Herbs, some links below! Let me know how yours turn out 😉