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It all happened when I had to redeem my crappy friend status……..

EL CORTEZ
TEQUILA BAR + KITCHEN
10322 83 Ave NW,
Edmonton, AB

“Ugh, I forgot to phone you back” I texted to her, feeling like a bag of shit. “No worries”, she said ” You can redeem your crappy friend status if you meet me at a new spot tonight that I’ve wanted to try for a while”, Brandy, (my cool, smart, witty friend who is a great foodie as well) bargained. “Hell ya!” I said, after taking a peek at the online menu.  By the way, I need to give a big shout out to restaurants who put their menu’s online. There’s nothing worse than the moment when you realize you hate everything on the menu, and so now you have no choice but to just get drunk because booze is all you can to order. It really cuts on down the awkwardness.

El Cortez is a new spot that’s opened in the old Sweet 69 space on Gateway Blvd Northbound. Now, to be fair, I don’t know a lot about mexican fare, but my girl Brandy does. She spent time traveling around Mexico and the girl can make a wicked taco – not to mention knowing her way around an excellent ceviche.  She would lead the evening in the food selections and I of course, would just be funny, gorgeous entertaining self.

I arrived before her, so I found a comfy seat by the window (picnic table style) and took a look around. Let me tell you, the decor in this place KICKS ASS!! I’ve not seen anything like it, and would hazard a guess that the rest of Edmonton hasn’t either. Brandy said she read somewhere that the decor could be described like an old gangster setup, rough and tough, all grafitti’d up and expectant of dude with a handlebar mustache (think Danny Trejo kinda, in “Machete”) to come in with guns a blazin’,… but then his girlfriend comes in and throws in her girly touch to the mix. (That’s the gist of what she was saying anyway.) Take a look at this awesome decor. It’s literally an exciting sight for bored eyes that are SO done with looking at the same old sleek-clean-lines-wood-steel decorating that tries too hard in that  “I’m trying to be cool” way.

There’s no trying here, El Cortez decor IS cool.

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Oh, our server was super cool too. She did a great job. She had great suggestions  – I wanted a fruity type drink, so she suggested one that was on the menu. Unfortunately, they were out of the alcohol needed to make it. (Ummmmm… On a thursday night, you’re out of booze for certain drinks on your menu??) So, I picked another drink off the menu:

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Wooooeeeeeee!!!! I took a sip, and instantly feared talking in the direction of the burning candle. Flame thrower is not a good look for any girl. Boooooozy!!! If your idea of a cocktail is pure alcohol, then you may like it.  But my inner alchie is a pansy-ass so I didn’t like the drink. Finally, I settled on a glass of white which was again, one of the servers suggestions, and it was fine.

Appetizers:

TAQUITO:  Ahi tuna wrapped in a tortilla with wasabi avocado crema, onion, pickle, tomato and watercress.

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This appetizer was DELISH!! The wrap was warm and crispy, the tuna firm and succulent. The wasabi crema could have been a bit more plentiful on the plate, but what was there added a slightly spicy creaminess that helped tone down the pickle on the crunchy onion. It all worked together wonderfully. Was it worth the 17 dollars for the appetizer?  No. However, it was pretty damn tasty.

 

CEVICHE: Albacore tuna, sweet potato, roasted corn, cilantro, chilies with tortilla chips3
Snoooore. This ceviche limped along, trying to act all ceviche like, but just couldn’t cut it. We even tried to help it by asking for extra lime and salt, but it was just no bueno. It was bland with the occasional hit of sweetness from the corn and… sweet potato. Sweet potato in a ceviche? That was a first for us but we were willing to keep an open mind, and it just didn’t cut it. It was a miss for both of us. However, I have to say, the tableware in this joint is INCREDIBLY gorgeous. Every dish was served on a great piece of pottery that gave it an authentic feel. I want to have it.
 
Now.
 
Ok, moving on……
 
Salad:
 
Watermelon Salad: Squares of watermelon with jalapeno, shallot, water cress, and torched queso with a tequila lime dressing.
 
 
 
 
 
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This salad sounded so delectable in words. I was SO excited because really, I could be a watermelon kingpin. I’d love to have a watermelon empire if I lived somewhere hot, because I simply love watermelon so much. Unfortunately, it almost whispered “sorry” to me when the server brought it our table. Again, cool ass plate, but approximately five pieces of watermelon with barely “torched” (not really even melted) cheese on top. If by saying onion, they meant radish, then that part was good and crispy, but I saw no onion on the plate. The dressing was nice, but I think they put chili oil on the plate as well? Sorry, another let down.
 
Tacos:
 
We ordered three kinds:
1.Fried cheese, jalapeno and mango slaw with bacon bits and crema

2. Beef cheek, poblano mole, queso fresca, guacamole and radish

3. Smoked pulled pork, kale kimchi, fried peppers and crema

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1. The fried cheese (top) – It was not bad. Again, nothing really bad about it, but nothing spectacular either. The mango was nice with it but it just needed something to bring it up a level or two…

2. The beef cheeks (left) – This was very rich. Beef cheeks are luxurious and unctuous to begin with and with a rich guacamole, it was rich on rich. The radish wasn’t enough to cut the richness, but again,
if you like rich on rich, you’ll love them.

3. Pulled pork (right) – Nice! Smoky flavor from the sauce in the pork and a little crunch from the fried peppers. The kale kimchi was a little lost, but this was good in general.

So overall, the food was………. lack luster. It had some really amazing stuff (the taquito) and a dish that really made it stumble (the ceviche). In between all that, were the salad and tacos that were simply average.  El Cortez can’t survive on the decor alone, and I hope that the menu works out the blandish kinks.  Brandy and  I both decided that as it now, it’s a great place to go after work for some drinks and an appetizer, but as a great dining experience… not so much. I think the items on the menu are great, but they just really need to be tweaked in terms of flavor. That being said, if they get the menu right, coupled with that kickass decor and cool ambience, they could have a super popular spot would do really, really well.

El Cortez Tequila Bar and Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Good ol’ Shenanigans

Shenanigans Irish Pub and Grille
423-A Shoreline Village Dr
Long Beach, CA 90802
United States

Written by guest reviewer,
Chris Davis

 

There are times when I want some specific type food
but my brain, for just some reason, can’t process what it is. However, in an
event such as this, you need to go with the one kind that
can never let you down……

PUB FOOD!!

Which in most cases for me is some kind of
Irish/British pub. This is what brought me to Shenanigans, located
in Shoreline Village, Long Beach. The weather was great and it was somewhere around 1 o’clock and I was in a mood for your simple wings and Guinness. This place looked like it would fit the bill just perfectly.

The building on the outside is yellow but the back side of the place has
great patio seating overlooking the downtown marina Long Beach. Inside it’s just what a pub should be, pool tables, dart boards, walls adorned with randomness.

Ahhhh yes, a pub as it should be!

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Oh and it’s stocked with a pretty snazzy Scotch selection that you can’t
go wrong with.

Now onto the grub, in some places they do wings different ways. Some fry them, some grill them, others fry and bake them. Me, personally, I prefer them fried nice and crispy with just enough sauce to get on my fingers but NOT on my shirt.

I ordered a dozen in a regular buffalo sauce but lightly coated, a basket of fries and my usual Black & Tan. The bartender had my heart when she asked me “Harp or Smithycks with your Guinness?” In a simple place they’d just serve it with whatever and not ask you. I’m a Harp guy with my Black & Tan’s when it’s available.

That’s just doing it RIGHT.

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My wings came out piping hot just as they should be and she was right on time with my next drink. There was a bit of a difference in these wings though. At first I thought it was some type of spice but the sauce had a bit more kick to it than normal. I couldn’t place what it was but DAMN it was good. The fries were extra crispy just the way I like them, and the house made blue cheese was just what the doctor ordered.

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The place wasn’t exactly its fullest, seeing as how it was a Thursday afternoon and more people were at the beach. But nonetheless, my waitress/bartender was cute and knew what she was doing behind the counter. So service wasn’t an issue and the prices were more than reasonable. So on your next Long Beach trip, go get into some Shenanigans!!

Happy chowing!!

Shenanigans on Urbanspoon

Million Dollar Thighs. Oh Yeah!

Yep….. I got’em.

Million Dollar Thighs!

Creamy white and juicy.

Meaty with that nice caramelized crust on top.

Huh?… What?…. Sigh.

Get your head out of the gutter, you perverted puppies! I”m not talking about MY thighs…..

…although I kinda wish I was.

NO no, my lovely readers. I’m talking about a recipe that I found on YOUTUBE, called Million Dollar Chicken, done by Chef John on his Food Wishes channel. (link below). I LOVE this man’s recipes, but his sing-song-happity-hap voice makes me want to drive rusty nails into my ears with a ball peen hammer for relief.

ANYWAYYY… he uses a whole chicken, but I had only thighs on hand, and you know how cool I am, I just subbed thighs instead. I’m sure you could use whatever chicken pieces struck your fancy, but be sure to adjust cooking time.

What makes it worth the Million Dollar name? Chicken, cream, lemon, fried bread… need I say more?

Trust me beauties, this little dish will literally blow your whole daily caloric/fat allowance to cholesterol hell in one little sitting… but it will be sooooo worth it.

Here we go!

bread

Use an old bagette or any other stale, day old bread. It MUST be day old, and kinda hard and crusty, or you will cry at the mushy, gross pablum-ness of it all. Oil your dish before placing a few pieces down. According the recipe, it asked to oil the top of the bread as well, but really, don’t. I did, but found you don’t need it.

Save the calories, honey.

rawchicken

The recipe asked to stuff the bird with thyme, garlic and lemon and then season with salt and pepper. I sprinkled a few pinches of thyme  and the zest from one lemon, garlic and S&P on top of the thighs to achieve the same taste. My way is soo much easier I think.

He puts the bird in a super hot oven (450) for an hour. I put my thighs in at 350 with an idea to roast them for 45 minutes or so.

While your waiting, make your sauce to smother those little cute thighs.

sauce

I used 1/2 cup of creme fraiche, lemon zest, the juice of one lemon, one GRATED shallot (that’s what the weird thing is that you see floating around in the cream), salt and pepper. The recipe called for one teaspoon of Aleppo pepper, that I COMPLETELY FORGOT to add in. And.. truth be told, I didn’t have any fancy shmancy Aleppo pepper anyway. But, assuming you won’t be a moron like myself, you’ll want to add the Aleppo pepper into the cream mixture at this point. If you don’t have Aleppo pepper on hand (who does, really?), an alternative to use is 3 parts sweet paprika to one part cayenne. Thanks Friend Kim and Chef Simon for the alternative pepper recipe!

At the 20 minute mark, move the chicken out of the way, and tong those little pieces of toasty love over to brown on the other side, and replace the chicken on top the bread……..

toasted bread

…..and then baste the living crap out of your chicken. Go overboard on the basting. If, while you’re basting, you think ‘oh that’s enough’, no, it’s not. Baste some more. Throw it back in the oven for ten minutes.

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Ten minutes later, baste again and return for another 10 minutes.

At the last five-minute mark, throw on your flame thrower. If you are not skilled at using a flame thrower on your food – your broiler will do as well. Watch it like a hawk people, burnt bird is just so wrong.  When it gets all crusty and caramelized on top, take it out, and let it sit for a few minutes.

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Plate it up!!!

If there is extra sauce left over, slice the thighs a bit and arrange them on the bread, and pour the remaining sauce over the thighs.

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Sweet Mother of baby Jesus. The way this tastes is nothing short of beautiful, if it can be described that way. The thighs are super nice and juicy with a crunchy skin, and it loves up it’s best friend, the crunchy toasted bread. Salty tings from the seasoning and lemony twangs from the zest-infused sauce on a crunchy, but soft toasted bread that’s saturated with a chickeny-cream goodness, is delectable. It might even make your inner fattie, or I mean foodie, scream with glee.

So, if after eating this little bundle of everything right in the world,  you haven’t passed out in a creamy caloric induced snooze,
be sure to comment below or click the button to follow my blog! You’ll get a fan’freakin’tastic email ever single time I post something new!

Come on now,.. don’t be chicken! (haha……………….ha.)

Youtube link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHw67wim0Vk

Square One might need to start back at…. well…..

Square One
#32 993 Fir St
Sherwood Park, AB

Square One is a new restaurant opened in Sherwood Park recently. While there’s TONS of new, cool eateries that have opened that I still need to try in Edmonton, I’m the first to say that I’m a lazy ass driver and if I can meet with one of my besties for a long lunch on my home turf in suburbia…. I’m gonna make sure it happens. Lucky for Square One that they’re on my turf, yes?..

Hhmm.. maybe not so much.

The decor is nice, and well, based on the last few restaurants I’ve been too – is getting a bit copycatty. Dark woods, chrome, clean lines… blah blah, snore snore. I initially liked it with The Canteen, and with The Phork, but it’s getting old now. Please. Let’s inject some originality here. (IE: De Dutch). Oh, and by originality, I don’t mean the framed print of Darth Vader they have on the wall…….The ONLY piece of “art” they have in the whole place that I could see.

Really?

Anyway, the menu is “international” – a little bit of this.. a little bit of that, all from over this great eclectic globe. They use local ingredients that showcases the grower/producer which scores HUGE points in my book. Sadly, not a lot of mention of the big “O” – (ORGANIC, people…. come on now!).. but maybe that will change with time.

I have to mention that our server was awesome. Didn’t get her name, but if I ever owned a spot, I’d try and poach her from this place. Really friendly, thoughtful and accommodating. She was always there to refill and take away, and ask us if we were cool or needed anything without hanging around and being creepy.

My friend and I decided to share an appie (or appy, or, APPETIZER.. sheesh.. so many choices now a days.) to start. We decided on the Plaza Machado Tostadas – Crispy house tortillas, huichol, pork belly, spicy onions, crème fraiche, lettuce, lime… It was the recommendation of our server as one of the more popular items on the menu. She said she actually dreams about them because they are so good.

My expectations immediately raised a full point.

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They came three to the plate, all pretty and styled. Pretending to be ladylike, I sort of tried to use my knife to cut them into more manageable pieces so I wasnt so dork-like while trying to pick one up to eat.

Yeah…. the idea was great in my mind.

The actual effect was more….. land mine looking. (Our server said she forgot to tell us they’re messy…… Yeaaaaaaah….thanks). So now resembling more of a tiny bundle of nacho’s, we tried them.

Meh.

Yeah.. that’s about it, really. As my loving mother would say – “They didn’t twirl my beads”.

She actually says that. In private…. most times.

The pork belly was a monotone note of just a spicy heat and we tasted no hints of lime at all. The crème fraiche was basically decorative only and the onions were ok. The crispyness of the house made tostada was really nice though. I wouldn’t say I hated the appetizer, but it was just….*shrug*. I sprinkled a tiny bit of salt that it needed over it and that elevated it up a notch to “not bad”. FYI – for those who are spice scared, these puppies are a nice challenge.  They aren’t too hot, but there’s enough heat to make you say “phew! Those gotta kick!” (And you’d say it just like that, right?)

Our main meal for lunch was the Chicken Wrap- Grilled chicken, apples, Gruyère, raisins, greens, quinoa. My friend and I had decided to share the dish and the kitchen was incredibly awesome to actually split the order onto two plates for us with our own little cute bucket of fries.

chickenwrap
Let me tell you, friends and neighbors, this dish was MORE than enough for two of us. Given that we’d had the appetizer, the half wrap each was filling to the point that we both couldn’t really finish it.. never mind eat all the fries. ( We needed to leave room for dessert ok??)

The wrap itself was decent. The quinoa, being what it is, is fairly neutral in taste, so it only added bulk and a slightly weird texture, but the chicken was ok. The apples and raisins were a nice contrast off the chicken and actually, this is the first place I’ve seen that grills the wrap. Nice touch!

So anyway, the wrap was good, but you wouldn’t say it was AMAZEBALLS  good or anything. Again, you wouldn’t go home and blog about it…. (wait, what?) However, if you’re some burly dude who works at a crazy labor job that makes you eat like a hairy Sasquatch, – this would do the deed to fill that cavernous hole.  The fries were better than the wrap, hands down, and my spoiled self was disappointed that it seemed to be the ketchup was made by Heinz and not in-house. (I had a wicked smoked ketchup once and nothing has compared since.) Plus, the wrap left you with a heavy taste of garlic in your mouth afterwards.

Like.. HEAVY.

Like, ban you to the couch for the night, heavy.

Dessert – Saskatoon Berry crème brulee- arrived happy and inviting in a longish styled plate with a pretty brulee’d top on it perfectly sized for sharing.

saskatoonbrulee
The top was nice, warm and crunchy while the filling was lightly dotted with saskatoon berries. The texture of the filling was not what I was used to. Usually it’s nice and smoooooth.. like a luxurious pudding made for a queen. This filling was made for more for the person who gets to do the queen’s laundry because it was a bit lumpy… sort of.  Here, look:

saskatoonbrulee1
That being said, it won best of show at lunch today. The weird texture didn’t deter the decadent taste of the cream and berry mixture to show up. The brulee’d sugar on top was just as  François Massialot‘s 1691 cookbook said it should be (I’m guessing, anyway) – with a properly caramelized sugar taste with a crack-with-a-spoon crunch. I kinda doubt he said it like that, but you get my drift.

So, overall, Square One didn’t impress me to go back, sadly. I think they have awesome service and a super cool menu, but from what I sampled today, balanced with the cost of lunch with a few sodas and coffee (around $55.00 not including tip), they have to REALLY step up the taste train to twirl my beads.

Oh, and on a side note, they had the CUTEST cream containers for coffee!! Check it out:

milkcow

Square One on Urbanspoon

Phood at The Phork

The Phork
9710 110 Street Capital Place Building
Edmonton, Alberta

Phunny how things are spelled sometimes.

I owed my incredibly handsome nephew a meal and I had recently came across a Groupon deal for a new restaurant called “The Phork”. Usually, restaurants with spellings like this, or with kitchy names like The Crazy Giraffe or The Pink Zebra, usually make me roll my eyes. I just don’t understand that type of restaurant naming.

The Phork is a new restaurant that’s been open for 3 weeks or so, and had a Groupon “coupon” for $50.00 value if you spent $25.00.  If you’ve been reading my incredibly interesting blog at all, you’d be getting to know that my cheap ass can’t pass up a good deal, regardless of the name of the joint.

They’re located on the main floor of the Capital Place Building and parking is available underground. HOWEVER. Be warned.  If you have a somewhat tallish SUV, the clearance is only 6’1 and unless you want to cause by-standards to run to your vehicle door, flailing arms, mouthing STOP, STOP, and generally making a scene so you don’t slowly and painfully scrape the roof racks off the top of your ride,…. you’ll want to park on the street. Just thought,.. you know.. that I’d mention that.

Ahem.

Moving on, let’s chat briefly about the decor. Let’s just say, I loved it. They seated us by the window  with a nice view that sort of overlooks the river valley and the high level bridge with peeks of the skyline. Rich dark woods, a contemporary decor that’s comfortable and impressive at the same time.

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We were seated to the table, and our drink order was taken immediately. Our server came and gave us the info on the specials and what dishes have been popular, which is a nice tip for those who aren’t sure what to order.

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We decided to share a half order of their Crisp Ambrosia Apple and Red Anjou Pear Slaw Salad (gathered greens, Canadian oka, orange and grapefruit & maple citrus vinaigrette) to start, and for our main lunch, I ordered the The Boar Belly Chicken Club (crisp greens, tomato, aged cheddar, bacon mayo) and my nephew ordered The Hand Formed Alberta Bison Burger (Caramelized red onion jam, chiffonade romaine, oven dried tomato, wild mushroom and truffle aioli, water chiabatta bun).

The salad:

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It was crispy and sweet from the apples and pears, and the tartness was nice from the citrus fruit segments. The way they cut the apple and pear in match sticks made it a bit awkward to eat as there’s no way to eat them and still look pretty. Thank God I wasn’t on a date and my nephew thinks I’m awesome regardless of how stupid I look when I eat.

Every bite was different – sweet, tart, and at times you’d get a hit of the Oka cheese, or a salty bite from what I think was finishing salt. All over, the salad was quite nice, but it was BEGGING for some sort of nut. Almonds or walnuts, whatever… please, hear it’s cry and add some nuts!

The Boar Bacon Chicken Club:

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Ok, so first, the crappy news. My sandwich was…….. ho-hum. You know, kinda like when u kiss someone you’re not sure if you’re into. It was nice… but no “wow” factor. The boar bacon was thick and tasty, but when everything was all combined between the bun, it was all one note. Nothing really stood out, the flavors just kinda huddled together and kept to themselves. I’m not saying it was bad, don’t get me wrong. It was nice, juicy, and a popular pick on the menu apparently, but it was kind of the under-achiever of the meal. It should be noted that the fries were damn good, though. Hand cut and not overcooked, sharp, cut-your-mouth-open, little spears – like some places make them.

Ugh.

The Side Ceasar:

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Garrett’s burger came with a side of caesar salad. The romaine was grilled in wedge style and had everything that should be in a caesar salad piled on top of the romaine. He loved it. He said that grilling the romaine added a great flavor and the dressing was rich and flavorful. At one point, he had a larger bite of an anchovy, but it didn’t deter him.

The Bison Burger:

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The burger itself was SUPER moist and juicy, which is impressive being bison – so easy to overcook into a puck. The red onion jam stood up with a nice tarty sweetness against the meatyness of the bison and the bun was soft and chewy. Almost too soft, as both my sandwich and his burger were falling apart as you ate them. No biggie tho. Being as cool as we both are, we rolled with it, and they were thoughtful to toast the bun which ALWAYS makes bread a bit more kick-ass. So honestly saying, with the exception of the fall apart bun, the bison burger was the BEST burger I’ve had in a VERY long time. It’s what burger dreams are made of,  know what I’m sayin’?

It also should be noted that The Phork is open early for us morning lovers (7:30 a.m.) who want breakfast out, and for those who are still awake after 10, they have a late night tapas menu that runs till 2am. Impressive right? Weekends have live music as well.

All in all, I can forgive the kitchy spelling because I REALLY like this place so far. I will definitely be back to check out their dinner menu, see that view at night with all the lights and soft music, and if I drink enough coffee, I might make it to the tapas menu for after ten.

Lastly, this place is perfect for a date night, people. Reasonably priced, great service, good food, and super sexy ambiance. SURELY the recipe to possibly pay off later…. wink wink :)

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The Phork on Urbanspoon

Deliciousness Beside the Peep Show

Double Greeting Wonton House
10212 96 St NW,
Edmonton, AB

A group of girls decided to get our lunch on and head down to sketchytown for some authentic chinese cuisine. This little dive joint has been around FOREVER, and is the greasy spoon of chinese food. Conveniently or not, depending on who’s got their freak on, it’s located about a block away from a cheap, seedy peep show spot…. or, you can head the other direction down the street and go to the “tavern” as long as one leaves their knife at the door.

Walking in, the bathrooms are right by the door so you get smacked up the side of the head with the stank of bathroom freshener. The ATM machine is conveniently located right by the washrooms as well, so there’s no getting away from the chemical flower fumes.  Nice right? Ask no questions, and just head to a table.

We were served promptly with tea and menus. The kind of menus that read like an encyclopedia – 300 items on that damn thing.

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Everything is pretty much described in english so you know what you’re ordering……………. except:

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Check out number’s 250 and 251. Uh huh. Raised my eyebrow too.

Apparently, it’s stomach. Not tripe, but stomach.

One of my friends quietly, innocently and sincerely asked,….. “human?”

After pretty much peeing my pants at her naive foodie-ness, and well, naive-ness in general, we ordered.

Dish by dish, here we go:

worwonton

Wor Wonton Soup.

KICK ASS BROTH!!
This broth will make you wanna do unmentionable things to the bowl it comes in, trust me. Fish balls, bbq pork, greens, mushrooms,
shrimp, chicken, wontons, etc.

Excellence in a bowl, hands down………

UNTIL THIS HAPPENED:

haminsoup

DELI HAM in wor wonton soup???  WTH,…. really?  Ok, so honestly, the soup is SO freakin good, I can
get past the bits of spam and pick them out of my soup.  I honestly wanted to just put it on my finger and flick it across the room
and pretend it didn’t happen.

Next dish:
longdonut

Long Donut with Rice Roll.

Just as it sounds. Savory donut, wrapped in a rice noodle with sauce on it. My mom, who came with us, put a piece in her mouth,
smiled and literally did jazz hands.
JAZZ HANDS, people.

brisket

Brisket.

Bits of beef brisket cooked slow and tender in this yummy rich five spice type gravy that had a prominent but at the same time, subtle, anise flavor.
Sounds disgusting, but ohhh no friends and neighbors, not this time. It was incredible!

beefchowfan

Beef Chow Fan with Bean Sprouts.

Unanimously, (not counting me), the most loved dish at the table.
Flat wide noodles with tender slices of beef in a sauce that has a smoky flavor to it.
It will ROCK your world and leave you wanting a cigarette afterwards.
Trust me.

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Some strange chicken and tofu dish

Ok. Chicken and tofu wrapped in a wrapper and deep-fried with a spicy …. black bean sauce?
It was the weirdo at the dance. No one really wanted to try it,
and when they did, they thought it was an odd combo. A bit too spicy if there was too much sauce on a piece,
and the texture was kinda chewy and spongy. Yeah, go figure.

Last dish:

crispyporkchop

Crispy Pork Chop with Spiced Salt.

I wanted to take this dish and hide under the table. Empty it into my purse and let no one take it from me.
It wasn’t the fave with the group,but it sooo was with me… ohhhh sweet mercy.
I never knew pork could taste that good. Salty, a little spicy, crunchy, seasoned little darlings.

Don’t go to this place expecting great service or wonderful decor.
Don’t expect the wait staff to be talkative and service orientated.
DO have a “club” on your steering wheel if you value your ride and are that paranoid.
It’s a cheap, authentic, get-your-grub-on type of place.

Go.
Fill your face.
Cheaply.
Save your quarters for the tits and ass next door if that’s your thing.
Hey… I’m only here to judge the food.

I give Double Greeting Wonton House:

8/10

blueforkinfoodiestamp

Double Greeting Wonton House on Urbanspoon

Sweet Sesame Chicken hides my Heroin

Fighting that ingrained, deeply DNA’ed urge to get all fatteningly casseroled up due to the coming of fall, I struggled and prevailed over the instinct and bought an entree from the lighter selection available.  I’ve come to realize however, that I think the word HEALTHY is a relative term when talking about frozen food.  Relative in the same way as calling a deep-fried Mars bar “dessert”, or a Walmart greeters’ job a career, and the absolute promise of “just the tip”.

Healthy Choice’s Gourmet Steamers entree’s are sorta like that. They lull you into thinking, ‘hey, this is a good idea, I’m so righteous cuz I’m making good decisions for my body!’, and you proudly throw it into your cart, face up, so everyone walking by can envy your resolve and think your cool. Ok, maybe too much thought there, but you get my drift.

Here we go :

#4 – Healthy Choice Gourmet Steamers – Sweet Sesame Chicken

Here’s the box:

box

The Goods:

Calories: 330, fat: 5g, Carb: 53g, Protein: 17g, Sodium: 330mg (14% of your daily allowance)

The entree is endorsed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation. FYI, The Heart and Stroke Foundation charges participating companies an annual licensing fee in order to use the endorsement stamp on their packaging and cover costs associated with product assessment. It starts from $300 and up depending on the company, and The Foundation says it’s not for profit.

Hmm.

Food Tray Op:

foodtray

Heating Instructions:

1. Remove entree from carton. Place in microwave oven. (really? sheesh). Do not puncture. 2. Cook on high for 4 – 5 minutes. (I used 4 and half minutes). 3. Carefully remove film from the top. Remove steamer basket from the outer sauce bowl. 4. Stir steamed food into the sauce bowl. 5. Check that the food is cooked thoroughly ( and they show how you can insert a thermometer into the food. Again, really???  Who the hell has time for that shit?)

Here’s the shot just before combining:

foodtraymix
On a side note:

 You are full of heroic awesomeness if you recycle.

These trays (and box) are recyclable.

Recycle.

Mother Earth thanks you.

Plated Meal:

plated

2~Bite Review:

Surprisingly  the carrots and snow peas retained a slight crunch which was great. What was not so great was the fibrous-ness of the pods. Chew, chew,and then chew some more. Geezus!  I hope it goes out better than it went down. Rice was perfectly done. Not mushy, not crunchy.  Go figure right?

Sauce was sweet and the sesame taste was subtle, but present with it’s arm raised. By the way, it turns out that the sauce SHOULD be sweet because the “healthy” entree has 18 GRAMS OF SUGAR!  Big deal you say? Ok.. well .. a full can of high-test (not diet) COCA COLA has  9 grams of sugar per can, so yeah… eating this is entree is like drinking two cans of soda, or hey, how about shoving TWO Reese’s Peanut Butter cups in your pie hole? If you’re diabetic, welcome to a blood sugar extravaganza.

Ok, onto the chicken. Sigh. Kinda dry ppl.  Tasty, but be sure to have a big glass of liquid to wash it down with unless you like the feeling of miniscule, rolled up pieces of chalk rolling around in your mouth. Good times. Oh, and I need mention that the amount of chicken you get in this dish MIGHT feed a small animal.  Even my dog would be like…. “Whaat?? This is IT, cheap human?” Here’s a photo for proof. ( Of the amount of chicken, not of my talking dog.)

chicken sample

Yep. I know, calm down.

There’s one piece missing that I ate for the testing, but really, that’s all you get in the whole entree. The generosity over at Healthy Choice is overwhelming.

All in all though, based on the fact that it IS low in sodium, low in calories, low in fat, and because sugar is my heroin it was really tasty.

Besides, who doesn’t like a sugar rush???

I give Healthy Choice Gourmet Steamer Sesame Chicken

8/10

blueforkinfoodiestamp