Tuesday, November 30, 2010

McRib Ribbit Ribbit

A bit overdue so call this foodie review 999,999,999 of the infamous McRib.  Do you like the dramatic picture?  Its quite metaphoric for the mixed feelings (mostly bad) that I had for this sandwich.  I literally havent had one since high school or college so dont go doing the math and aging me.  It does seem like a no-fail idea right?  Soft bread, bbq sauce, fake meat...yum.  The meat felt...too artificial.  Like trying to eat a chicken nugget after seeing that article where it showed what the nugget meat looked like in a pink paste form in the factory.  At least mine had plenty of sauce and the pickles did add a little taste contrast.  Cult following aside, I wasnt a convert.  Sorry guys.  

Mama's Bakery- North Park

4237 Alabama Street
San Diego CA 92104

Sometimes I wonder if my taste buds like to play tricks on me.  Seriously.  I have been looking forward to this place forever as it was on my list of places to try.  Hubby and I went last weekend and I was starving too when we went.  It wasnt expensive but the outside of the place made me think that it was going to be a cheaper eat than it ended up being.  Portion was decent so maybe that makes up for it?   

Overall I didnt care for this place too much (I'm sure I will hear many a surprised comment or two).  The meat on the shawarma was too salty for me and I didnt really like the texture although I dont really have a frame of expertise here to base this on.  The wrap was about the width of my fist and the length of my forearm (average girl arm/ hand measurements).  Strangely the wrap tasted better than the platter even though the meat was the same variety.  Hubby swears that theres is an unknown yummy herb in the wrap that is absent in the platter.  Maybe.  

The menu says the wrap contained steak, tomatoes, parsley, lettuce and tahini.  The tahini worked like a charm in the wrap...so much that I paid an extra 75cents to get a side of their tahini for the house.  When I tried it at home though, it didnt taste the same! Ughhhh.  

Now that I read the menu, I realize that I never got the basmati rice with my platter.  Hmph.  It might have changed the tone of this review since I am a basmati loving fool.  Sucks for them....  A good meat portion size but they plop it on top of the hummus which I dont like since I dont like food overly touching each other.  Hubby liked the pickles though.  I did enjoy the pita although the salad had way too much dressing.  

Overall, I might come back for another kind of wrap and a Lenin soda if you twist my arm.  Just sayin.  

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Random eatings

Its funny how fast and slow time passes.  Ever since hubby came home, I cant quite recite what we have been doing but I'm sure we have done a decent amount of things and eaten even more.  So I'm doing the writing equivalent of a freewrite and unload a little bit.  Enjoy the madness. 

  • Maria Maria at Hazard Center is a gigantic waste of $ and eating time.  Even if their swankish ambience and Carlos Santana connection is supposed to be a draw, their food is lacking in flavor and heat
  • If you have a chance to go to a Chinese-Vietnamese style wedding dinner, do it.  On an empty stomach.  With an open mind.  My faves: cold meat platter with headcheese and jellyfish, sauteed lobster, chilean sea bass and peking duck.  Plus, you cant go wrong with the ever roaming bottles of Hennessey! 
  • We got K-BBQ fever and we dont want a cure.  This perfection of a lettuce wrap had a fat piece of pork belly, acorn jelly with soy sauce and one leaf of rustic kimchee.  If that wasnt over the top enough, the pork belly was dipped in my sesame oil/salt/pepper concoction
  • Chipotle is food from God.  Steak burrito with pinto beans, rice, meat, all 3 salsas, corn, cheese, sour cream and guac.  Lettuce on the side.  Gosh, I wish I lived closer than 20 miles from a Chipotle right now =(
  • Krispy Kreme had a free donut promo for military on Veterans day.  We may or may not have also bought a few extra ones as well as made another stop a few days later to pick up a hostess gift for a friend (and some for our house too).  Chocolate glaze sprinkle all the way yo!
  • Boba is only made perfect when paired with something sumptuous like fried chicken snack, medium heat.  Eating it with skewers only adds to the experience and the fried basil leaves are pure genius.  I cant think of a better snack when you want a little bit of sweet, salty, spicy, hot, cold and crunchy...
  • Sushi Deli is what it is.  Cheap, filling and better than alot of other sushi places that dont acknowledge their lot in the restaurant food chain.  But did you know, they also have a rainy day special?  If you come in during a wet day, lots of freebies! 
Sorry for the hodge podge.  xoxo

Pho Van- El Cajon Blvd

4233 El Cajon Boulevard
San DiegoCA 92105
Before I became a homeowner, I rented.  I have lived in many parts of glorious SD including City Heights which is where we find our restaurant of choice.  There is an eating out policy I have. If you go to a certain kind of eating establishment, see a full house and most of them are of that nationality, you have come across an authentic sure bet.  Every time I come to Pho Van, I always see a good number of Vietnamese diners.  Plus my very Vietnamese friend and his family call this their go-to spot for pho take out...do you even need any more assurances than that?  
I always order my pho this way...the fact that I am sharing my trade secrets with you demonstrates how serious I am about this.  I like my pho with brisket and tendon only.  I can eat beef anywhere, raw or cooked.  Im not a tripe person so thats a no-go for me.  You have to try the tendon and brisket here.  Plus they hook it up on the meat and herb portions.  Also, dont forget to ask for the sate sauce if you can handle a little bit of heat.  I dont mess with the hoison, sriracha or sugar.  Just sate, brisket and tendon.  
One more bit of advice, get the spring rolls...fried or fresh.  They are always piping hot or pliable depending on the version you order.  Either way, never a fail.  

Pinks Hot Dogs- Knotts Berry Farm

Have you ever had one of those days where you continually chose the wrong route, answered the wrong call, picked the wrong thing to eat?  I tend to always order the wrong thing when I go to a new place.  Pinks, being legendary for their menu choices was one place where I didnt want to get it wrong.  Too bad I had a stomach ache from eating at one of the food stands inside Knotts and was still kind of full from that as well.  Then I kept changing my mind from selection to selection...bad news bears.  There went my Pinks experience.  But this is not to say that the other two people in my group didnt have a fan-freaking-tastic taste experience there.  

  • Selection 1: The Queen Terry Dog (cant seem to find it on the Pinks website by that name but it was named America the Beautiful dog on their site).  12 inches of jalepeno hot dog with thick cut bacon slices, pastrami piles, lettuce and tomato.  Divine actually.  The dog itself was not spicy.  This was an eat with a fork and knife act for sure.  
  • My choice: Coleslaw Dog.  Worst excuse for a hot dog ever.  By the time I got the dog, the coleslaw juice had mushed the bun so bad that I couldnt even eat it.  On top of that, the coleslaw was not very tasty.  I ended up just taking the dog out and eating only half of it since I was splitting with a friend.  Can I have my $$$ back please?  
  • Selection 3: Nacho Chili Cheese Dog.  Rave reviews from the eater.  Whats not to like, nacho, cheese and hot dog.  Next please. 
Of course I'd come back.  I wouldnt get the coleslaw dog even if they gave it to me for free but I want to come back for a re-do.  If only SD could get one of these joints...Pinks HQ, can you hear me?  

Jeong Won Korean BBQ Buffet- Convoy

4690 Convoy St, Ste 104
San DiegoCA 92111


I'm reunited and it feels so good.  Navy husband is finally home after a 13 month deployment overseas and I find myself adjusting slowly.  If he reads this, I am really trying not to be a Naggy-Mcnaggerson about the messes that you leave in each room, your pickiness in eating leftovers, the way you drive and other really trivial minutiae in the grand scheme of things.   that is one reason why I have been MIA as a poster, but still dutifully checking all my fave blog poster for sure.  The other?  This nagging bug I have had for several weeks now, one of which started off as a jinx to my own self.  Dont ever plot getting out of something under the excuse of sickness as it will become true.  As in 1000th degree.  So the reason I was pretending to be sick has come and gone and failed to take the sickness with it.  I will spare you those gory details and move on to the food. 

I had been looking forward to trying this buffet but purposely waited for hubby to come home so we could share the experience together.  Sickening, huh?  As a Korean girl who grew up with the traditional grill on the table setup, my standards are pretty high about this subject.  Especially since my mom is a phenomenal cook who in another universe, might be a world famous chef on part with Emeril or an Iron Chef.  Its right next door to a now defunct pool hall and San Tong Palace (a Korean style Chinese restaurant).  

The whole shebang.  Right here.  16.95  lunch special includes go get it yourself style meat, veggies, seafood, banchan, sauces and soft serve.  They bring you a bowl of bland miso soup and white rice.  I would have appreciated more variety in rice selection such as brown rice or even korean mixed rice (it looks purple in color).
  • Veggies: sweet potato slices, tofu, sliced corn ears, tomatoes, pepper slices, raw garlic, bell peppers, mushrooms, green zucchini, yellow squash, and potato slices.  I'd avoid the sweet potato b/c they are impossible to cook since they are sliced on the thick bias.  
  • Meats: marinated shortib off the bone, marinated ribeye, beef liver, spicy pork, marinated chicken, tripe, pork belly slices and brisket slices.  I found myself wishing that the ribeye was of higher quality b/c it kind of falls apart on the grill.  Husband didnt like the spicy pork b/c it was too sweet.  
  • Seafood: some white fish, mussel, shrimp, spicy calamari.  I found the calamari to be tough when cooked FYI
  • Banchan: fishcakes, seaweed salad, carrot and turnip mixture, potato salad, mixed greens, bean sprouts, sauteed zucchini, and cabbage and cucumber kimchi.  The cabbage kimchi was on point that day as was the fishcakes.  They also gave us a complimentary side of korean pancakes that were nicely fried up
  • Sauces: these are just guesses on my part but they were one was a sweet soy sesame sauce, one was a sweet chili sauce and one had a thousand island kind of taste (not texture) to it.  My personal favorite is the sauce I made which is standard bill Korean goodness-- salt, pepper and some good sesame oil.  
Overall, here are my two cents.  Skip the miso.  Go for the pork slices, mussells and some of the shortrib.  Avoid the sweet potato since you will just waste your time and get frustrated.  Dont forget to leave room for the soft serve! 

(Im also playing with some changes to the blog format.  Input welcome)