P for Potatoe, B for Beef

Before you say hey dummy foreigner, learn how to spell, no, I did not come up with “potatoe”. Potatoe Patch did. And I think it’s pretty cute. These days it’s been hard to find wholesome meat within walking distance and spending measure (for a frugal grad student). The best one can afford around Berkeley is little slivers of chicken in a *huge* bundle of pad thai, or minced pork in cheap dim sum. I can’t help but posting about this now to ease the carnivore’s mind. I would flat out say that this is our most-frequently-visited American restaurant. Great food. Good price. Excellent service. A serving here would freak out the health-conscious, nitpicking nimble diner, but who cares. We’re here for the hearty, generous embrace of baked potatoes in melting cheese and sour cream, of thick gravy, of sizzling steak, of tingling barbecue sauce, of a full rack of ribs so tender it falls of the bone. Continue reading P for Potatoe, B for Beef

Rice noodle day in Banh Hoi Chau Doc, Bellaire

Vietnamese places usually don’t appear on the web, why? Because they already paid for ads on Vietnamese newspapers and radio station. Of course the ads are in Vietnamese. There are a little over 30,000 Vietnamese in Houston. It’s amazing how such a small community can sustain its numerous restaurants, with customers primarily themselves. I think I’ve said the word “Vietnamese” enough times for the month. But let me say it one more. Vietnamese must really like to eat out. So we found a new address in one of the newspapers. We arrived past lunch time, so it felt as if we rented out the whole place. The hostesses seem to be enjoying their leisurely afternoon snack as well, they sat at a nearby table watching TV with us. A flat screen on the wall with documentary films about Vietnam. Anyway, let’s start with an appetizer. Continue reading Rice noodle day in Banh Hoi Chau Doc, Bellaire

Banh mi run

You know how school kids don’t get tired of peanut butter sandwich even if they eat it every day for lunch? Well, every time I catch the BART down to Fremont, it’s hard to pass up the chance to stop by Huong Lan Sandwich in Milpitas for a fresh crusty loaf, or many of those banh mi’s – a week’s supply for lunch. When in California, be liberal. The store has diversity. Above is packages of bánh bèo (white) and most likely bánh bột lọc (leaf-wrapped). Many kinds of cookies, crackers, shrimp chips, and other snacks unknown to ubercmuc. Below is the real goodies: nice warm bánh bao (steamed pork bun), bánh cốm (the bright green flat thing), bánh giò (leaf-wrapped pyramid), and mini bánh chưng (the squares). Here’s the square unwrapped and cut in four. The pork is fatty, which is not quite right, but nonetheless it’s well done. So the story goes as follows: in a competition among the princes in ancient Vietnam, the king asked all the princes to find […]

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Lemon Grass of San Jose

The nice thing about Berkeley is it’s about an hour away from San Jose, where Little Saigon is with all the good old Vietnamese food. The sad thing is Berkeley is *cluttered*, no space for parking, hence it’s impractical to have a car, hence if you want to go to San Jose, you can either get on and off five buses for a decent cost and risk missing your stops, or get a zipcar and have to bite your nails over how many hours you should spend hunting for food at the expense of the car, or quickly get over 25 years of age and rent a car at the local Enterprise, Hertz, and the like. Or hope that a friend with a car likes you and Vietnamese food enough to make the drive. Because one Bánh Cuốn Tây Hồ mysteriously didn’t exist where Google Maps say it is, and another was closed, we ventured to Lemon Grass on Story Road for a Vietnamese lunch. It looks nice on the outside, and the inside too. I would go as far as saying this is how I’d like […]

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