July 5, 2013
Boston Pizza, Richmond BC
Chicken and Mushroom Fettucini
Pulled Pork Pizza
I met up with three other people for a late night dinner at Boston Pizza. It was a nice place to hang out and chat. For the two and a half hours we were there, the large table beside us went through two rounds of ‘Happy Birthday’ so we joined in as well. I had a voucher for a 2-topping individual pizza but since they made a mistake with my order, we actually got two pizzas in the end.
To start, my friend ordered a Chicken and Mushroom Fettucini, baked with cheese and upgraded to three-cheese toast. The pasta itself was creamy with the alfredo sauce. The chicken was okay but a little bland. The mushrooms did not stand out too much either. However, the tomatoes cut through the cream just a little. The cheese on top was a little too much for me so the dish became too rich. The three-cheese toast was delicious, though. With all these additions, the dish was over $20, which is a little pricey.
Our first pizza was the Hawaiian Pizza, with smoked ham and pineapple. It was savoury and sweet, with a nice and chewy but not overly thick crust. The pizza was really good but not worth $10.20 as it was quite small.
The second pizza was the Pulled Pork Pizza. Although more exotic, it still was not worth $12 due to the sheer size. The BBQ flavour was really nice and sweet though, and the pork was decently juicy. The green onions on top cut through the sweetness and added a slight zing.
The casual atmosphere at Boston Pizza is great but it is just so expensive. The food is good but not good enough to justify the high prices. These are more like fine-dining menu prices but this is no where near top notch fine-dining.
June 30, 2013
The Crab Pot, Bellevue WA
Sourdough Loaf & Butter
Dungeness Crab Cocktail
The Westport Seafeast
Craving fresh seafood after being in Philly for so long, we went to Bellevue’s The Crab Pot to avoid the crowds in Seattle downtown but to have the same fun with our food.
First up was the Sourdough Loaf & Butter – boy, that was some sour sourdough. The butter was okay. The bread was very hard to bite on the outside, very airy but tough.
We had a voucher for a free appetizer and since they are known for their crab, we went with the Dungeness Crab Cocktail with some cold crab meat that was sweet and succulent. The cocktail sauce had a nice tang and was not watered down much. The celery added a nice refreshing crunch.
Finally, we went at our two portions of The Westport Seafeast with our hands. Mallets? No thanks! My teeth will do just fine! The snow crabs were a little fishy but still good and the dungeness crab was also delicious. I loved the little mussels and clams as well. The shrimp were a little overcooked but at least the seasoning was good. The sausage was a little odd but had nice flavour and the potatoes a little plain but still decent. The corn, though, was absolutely scrumptious. Somehow, the seasoning made it creamier and sweeter and juicier – it was some of the best corn on the cob ever! Corn and crabs made me very happy that sunny afternoon.
June 29, 2013
Dutch Eating Place, Philadelphia PA
Hot Apple Dumpling served w/ Cream
Initially featured on The Food Network, the Hot Apple Dumpling served w/ Cream was a must-try at the Dutch Eating Place in the Reading Terminal Market. It was clearly their most popular dish, with rows upon rows of piping hot dumplings lined up by the glass on the countertop.
The pastry dough was chewy but nicely layered. The cinnamon and sugar taste was not overwhelming either. I did love that syrup mixed with the full apple in the center, though. The apple was a surprise to me especially since it was a full apple and quite big. It was soft and chewy but had a sweet tartness. The cream cut through the tartness but I did not need much of it. It was just a super delicious dessert!
June 14, 2013
Richky Cafe, Philadelphia PA
Hot Sausage, Egg & Cheese
Hot Ham Egg Cheese
No longer are breakfast sandwich choices limited to bacon and sausage. Even turkey bacon, ham, and sausage roll are too common at Richky Cafe food truck on Drexel’s campus very close to 30th Street Station.
The Hot Sausage, Egg & Cheese was a little greasy with slits on the long, juicy sausage allowing the grease to seep out. However, it was really spicy and was perfect with the sweet and tangy ketchup, the gooey cheese, and eggs.
The Hot Ham Egg Cheese did not have as much of a kick so was not as good. However, it was still a good sandwich: slightly salty, spicy, tangy, sweet, cheesy, and quite chewy. This is so much better than regular ham, with a lot more flavour.
The guys working on the food truck were all very nice. The prices were very low as well compared to other similar food trucks. If I went to 30th Street Station every morning, I’d definitely be getting breakfast here often.
June 7, 2013
Bobby’s Burger Palace, Philadelphia PA
Sweet Potato Fries
I met up with a hall-mate from freshman year at Bobby’s Burger Palace. Somehow, I had never eaten there before. Since I started watching Bobby Flay on “Iron Chef America” a lot, I had meant to give his burgers a try sooner or later.
To start, I tried the Sweet Potato Fries. They were such a deal – a small bucket with chipotle aioli for only $3. You never see this at a more formal restaurant. They were crispy on the outside and sweet and mushy on the inside. The aioli had a hint of spice and was very creamy. This was a perfect way to start a burger meal.
I had my Dallas Burger ‘crunchified,’ which is adding a small stack of crispy potato chips inside the burger. It was so difficult to eat, having to press everything together. I had juice and the barbeque sauce all over my hands afterwards. The medium (pink throughout) beef patty was very juicy and not too greasy. The Monterey jack cheese was all melted and the coleslaw and pickles added some acidity. The bun was nicely toasted and overall, it was not a bad burger. Sure, it is not as creative as some I would get on the food trucks, but with such a nice atmosphere and not any more expensive, I’ll take it!
May 22, 2013
Chewy’s, Philadelphia PA
As part of National Hamburger Month, I paid a visit to Chewy’s, a food truck that had not been around recently and just came back to serve University City full time again. This colourful truck is known for its burgers and chicken and waffles.
Preferring something a little sweet and unique, I decided on the Brie Burger with caramelized onions, honey grilled apples, arugula, brie cheese, and black pepper mayo. The beef burger patty was so juicy and the sesame bun was nice and toasted. I loved the sweet onions and apples, one soft and the other a little tart. The brie was creamy and provided flavouring contrast while the arugula added a touch of bitterness. The mayo did not quite stand out but I just loved those apples!
May 21, 2013
The Yardley Inn, Yardley PA
As a start to my internship, I got to have dinner at The Yardley Inn, the best restaurant in the area. The view was really nice by the river and the food quite decent for a small town. They had a lot of variety and seasonal ways to cook the proteins.
My Seared Scallops were served with a fava bean puree, roasted spring onions, almonds, and parsley. The puree was nice with a touch of saltiness and not perfectly smooth, which I thought was a nice contrast to the scallops. The scallops themselves were so succulent and juicy – love at first bite. The onions were a little too greasy but sweet and the almonds added a nice crunch. It was not a cheap dinner but a pleasant one.
May 2, 2013
Farm Truck, Philadelphia PA
Artichoke Pesto Sandwich
Pesto? Check. Mozzarella? Check. Tomatoes? Check. Freshly pressed or toasted bread? Check. Thank you, Farm Truck, for a wonderful lunch, and for throwing some artichoke in there, as well!
The Artichoke Pesto Sandwich was absolutely delightful. The sourdough bread was rustic and quite nice. The mozzarella was fresh and light while retaining that bouncy chewiness. The artichoke pesto was just delightfully aromatic, and the roasted tomatoes were sour and had a deep flavour, that of a good quality tomato. This sandwich made me a very happy girl.
April 30, 2013
GiGi & Big R, Philadelphia PA
Coming back from center city, I passed by GiGi & Big R. I had heard the one by the 30th Street Station was better with bigger portions for the same price and it was late so they were one of the only ones still open.
The Jerk Chicken platter, $8 for a small, was quite large and very delicious. I did not realize just how spicy the jerk rub would be so my first bite of the part on the skin with a lot of spices took me by surprise. My mouth burned throughout that meal but I loved it. It was a bit salty at times but I enjoyed having some dark meat and not just the dry white meat. I am no expert on jerk chicken but the flavours were certainly beyond bold. I had for my two side Collard Greens and Mac n’ Cheese. The collards were good and a nice balance for all the spices. The mac n’ cheese got a little of the jerk sauce over it and I found the cheese a little bland with the macaroni slightly overcooked. At least it was homemade.
April 28, 2013
Baby Blues BBQ, Philadelphia PA
“Get Down Miss Brown”
I went with a group of friends to Baby Blues BBQ to celebrate the end of a project. We happened upon their first party outdoors this year so it was extremely loud, almost impossible to hear one another. It was certainly a lively environment but sitting by the window, it was not good for talking. Our order also got misplaced so we waited almost two hours before our food came. Despite the 50% discount, we were not quite pleased with the service.
I ordered the “Get Down Miss Brown” which was essentially the pulled pork platter with two sides (also known as ‘fixin’s’). I opted for their famous mac n’ cheese and the sautéed okra but another mis-order and they gave me fried okra. Not a problem here, though, because they just brought out the sautéed ones as well. The pulled pork was juicy but the inside was still a little tough and bland, until I dumped the sweet BBQ sauce on it. The spicy varieties (hot and XXX) and the regular ones were okay but I like my sauce to be extra sweet. It was decent pulled pork nonetheless. The mac n’ cheese was very cheesy but the pasta was a bit overcooked and it was clearly heated up rather than made very fresh because the center was not exactly very warm. The sautéed okra, with tomatoes, was actually good but very greasy. The fried okra were great when dipped in more BBQ sauce.
I think when it is not so busy, the quality will improve. Not that it was bad, but I think the potential to be better is certainly there. Still, I am glad we have a place right on campus for some decent BBQ comfort food.