Sadie Katz
189 Bank Street
Burlington, VT 05401

  sadie katz logo

 Lately I have been participating in a bi-     weekly routine, one which begins painfully, and actually commences quite   favorably. For whatever stupid reason I have yet to establish a direct deposit for my paychecks, (physically holding your money in hand is enormously gratifying) so every Saturday I have to wake up out of a drunken slumber and get over to the bank before it closes at 12:00 PM. And for all readers who mock my struggles of having to wake up at 12 on a Saturday, you clearly are not a friend of mine, and I certainly did not see you at Esox at 2:30 on Saturday morning.

So for the past couple of weeks I have been making this journey, getting up at 11:30 AM and riding my bike down to the bank on Main Street in Burlington. Conveniently, Bank North is literally right across the street from City Hall Park, which every Saturday hosts this great farmer’s market (http://www.americantowns.com/vt/burlington/events/burlington-summer-farmers-market-2009-07-25).I try to get myself over to the farmer’s market regularly, though unfortunately I only seem motivated when I have to get to the bank.

Moving on…

After exiting the bank (and after parking myself by their water cooler, pounding about 7 glasses) I wandered over to the farmer’s market. Low and behold, who do I run into, non other than my buddy Jon Dom and his girlfriend Sam. Dom was at Esox last night (at least I think I remember talking to him) so kudos for him for getting out of bed. We were all hungry and soon began pondering what to get to eat. We thought that surely something in the market would strike our fancies, though we couldn’t bring ourselves to make a decision. [Note: Sometime soon I have to write a post about the farmer’s market. They have a ton of great food options, fresh produce and locally grown, grass feed meats.] I had tried pretty much all of the prepared food at the market in the past, so I was open to explore other options. We decided to walk to a CVS to get some iced tea and mull over our decision, when suddenly, Jon and I both noticed the same establishment out of the corner’s of our eyes – the Jewish Deli Sadie Katz! Having both been exposed to a large amount of delicious Jewish cuisine, we both quickly agreed upon Sadie Katz as our final destination. Naturally we complained that whatever sandwich we ordered would likely be over $10, though we swallowed our pride and entered. As soon as the pungent smell of deli hit my nose I knew exactly what I wanted – Pastrami on Rye, with mustard and a side of cole slaw. Jon ordered “The Rachel”, which is a pastrami Reuben with cole slaw. Our sandwiches were $8.50 a piece, rather steep for their size, so I was initially a little perturbed (and also, they forgot my pickle – a deli faux pas if I’ve ever seen one).

Sadie Katz makes sandwiches in two sizes: Burlington Big for $8.50, and New York Huge for $16.00. Now, I haven’t had a pastrami sandwich in New York for a few years, and maybe inflation has done a number on deli meat, though $16.00 for a sandwich!? Surely you jest, Sadie Katz. Well actually, the famous Katz Deli in New York sells their pastrami on rye for $15.00, and something tells me that their pastrami annihilates anything found in Vermont, not to mention the likely significant size discrepancy.  Anyway, we got our sandwiches to go, strolled back to the park and ate on the steps in front of city hall. I’m almost positive that I have eaten pastrami from Sadie Katz before, though biting into that sandwich, I experienced something new (for Vermont, that is), something simply delectable. I looked around still chewing and with a big grin on my face I exclaimed, “this is pretty damn good pastrami“…and it certainly was.

Now I know what you must be thinking, “but Jake, you’re not even from New York. What do youknow about good pastrami”? Well, as a person who is from an area with a sizeable Jewish population, one with many a good-deli, and as someone who has been to New York countless time and has eaten the finest sandwiches the city has to offer – I tell you, I know my pastrami. This pastrami, from Sadie Katz, was very very good. The meat was perfectly seasoned; it encapsulated a wonderful array of spices which titillated the palate – sweet, salty, just awesome. The pastrami itself was an excellent display of the how deli meats should look, a beautiful marbling of muscle and fat, full of flavor, extremely tender, and just barley steaming after exiting the oven. I finished the sandwich rather quickly and gazed over at my friends still eating…I am indeed a very fast eater.

Really, the sandwich was excellent, at least as far as the pastrami is concerned. I think I am going to have to buy a pound from Sadie Katz and make a pastrami sandwich my way. The only two complaints were that the rye bread, while very tasty in itself, was relatively tiny compared to the Jewish Rye I am used to. That, and perhaps the most significant knock, is that overall, the sandwich was pretty small. When I make a sandwich at home it is significantly bigger than what was given to me at Sadie Katz. This is something that should never happen when you get a sandwich from a Deli, not to mention a “Jewish” Deli! Despite the fine quality of their pastrami, I think the people at Sadie Katz should go and take a lesson from my boys at Henry Street Deli in maximizing the customer’s utility. Those guys know how to make a large and tasty sandwich.

Even though the pastrami on rye at Sadie Katz is far to small, and a bit overpriced, they do indeed serve by far the best pastrami I have tasted in Burlington. As stingy as I may strive to be, I can’t deny myself of the goods, and Sadie Katz has certainly got ’em.

Rating:   4-phones


It has been a while since my last post. I recently graduated from college, started a new job, and needless to say, have had a lot on my plate over the past couple of months. Though frankly, I have just been straight up lazy as of late (at least in terms of my food blogging)! There are a large number of culinary encounters I could speak of since the last time I have updated this site. Though instead of writing about one specific restaurant or meal, I have decided to write about a variety of things I simply would like to talk about, encapsulating hopefully, my recent relationship with food.

 I have to say, one of the most important restaurants in my life is one which I have written about previously – the quaint, unassuming, hole in the wall, amazingly delicious Vietnamese prize of an establishment – Pho Huong. I am proud to say that my friends and I are now regulars at Pho Huong, which we simply and affectionately refer to as Pho (pronounced fuh). Since the first time we dined at Pho, my love for Vietnamese food was born. Additionally, since that first eye-opening experience, I have been motivated to try a wide variety of not just Vietnamese food, though Asian food in general (albeit I was already a serious lover of Japanese cuisine). In addition to Vietnamese, I have recently fallen in love with Thai food. Having once been the boy who hated curry and feared what it would do to his stomach, I have transformed into the man that will taste every curry imaginable, one who loves to cook, eat, discuss, and think curry. That though, is for another time…

pho huong

 I don’t know a better, more elegant word to describe Pho Huong than awesome. This place truly is, awesome. Now, maybe it’s not the fanciest place I have ever dinned in, maybe their menu is not quite as diverse as I once dreamed, though these are the things that I love about Pho Huong. This is a place that you can walk in at any time, any day of the week, expect to be seated within 5 minutes and have an exotic, delicious, exciting, and inexpensive meal in front of you in what seems like no time. I have never ordered anything from Pho Huong that I have not adored. They are as consistent as they are authentic – great food, highly personal atmosphere, fast, cheap – no bull. This place is perfect for any occasion, whether it be a causal dinner with friends, quick take out after work, or a romantic meal with a significant other. If there is one restaurant in Vermont that I can call home it is most certainly Pho Huong. I hope that this establishment continues to experience the great success they seem to be enjoying. The family owned and operated Vietnamese culinary gem is really a treat – a dream for someone who loves to try new and exciting food, in a comfortable setting without breaking the bank.

 Now even after experiencing the joys of Pho Huong a couple of times, naturally, I wondered if other Vietnamese restaurants can offer the same that I have come to expect from PH. We have tried other Vietnamese places, Pho Deng in Winooski, Vietnam Restaurant II, in Burlington (gotta love a painfully simple name for an establishment) among others. These places were, suffice it to say bad, in comparison to Pho Huong. More expensive, obnoxiously overdone (or hauntingly dingy) atmospheres these other, less authentic Vietnamese operations are plainly not as good as PH. Now I can’t say that I’ve been to every Vietnamese joint in Vermont, hell not even close to all in the Burlington area. But I can wholeheartedly tell you that I never want to try another as long as I am in Burlington – as long as Pho Huong is still cranking out the delicious joys that they continually bring to my friends and I. There’s no point, I’d simply be setting myself up for dissatisfaction. For everyone who is reading this, and if you are you probably have, go out and try some Pho Huong – you will not be disappointed.

 Menu Suggestions:

#15, Bun Thit Nuong (Pork Vermicelli) Thinly Sliced Char-Grilled Pork with Egg Rolls. Served Over Rice Vermicelli. Sprinkled with Crushed Peanuts.

 # 5,Pho Tai (Beef Noodle Soup) Thinly Sliced Flank Steaks with Rice Noodles in Beef Broth

 Everybody Get Your Roll On….

 Now, onward to a much more pressing issue in my life…VERMONT SIMPLY DOES NOT COMPREHEND WHAT MAKES AND WHAT IS A GOOD HOAGIE ROLL! And if you don’t know what a hoagie roll is, then shame on you. If it makes you a little more comfortable, a hoagie roll is (sigh) a sub roll, though infused with all that is great about Philadelphia. Hoagie rolls cannot be obtained in Vermont, without of course, placing a large order to one of our beloved Hoagie manufacturers in Philadelphia i.e. Amoroso’s Rolls (http://amorosobaking.com/) – something which I have often contemplated doing. I have been struggling through this painful void in my sandwich life for 4 years now, and needless to say it has been tough. But, alas, just only a couple of weeks ago, upon stumbling on this great little Thai market down the street from my house I discovered something amazing…

 After browsing through the aisles of That Phat, the market which I now frequent, I noticed a container full of rolls sitting next to some bins of assorted fruits. Upon inspecting the rolls, I picked up a bag, looked at them, felt them, and was in awe about how they resemble my estranged hoagie roll. It’s been a long and painful search all over the state of Vermont to find something that I can put my deli meat on – and I couldn’t wait to unpack these babies and load them up with some turkey, mustard, and Muenster cheese. After grabbing a few other things to buy (curry paste, baby bok choy, a chicken heart here and there, ect.) we went to the counter to pay. Still brimming with anticipation and holding these seem to be hoagie-esque rolls in my hand, I inquired to the cashier where these rolls came from. With a big smile, and broken English, the guy looked at my girlfriend and I and said “Oh yeeeah, we get from Boston. Nothing like that around here. Very good“. Ha! This guy gets it. He has felt my pain! He knows what it is like to eat a sandwich on some real freaking good bread, and he was lucky enough to be in a position to do something about it – to order these rolls, and have a great impact on his, and my life! Jacqui and I just looked at one another and laughed (she knows from my incessant complaining how I loath the bread in Vermont). I went home a happy man, and suffice it to say I was even happier when I tasted that wonderful, fresh, delicious bread. Yes. One of my many concerns is no longer a problem (now if I could only watch the Phillies every night, buy some Yuengling from Pearl St. Beverage, and get a real cheesesteak I could consider never going home – just kidding, I love you Philadelphia!

 I do feel that I should elaborate on the whole Vermont bread issue. Vermont bread, for the most part is actually pretty good. There are tons of local, artisan bakeries around who produce some really tasty stuff. You can find a wide variety of these delicious artesian breads at most super markets or farmers/specialty markets. Though, whenever you order a sandwich (in hoagie or sub form), you receive one of the saddest things I have ever seen. Just go ask anyone who has ever gotten a sandwich from Kountry Kart Deli (except Vermonters, for they know no better). The sandwich always comes on this bread – this horrible, ugly, super-soft, spongy, white, tasteless, small, inadequate bread. The Vermont-style hoagie is a sandwich on an elongated hot dog roll, utterly unfathomable for any self respecting Philadelphia who has ever tasted Amororso’s – simply not OK. Now, if one wants a sandwich on some good artesian bread, which I myself enjoy from time to time, that’s fair. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to let some joker who asks if I “would like sprouts” call it a hoagie (or a sub, or a hero, or an anything but what it is – straight garbage)!

Pho Huong Rating (Revised): 5-phones


Sakura

09Apr09

Sakura 2 Church St

Burlington, VT 05401

(802) 863-1988

Last night after a long day of classes, my girlfriend and I decided to treat ourselves to an early sushi dinner before beginning a long night of studying. Both Jacqui and I maintain an allegiance to Burlington’s most esteemed and most delicious Japanese restaurant, Asiana House, though in an effort “to change things up” we decided to dine at Sakura. Additionally, Sakura offers lower prices than their neighboring competitor, and being jobless students, we are frequently drawn to relatively inexpensive offerings.

Arriving around 5:30 PM, the restaurant was virtually empty. I had never stepped foot in Sakura, in fact I did not even know that it existed until recently. My first impression of the restaurant certainly was not greatly impressive in terms of aesthetics. Especially when dinning in a Japanese restaurant, I appreciate simply, yet authentic signs that you are enjoying a foreign cuisine. Other than the sushi bar, this place did not suggest Japanese food. Going to the bathroom was yet more indicative of this rather plain establishment, which appeared to have been a recently converted restaurant from a college town bar.

Our waiter arrived promptly, and knowing what we wanted ahead of time, we ordered our meals. Being the cutesy couple which we are, we ordered two of the same meals – Miso soup, and “Sushi Pond”. The Sushi Pond meal was a simple chief’s choice 6 piece sushi nigiri with an additional tuna maki. It was a cold evening, and the miso soup did a great job of warming us up and preparing us for our sushi. Good and traditional miso soup. The sushi arrived soon after we finished our soups, and much like the restaurant, its appearance was less than visually stunning. The sushi looked fine, though again, I appreciate some sense of authenticity or adornment in my meal’s preparation, and such was not presented. The plain blue plate certainly did not prompt the same enthusiasm in me as say – a boat platter, or even just a simple decorative dish. Aesthetics aside, the sushi itself was not bad. The tuna roll was standard, light and tasty. The nigri was respectable, filling and flavorsome, though it was simply not as good as what is offered at Asiana House. It seemed fresh, though the high quality was just not there. I have certainly eaten less appealing and worse tasting sushi in my day, so Sakura is not on my bad list – I should say, not even close to being on it. Though for my next sushi endeavor – with sufficient funds, of course – I will most likely opt for a fine meal at the Asiana House.

 

Sakura Rating: 3-phones


A Day In Miami

18Mar09

Miami Part 1: Day

Having recently returning back to Burlington from a lovely spring break vacation in retirement-laden Southern Florida, I feel obligated to write about one of the most pleasant food endeavors of recent memory. I traveled with my girlfriend to Florida, spending 5 days on Hallandale beach – relaxing, sleeping, reading, swimming, and getting some much needed sun. Prior to embarking on our sun-soaked escape, I contacted my friend Jake from high school, a senior at the University of Miami, to see if we could get together one day. We ended up driving down to Miami, and despite the horrible traffic, we made it there with most of the day to spare. Being the prototypical tourists we were, wanting to get a feel for the more generic, trendy, and lavish Miami scene, we decided to spend our day on South Beach. Walking to the beach from our far away parking space, the three of us spotted a tiny Israeli café on one of the side streets we were gliding through. My girlfriend, having recently traveled to Israel in January deiced that she was in dire need of some Shwarma. Shwarma is a staple middle-eastern fast food dish. A sandwich like pita wrap filled with various meats (beef, pork, lamb, goat, or chicken), topped with zesty tahini sauce, and freshly cut lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Having not eaten since the early morning I was certainly game for some Shwarma, and what seemed better than this hidden Israeli mini-restaurant. Walking in this place was a treat. We were the only non-Hebrew speaking patrons, though no glares were give as we were promptly seated. The whole process was quite fast, “Three Shwarmas, and three Maccabees, please”. Maccabee is one of Israel’s few domestic beers, which I had never had – but Hey, when in Rome…or should I say when in little Italy.

Our meals arrived in what seemed like 2 minutes, fresh, steamy, and deliciously pungent. We had not specified what kind of meat we wanted, and to my pleasure we were served chicken Shwarma. Its not so often that I eat Shwarma, but it was truly delectable. Perfectly curry-seasoned chicken bits tossed with fresh vegetables, tahini sauce, and side of freshly cut French fries put a smile on my face. We washed our pitas down with the beers, paid the check, and were off to the beach. Unfortunately I forgot, and foolishly did not write down the name of this gem of a café. But it will definitely be in my memory of “good eats,” and hopefully I will some day find my way back.

South beach is truly a spectacle. It seemed like there was a Porsche, followed by a Ferrari, and a Bentley two cars back on every single block. Well dressed, tall, beautiful people roamed the streets, each with some apparent purpose to make their boyfriends jealous or catch the eye of some sort of surely sleazy talent scout. I felt like I was in Los Angeles. The beach scene was typical. More beautiful people, lots of drinking, amazing sun, clear skies, and blue ocean. We stayed for what seemed like hours, soaking in the sun and taking the occasional dip. We left once the sun had vacated, and a homeless man started peeing on the nearby sand. As we were battling the horrific traffic trying to get back to Jake’s house, he decided to make a reservation at his favorite sushi restaurant for later in the evening – Matsuri. Sounded great to me.

Miami Part 2: Night, Matsuri

Matsuri 5759 Bird Rd Miami, FL 33155
(305) 663-1615

We finally arrived back at Jake’s house eager to shower, collect ourselves, and drink some more beers. What the hell am I doing in Vermont. His back porch is the paradise I so often dream was my everyday reality. A heavily, and diversely wooded yard with exotic looking trees and bushes is what he looks out to everyday. Meanwhile, I look out my window and see hard, icy snow banks and grey sky’s. Godamnit. Enjoying the crisp Miami night on his porch we realized it was 7:30, time for some sushi. Jake was relentless in his praise of this place, though I was naturally skeptical. We arrived half-drunk, underdressed, famished, and tired from the long sunny day – the maitre’de seemed less than impressed. Nonetheless, we had a reservation, and the 45 minutes wait did not apply to our clever asses, thanks Jake. Matsuri seemed like a typical, popular, and highly regarded sushi restaurant. The long and narrow dinning room was very crowded. The walls there plastered with photo-mat quality bamboo forests, a pleasant and refreshing touch. We were seated on an end table, closets to the sushi bar. I am continually fascinated with sushi bars. They appear so simple, though the food produced is so carefully crafted and unpretentious, yet visually stunning. Furthermore, sushi chefs are right there in front of your face. They can’t afford a high pressured freak-out, or bad day drama to get in their way. They need to constantly remain calm, composed, and on point – ready to pump out countless tasty fish filled rice concoctions.

Jake ordered a plethora of appetizers and one unagi roll (eel), while my girlfriend and I were going to play it simple – the Matsuri Combination A, two salads, two miso soups, and lastly two pieces of octopus sushi. The Matsuri Combo came with 12 pieces of assorted (chef’s choice) sashimi, 6 pieces of assorted sushi, and a tuna roll. Still maintaining our day long buzz, and sitting on a rather thin wallet, we neglected to order any sake. Sushi without sake?! Some might ponder the atrocity, but try being a student on vacation then come talk to me. Despite the rather unpleasant demeanor of our server, our food arrived quite fast, good luck today I suppose. The combo platted looked phenomenal. We were dying to start inhaling the fabulous looking rectangles of fresh, raw, and aesthetically stimulating fish. Though, prior to our feast, Jake insisted on us trying a piece of one of his apps, Beef Sashimi Carpaccio. This dish was similar to a typical Carpaccio, though with a revitalizing Japanese twist. Raw (sashimi style), paper thinly sliced beef, topped with a rich yet subtle teriyaki glaze. Very, very good. But enough play, now onto the sashimi.

The chef’s choice for our Matsuri combo sushi portion was two pieces of Toro sushi (raw fatty tuna), two paces of Maguro sushi, (raw lean tuna), and two Ebi sushi (cooked shrimp). The sashimi included two Toro, two Maguro, two Hamachi (yellowtail), and two Hirame (halibut). Eating our sashimi was an invigorating, orgasmic, almost out-of-body experience. I’m not sure whether the day had truly taken toll on our stomachs and minds, or this was in fact the best, freshest, most scrumptious fish we had ever tasted. I tried to savor each bite, though eating every beautiful chunk of raw fish was better than the last. I could absolutely not slow down, my belly wanted more. With some miraculous form of self-restraint, we managed to saved the best for last – two pieces of both Toro and Maguro sashimi. The deep maroon blood-like color of the maguro is a beautiful specimen of Japanese cuisine. It just looks and tastes so damn good. Rich, but somehow light, refreshing, and full of flavor. The tuna seems to simply dissolve in your mouth. We had one of each (how democratic), and the main course had unfortunately come to a close. Followed with some green-tea ice cream the and a little ginger to clean the palate, we left Matsuri feeling blessed to have just fooled the seas gods into letting us pilfer some of their most prized specimens. After much debate, my girlfriend and I came to the conclusion that what we had just partaken in was the consumption of the best sushi of our entire lives. Now, I say confidently, that we both have a fair amount, and even a reputable amount of sushi experience. I don’t know whether it was just the day we had, that particular night (it was in fact a full moon), or whether Matsuri is actually that good, but I say with firmly that Matsuri served the best sushi I have ever eaten. Truly excellent. If you are ever in Coral Gables be sure to check it out. My only concern is that I now fear my next sashimi endeavor will simply not live up to what we ate at Matsuri. Time will only tell.

I apologize for not providing any pictures for this review. I was not intending on writing about Matsuri, though it was so good I just had to.

Matsuri Rating: 5-phones


img_5380

J & J’s Get Well Fast Matzoth Ball Soup (not quite home made)
The other night my girlfriend and I made this “get-well soup” for a friend recovering from the flu. It seems to have worked because when we saw her today, she was “all better”. The directions may seen complicated, though it’s a really easy soup to make, and absolutely delicious.

Ingredients:

1 supermarket bought rotisserie chicken
1 box of matzoth ball mix
1 package of wide egg noodles (1 lb)
2 large carrots
1 medium yellow onion
2 boxes of chicken broth (32 oz each)
2 eggs
EVOO

Directions:
1) Peel and slice carrots and onions
– fry in a olive oil until onions are becoming translucent and the carrots begin to get tender
2) Follow the instructions on the matzoth ball mix
– form 8 – 10 balls and refrigerate
3) Pick chicken off of the rotisserie chicken, (about half a chicken will make for a good soup) put aside
4) In a large pot, boil chicken broth
5) Once boiling, put in carrots, onions, egg noodles (about ½ of the package), chicken
– reduce to medium heat
6) The balls should quickly rise to the surface, then cook for 20 – 30 minutes


new world

New World Tortilla

696 Pine Street
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 865-1058

163 Pearl Street
Essex Jct., VT 05452
(802) 879-7809

UVM Davis Center

I trust that all Burlingtonites, in addition to UVM students have at some point tried the “health food” inspired New World Tortilla. Burritos are without a doubt one of my favorite meals, and I am on a constant search for a new, awesome burrito (the search for good nachos is also a very big part of my life). I have eaten New World at all of their locations, though yesterday, while in the Davis Center I decided to get a burrito. For all non UVM students who do not know about the Davis Center, it is the Universities new student center, which since the 2007/08 school year has been open for business. I say open for business because that’s what the Davis Center seems like – an oversized, ridiculously designed, ugly, money making monstrosity, and monumental waste of the Universities funds.

After class, with little time to spare before my next class I decided to get a burrito from New World, a seemingly good choice. Walking up to the burrito “stand” or “counter” or whatever they want to call it, I was immediately perturbed to see the unnecessarily large line in front of me. New World is good, though not good enough to wait a half an hour for. [Note: The problem with the Davis center is that all of the food options are, quite frankly, bad. Combined with the fact that all food options require an undeservingly long wait, eating in the Davis Center is a very frustrating experience.] Not wanting to wait equally as long for a bad turkey sandwich, I swallowed my pride and waited in line for a New World burrito.

Finally arriving at the front of the line I ordered my “go to” New World choice, the Chicken Verz Cruz Burrito – fancy spanglish name, classic burrito taste. The Vera Cruz is a relatively simple, yet very tasty burrito. As the name suggests it contains chicken, in addition to “greens”, black beans, cheese, jalapeno slices, sour cream, and salsa. I ordered the burrito without greens. Vermont seems to be fond of what they refer to as “greens”. Greens are essentially a mixture of bad salad –similar to poorly placed salad garnishes seen under beds of fish – the stuff that nobody eats. Nevertheless, Vermonters love their “greens”, or as I call them “bad salad”. Moving on, I ordered my burrito without the salad, and it thankfully did not take too long to make. Very good burrito, indeed. The chicken is perfectly grilled, the black beans are just the right mixture of soup and bean, and the salsa combined with the jalapenos gives it an ideal kick. After devouring my burrito I quickly realized that it was not quite worth the close to $10 I paid for it. Considering the fact that I waited so long, I was glad to no longer be hungry, but unsatisfied with the time and money wasted. For $10 I could drive to Moe’s “South West Grill”, get a much larger, much more filling Homewrecker, with free chips, and a Dos Equis for around $10!

New World Tortilla is good, though relatively expensive. Recommended at all locations, other than the Davis Center.


New World Rating: 3-phones

Davis Center Rating:   1-phone2

 


This delicious Chinese inspired dish was bequeathed to me by my roommate Freddo’s Mother. If you’re ever craving some home made Chinese look no further. And for all you chicken lovers out there, yes I hear ya, get ready to dig this one…

Ingredients:

½ lb chicken breast
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 bunch of bok choy (baby bok choy is a far better substitute, a bit more expensive though)
1 sliced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons of corn starch
EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)…What up Rachel Ray?

Sauce Ingredients:
½ cup of soy sauce (low fat preferred)
½ cup of chicken broth
1 bunch of diced green onion
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of corn starch
2 teaspoons of sesame oil

Directions:
1) Slice chicken in bite size pieces
– toss with 2 tablespoons of corn starch to coat

2) In a pan, lightly toast sesame seeds on medium heat for 1-2 minutes
– set aside when toasted

3) Blend together sauce ingredients and set aside

4) In a pan, heat olive oil and add chicken
– cook until browned
– set aside

5) Add bok choy and pepper to pan
– fry until veggies are tender
– add sauce and boil in pan for 1-2 minutes until slightly thick, then reduce heat and simmer
– stir in chicken

6) Enjoy! Ain’t nothing’ but love here!


Pho Shizzle!

25Feb09

Pho Hong

325 N Winooski Ave
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 865-8031

Prior to 2009 I had never experienced the delights of Vietnamese food. Always being open to try new cuisines, I heeded my girlfriends request and took her out to a local Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Hong. Prior to our arrival, I was instructed by her to order one of the many types of Pho. Pho is a simple, traditional Vietnamese soup primarily containing thinly sliced meat, rice, and noodles. Needless to say, I was quite hungry and it looked like Pho is what I would be encompassing upon. Pho Hong is one of the few BYOB’s in the greater Burlington area, a very nice change from the typical $7 drafts I would normally be paying for at any other establishment. So before heading off to our destination I stopped at the liquor store to pick up a nice bottle of wine (nice and cheap and large).

Upon arriving at Pho Hong I was far from brimming with anticipation. The place is fairly small and not very aesthetically pleasing, despite the finely crafted plastic fold up chairs we were seated in. Putting my commercial snobbiness aside, as soon as I took a seat at our table and poured myself a hefty glass of wine I was ready to get my Pho on. The menu was fairly diverse, ranging from typical beef noodle dishes, to more exotic pineapple infused spicy pork. As my mind was already set, and not wanting to waste any time, I focused solely on the Pho section.  What I finally decided upon was a meat-filled pho ecstasy, called something which I would not even try and pronounce. When the waiter came to take our order I made it easy and asked for “the number 15”, taking solace in the relatively low price of my scrumptiously protein filled meal.  

Waiting for our food I took a good look around the restaurant. Far from fancy, the atmosphere seemed to be extremely relaxed, enjoyable, and very satisfying. There was a fairly diverse crowd in the tiny one roomed eatery – a middle aged couple to the left, young lovers to the right, and four loud and annoying college somthings behind us. Downing my wine probably faster than I would have liked the conversation we were having blurred time as all the sudden my Pho had finally arrived. First impression: smells quite good…huge bowl… I hate cilantro. After removing all the cilantro I could, I began surreptitiously slurping down my Pho. The meat was tender, the broth was just salty enough, and I didn’t even get any resounding cilantro taste. I was finished with my pho in what seemed like no time. Good stuff. Remaining in my bowl was fatty-like gel which I assumed had come off of the beef slices. Needless to say, I did not eat that stuff. Left over was a large plate of bean sprouts which I eat feverously until we finished our wine. After dinner we ordered a small desert, mango sticky rice. For all those who have never had mango sticky rice, next time you can, order it. Stuff is really really tasty.

Paying for our meal was an unconventionally non-traumatic experience. I think my dish was only $7 – same price as those beers! We left Pho Hong very satisfied and frankly wanting more. The plan is to come back next week, same time, maybe a different kind of Pho.

Rating: 4-phones


Welcome to The Food Insulter! I am a current University of Vermont student poised to graduate in May, 2009. The first 18 years of my life were spent Philadelphia, PA, a truly amazing place to have been brought up. Not only have I eaten my fair share of cheesesteaks (without a doubt the world’s best sandwich), though I have also dined with the best at some of the world’s most renowned restaurants (Le Bec Fin, and Morimoto to name a few). Through my experiences – the places I have traveled, and the places I have been lucky enough to call home, I have gained a keen sight and taste for excellent cuisine. As I food lover I will be the first to praise something I have eaten, and be the first to ridicule it to hell!

So here you are! Sit back, read on, eat, drink, and enjoy the opinions of The Food Insulter – your resident blogger who tells it straight!