Friday, June 27, 2008

Korean Style Wings

Sorry for the delay on this post. All I can say is thank goodness it's Aloha Friday. And doubly thankful the temperature has finally cooled down a bit. Okay, now to the food...

Should be no surprise that I love fried foods but then I don't really know anyone who doesn't like fried foods. I don't eat it all that often (but the Mister would argue that point) but I certainly get cravings for it. The latest fried food item have been Korean style chicken wings. The first try was using a very garlicky not-so-spicy recipe I found--somewhere. It was pretty good overall in taste and crunchiness but it didn't have the spiciness I liked in wings. Also, the recipe called for a lot of garlic chunks in the batter which some ended up burning during the frying process. This created a slight bitterness to the flavor which got to be a bit overwhelming after eating a few.

What I really wanted to use was Chicken Alice's recipe with Kirk's (mmm-yoso) modifications. You can read about Chicken Alice and her famous wings in Honolulu Star-Bulletin's article here. Kirk's adjustments are here. But I have 2 problems to overcome. I can't find the special ingredient that makes the wings, Park's Brand Kim Chee Sauce. It's a product from Hawaii and needs to be refrigerated, I'm guess that's why we can't find it here. The second problem and biggest challenge is that I've never tasted Chicken Alice's wings so I don't even have that to go on. My family had moved from Hawaii before Chicken Alice was even around and by the time I learned about it, her restaurant had closed. But I did hear a rumor that she is now serving up her wings at another place (name escapes me right now).

So literally in the dark, I decided to just do some wings using the recipe and adding *most* of the ingredients that are in Park's Brand KC sauce (chili pepper, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, paprika, salt, ginger). The sauce also includes MSG (which I don't use) and water. The results were pretty good and it looked a bit like Kirk's picture of his wings but it lacked the slight stickiness characteristics. Well, I realized after the fact that I forgot to add the fish sauce but that still wouldn't account for the lack of stickiness. My thought, more sugar! It also lacked any discernible heat. More chili! I remedied the need for more spiciness by mixing up some hot sauce and tossing it like Buffalo style wings. Not too bad. Kirk recommended adding more garlic and sugar and that the fish sauce was a key part of the wings. (Note to self, don't forget the fish sauce!).

So last weekend and despite the heatwave, I decided to go ahead with my plan to make the chicken wings again with adjustments. Since the recipe called for 1/3 cup of Park's Brand KC sauce, I used the ingredients list to create about a 1/3 cup of my own sauce using Korean chili pepper powder, Asian chili paste, Korean chili paste (kochujang - I love this stuff), grated garlic (about 8 toes), about a tablespoon of fish sauce, 2 tablespoon of sugar, 2 teaspoon of salt, minced ginger. I really didn't measure and eyeballed everything (out of habit) and I regret not doing so now because I really still need to make some more adjustments on the sauce. But more later on that.

From this point on, I followed Kirk's recipe and here's what the batter looked like. Sorry the lighting in the kitchen is just horrible and having it in a red bowl doesn't help with photo either. The batter wasn't *pink* like the article described but I didn't expect it to be with all the chili stuff I put in.

I marinated the wings overnight and the next day, I was ready to fry! I used my Dutch oven and peanut oil for the frying part. For some reason, and it could have been the heatwave or something in the batter, but the first few batches of wings were coming out really really dark, close to burnt. I know the recipe calls for deep brown but I don't think they meant burnt. The candy thermometer was reading 350 degrees F but the wings were starting to turn dark around the 6 minute mark but they needed to cook at least 8 minutes to be done. I had to make several adjustments on the temp with the next couple of batches and finally ended at 325 degrees F to get the wings to cook all the way through and without completely burning the crust. Here's what the final batch looked like. You can still seem some burnt edges.

Taste was pretty good, definitely more spicy this time although it could have been hotter for me. Good crunch and just a hint of stickiness. But I think the batter could have used more salt, even more garlic and more sugar. I will be curious to see if I have the same problems with temperature control the next go around.

A side story since I'm on the subject of frying. I bought an electric deep fryer about 2 weeks ago since I though it would be easier than trying to control the heat on my crappy, old ceramic electric stove. I bought one that could hold 1 gallon of oil and had the immersion heating element. Well, I decided to take it back because 1) the timer was nothing but a really cheap egg timer that would ding at the 2-minute mark (the sales lady assured me that's how it comes from the manufacturer - like that's suppose to make me go, "oh, well then, I'll keep the defective product since the manufacturer intended it to be that way!"). And 2) I checked the oil temperature with my digital thermometer and the oil never got hotter than 365 degrees F. It's suppose to get at least 375 degrees F. But I knew this was one of the biggest consumer complaints in many of the electric deep fryers brands. So back it went. I also mentioned to the sales lady that I think there's something wrong with the heating element and the oil is not getting hot enough as advertised. And I think I overheard her tell the store manager that the only thing was the timer so she's going to put it back on the shelf. WHAT????? Whatever. Just made a mental note not to buy small kitchen appliances there anymore.

So I'm back to my Dutch oven for small fry jobs and as a compromise, I bought a new 14" carbon steel wok (from The Wok Shop) which I use for larger fry jobs. I've been meaning to buy a new wok anyway so this will kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

Have a wonderful weekend! Now go and eat well.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

It's Something in the Water

Uh, ever read a headline and think to yourself "wtf???" I just read one from Reuters a few minutes ago: "Tap water chemicals not linked to penis defect." It's not the water itself that they thought caused birth defects (as far as we know) but rather the chemicals used to treat the water. Lucky for those Arkansas boys that it turns out it wasn't the water the mothers were drinking. Or at least nothing substantial to prove that it was the cause of hypospadias, um... a, um... you know. But extensive exposure to tap water (drinking, bathing, showering) still may have some cause and effect. AND this is just more evidence of why I don't support recycled sewer water initiatives. If left the choice of only bathing once a week for not having to recycled sewer water coming out of my tap, I'll opt for the stinky choice. Hell, if the French can do it, so can I! The Mister might mind but my dogs will still love me all the same! And I don't really care what my coworkers think about me (maybe even some of the more annoying ones will stop bothering me).

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday Nothings

This week has been a bear and I'm falling behind on postings. Sorry but I should be back in the swing of things tomorrow. I owe Kirk a post on my attempt to make wings like Chicken Alice. That's coming up shortly and with at least 1 picture, I promise (hehe). There's also a couple of other food items that I have to report on (and with pictures nonetheless).

Until then, here's one of my favorite Dana Carvey SNL skits (one of many).

Dana Carvey SNL Gerald Ford Is Dead - Watch more free videos

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Something Refreshing on a Hot Weekend

Whew! Hot enough for you, San Diegans? With all-time temperature highs around the county, the only thing I can come up with that might help provide some "ahhhhhhs" is this picture I took of the first batch of lemon-orange sorbet I made with my Cuisinart Ice Cream/Sorbet/Frozen Yogurt Maker. It was made from fresh squeezed Meyer Lemons from my yard and a few oranges from the Farmers Market. Mix it in with some simple syrup (equal parts of sugar and water boiled then cooled) and some lemon and orange zest. 20 minutes after churning and 1 hour of firming in the freezer and voila! A refreshing and very yummy dessert.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend. I have to dunk my head in the pool now...

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

FDA Requests Seizure of Animal Food Products at PETCO Distribution Center

This is just one of several reasons not to shop at Petco.

"Today, at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Marshals seized various animal food products stored under unsanitary conditions at the PETCO Animal Supplies Distribution Center located in Joliet, Ill., pursuant to a warrant issued by the United States District Court in Chicago."

Read the full news release here.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday Funny

No, these are not my dogs and that's not the Mister talking in the background. But I just found it to be very funny.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dr. Pepper Pineapple Spare Ribs

I saw a recipe for spare ribs a while ago that uses Dr. Pepper (I drink Diet Dr. P all the time) and pineapple. I knew I had to try it because it was such an easy dish to prepare. Also it gave me another dish that I can cook in the Staub. I'm sure this dish would also do very well in a crockpot. I don't recall exactly where I saw it so I apologize to the creator. Here's my version of Dr. Pepper Pineapple Spare Ribs. I've done some minor adjustments to the original recipe and proportioned it for 2-3 people (it was plenty for the 2 of us for dinner). You can always double the recipe but check my notes regarding the amount of pineapple and such.

4-6 pork spare ribs*
1 medium yellow onion, diced (I used Vidalia onion but any yellow onion will do)
1 can (15.25 oz) pineapple chunks or tidbits in own juice**
1 (12 oz) can Dr Pepper (DO NOT use diet)
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste (Hunt's recommended)
1 cup hot Pace Picante sauce***
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper


*I used pork ribs with bone in but boneless will do just as well. You can also trim off most of the fat since the meat will be cooking for a long time. I left the fat on since I like the extra tenderness of the meat with the fat.

** I used 1 can (15.25 oz) Del Monte pineapple which I thought gave the right sweetness to the dish. But note that some other brands, like Dole, only come in 8 oz and 20 oz cans. You can use 2 of the 8 oz cans and cut back the brown sugar by 1/4 cup (unless you like this dish very sweet). If you are doubling the recipe (8-10 spare ribs), then use 1 can (20 oz) of pineapple chunks or tidbits.

***The "hot" version of Pace Pacante isn't all that hot but gave a very nice spicy flavor with mild heat. But if you want just a hint, you can use medium Pace Picante and if you absolutely cannot stand any heat, use the mild. If you want it really spicy, add Cayenne pepper or chili powder to taste.

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

Trim the fat from ribs as desired. Arrange ribs in the bottom of a 4-5 quart Dutch oven (note that if you're doubling this recipe, I recommend going with a 10" Dutch oven or a pot that holds 7-8 quarts and can go into the oven).

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Sprinkle onions and pineapple evenly over ribs.

In a large bowl stir together the remaining ingredients including the reserved pineapple juice and pour over ribs. Cover Dutch oven and bake for 2.5 hours or until ribs are tender (fork tender). Turn and baste ribs at least once during the cooking time (after 1 hour in oven). I found that I didn't have to baste mine at all since I had enough juice to cover all the ribs and the self-basting nubs of the Staub did my basting for me.

I served mine over white rice and it was really really good! The Mister gave a big thumbs up. I'm sure this would also go well with elbow macaroni. Might even be a 1-dish meal. Hmm, I'll have to try that out.

I hope you like this as much as we did.

Postscript: I made this recently and served it over elbow macaroni. I liked it even better on elbows! Here's a picture of it, as well as a close up of the rib meat (reminds me a bit of pulled pork).

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Zongzi (Glutinous Rice Wrapped in Bamboo Leaves)

I've been dreading this post for the past week. I don't know why but maybe it's because I've been obsessing (me obsess? unheard of) about zongzi since I decided to try to make them for this year's Dragon Boat Festival. And maybe it's also that I've been sleep deprived the past week and probably should have just listened to the Mister to wait until I'm not so tired (but why start listening to him now? haha!). So apologies upfront. I'm still a bit sleep deprived so this post might be a bit all over the place. Oh, and this is a very long post with pictures.

What got me on a zongzi craze was a flyer from 99 Ranch Market's ad on this year's Dragon Boat Festival this past Sunday. Rather than going down there to buy some expensive, most likely tasteless zongzi, I decided to try to make my own expensive, tasteless zongzi. It's been years since I've had zongzi. It's something my mother would make every year. She would usually make savory meat ones for me and some sweet ones for herself. I never developed a taste for the sweet ones. I decided to try my hand at making meat ones.

It's been many many years since I've helped make zongzi, back in grade school, I think. So I had to do a little research to see if my memory served me correctly. To my surprise (or not), there's several videos on YouTube showing people the technique in making zongzi. They did help jog my memory a bit. I also googled for some zongzi recipes and none of them were close to how I remembered my mom's recipe. Some recipes called boiling the zongzi (more Taiwanese) but my mom (and grandmother) have always steamed them. The savory fillings varied widely, as I suspected, as well as how to prepare the glutinous rice. I couldn't remember if my mom soaked the rice in soy sauce or just soaked in water. She's probably done them both ways because I remember having both a darker colored and light colored versions. I decided to choose one with similar fillings and one that soaked the rice in plain water.

A day before making the zongzi, I soaked the bamboo leaves in water overnight. You can also soak the bamboo leaves in hot water for about 30-45 minutes the day of to get it more pliable. I put all the leaves in a very large stainless steal bowl and weighted them down with a large heavy bowl filled with water. The next day, I rinsed them well and gave each leaf (about 60) a scrub.

I then cut up the pork belly for marinating overnight. The slab on the left is the skin side. I trimmed that off, leaving on a fair amount of the fat. According to the recipe, the pork should have a decent amount of fat to help flavor the zongzi, and I recall my mom doing the same. I cut the pork to about 1" to 2" pieces. (BTW, the large chef's knife to the right is one of my newest Japanese knives. It's a Tojiro DP Gyutou 27 cm and it is wicked sharp! Yeah, yeah, I have to get around in doing my knives post...) Just one more word on knives, if you've never used a "krazy keen knife" before, it's something you'll wonder how you lived without once you do.

The next day, I started to prep the rest of the ingredients. I started with soaking of the rice for 2 hours (according to the recipe). I rinsed the rice several times before soaking. In the end, I used about 3 lbs of rice (yeah, that's a lot of rice).

I also had to peel all the salted duck eggs (cooked). Each egg was wrapped in plastic and some of them have a slimy film on them that you need to rinse off. I still remember the duck eggs from my childhood. They would come covered in packed and seasoned earth. I would help rinse them off and the yolks were oh-so good! I didn't care much for the whites and they were always way too salty for my liking.

Here are the yolks for the filling. Since I didn't have enough whole egg yolks for each zongzi, I halved the yolks, even 3rd some of the large ones. Boy, I had forgotten how potent the yolks can smell.

Next, I soaked the dried Shitake mushrooms, removed the hard woody stems and then sliced them.

I also soaked some Chinese black mushrooms.

I decided to include some Asian brand dried shrimp, too (since mom used to do that).

Okay, so...after everything was all ready, I began the ordeal, I mean process of making these "hopefully" good zongzi. I took 2 similarly shaped and sized bamboo leaves and made the cone.
I then filled the cone part with rice.

I added a piece of pork belly, some sliced Shitake mushrooms, black mushrooms, and shrimp.

I then added more rice and then topped that with a yolk. Then topped with more rice and patted everything down.

This next part is where I highly recommend watching at least one of the YouTube videos on this process. It was hard enough trying to take pictures with one hand and prepping with the other. No way I could have filmed this by myself. I folded the sides in a little and then brought the top down and folded around the filling part. Pinched the ends and tucked them to one side. Then I wrapped about 2 feet of cotton string around it and tied it. (sorry, I tried to take a picture of it but my first zongzi exploded on me when I tried.)

Here's the final product.

I used my electric wok to steam these since it was the biggest wok I had. I didn't have bamboo steamers so I just used the steamer rack that came with the wok. Worked out just fine since.

After steaming for about an hour, I pulled one out and tried it. Not quite done yet. The rice was still al dente and the rice didn't have that shininess when it's done. So back in for another 15 minutes. Here's what the little package looked like. You can see a bit of the black mushrooms and egg yolk.

This is what the inside looked like.

So what was my overall assessment of the taste? Mediocre to fair. After having one from the first batch, the rice was very bland and I was very surprised by the lack of infusion of flavor from the filling and the bamboo leaves. At this point, I had wished I soaked the rice in soy sauce. To adjust, I added some kosher salt to the remaining rice, hoping to add a bit of flavor. I also added a bit of the marinade from the pork to help improve the flavor.

The result was a little better on the second batch but I then noticed that I should have added more filling. The pork belly had shrunken down to half the size and I would have liked more of it. Hmm, I wonder if this is what a store bought one would taste like? For the last batch (yes, I made 3 batches of these suckers), I picked out the larger pieces of pork and some I added 2. But in the end, it still felt like I didn't have enough filling and they still tasted a bit bland to me but the egg yolk and the Shitake mushroom added some very nice flavor to them. I remedied the blandness by adding just a bit of soy sauce. Did the trick!

Also, in some of the zongzi I had, part of the rice were a still just a tad dry, almost al dente. My guess is the way it was steaming in the wok. Some of the zongzi was riding low and getting a fair amount of steam and maybe even slight boiling from the rising water. Hmm, maybe I should have tried boiling a couple of them to test. But 4 hours later (yeah, 4 hours), I had enough of zongzi and was ready to call it quits. The results was good enough for my first try, and good enough where I will try again next year. I will make note of things to change. Maybe I'll soak the rice for longer next time and then soak in soy sauce. In my groggy state by the end, I counted about 45 zongzi, or somewhere in that ballpark. Yeah, that's a lot of zongzi. Next year, I'm only going to make half of that.

Postscript: Further evidence that I was completely out of it when making these, it wasn't until a day later that I realized I completely forgot to add Chinese sausage. Duh! Now I'll have to go buy some Portuguese sausage and make some fried rice.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Chicken Pie Diner

After puppy kindergarten last weekend, the Mister and I decided to get some lunch at The Chicken Pie Diner on Pomerado and Twin Peaks. We decided to go sans Merlin since he was quite tuckered from his full morning visit to the Farmer's Market and then training. He was ready for his lunch and a nice nap.

Although we drive past the Chicken Pie Diner every week, we've never stopped in until now. Always talked about trying the place, just took us 5 years to finally do it. The Diner is a 50's themed diner, 50's and 60's songs the jukebox (and a Dr. Hook song from 70's), James Dean and Marilyn Monroe pictures on the walls. There's even individual jukeboxes at the booths, 2 songs for a quarter.

Typical of me, I didn't have my camera, so once again, another food post sans pictures (sorry). But I can talk about the food. The menu is geared towards home-style cooking that is suppose to remind you of home, comfort foods galore. The service is friendly, and they are both kids and dog friendly. The menu offers lunch specials, finger food, burgers, sandwiches, "famous" chicken pies, shakes, malts and a great kids' menu. The prices are also very reasonable. I searched for their website but either it was down or they no longer manage it.

As we walked up, we saw Merlin's trainer and her assistant, both there with their dogs (one each). I got scolded for not bringing Merlin with us and hindsight, we probably should have. They were seated outside under umbrellas to shade them from the sun. One of the servers had brought out a cup of water for the dogs. We decided to sit inside for some nice air conditioning.

The place was about half full, probably most of the lunch crowd had already gone by then. Good thing because we got a booth. Nice. We didn't really look over the menu too much since we knew what we wanted. I ordered a vanilla milk shake and chicken fingers appetizer with honey mustard sauce and a side of onion rings. I had a choice of honey mustard, Ranch, or BBQ sauce with the chicken. The Mister ordered a chocolate milk shake and the King's Burger, which comes with a side of fries. As we waited for our order and checked out all the memorabilia on the walls, The King was playing on the jukebox.

Our shakes came, whip cream and cherry on top. The Mister made a mental note to ick-snay the whip cream next time. Both milk shakes were delicious, made from real ice cream. Ahhhh, nice on a hot day. Then soon after, our lunch came. The King's Burger was huge, big beef patty topped with an onion ring, mushrooms, tomato, lettuce, pickles, mustard, ketchup, and BBQ sauce. The fries were good, too. The onion rings looked typical of the frozen prepackaged type but it was still good enough for me. My chicken fingers, however, was just so-so. The breading was limp, not crisp at all, but the overall flavor was decent. The honey mustard sauce had the texture of paste, and I was very uninspired by it. I could have used a side of my own honey mustard. The Mister was surprised I had ordered chicken wings since that's something I can make at home and much (much) better. Mental note, try something else next time.

I think the total bill came to around $23. Overall, Chicken Pie Diner is a good place to come when you're looking for comfort food and hang out with your BFF (best furry friend). I'm planning on taking Merlin there for lunch this Saturday after training since it's just the two of us. I'll try hard to remember to bring the camera, ha!

Chicken Pie Diner - Poway
14727 Pomerado Rd.
Poway, CA 92064
(858) 748-2445

Other location:
Chicken Pie Diner and Filling Station - San Marcos
Old California Restaurant Row (1020 W. San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos)
(760) 591-9393

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Foodie Is What A Foodie Does

Four different people called me a foodie in the past few weeks. This led to some interesting conversations with the Mister about what it means to be a foodie. I mean, just because I love to eat (live to eat) and like to cook, does that make me a foodie? I like to buy things for my kitchen, but does that make me a foodie? Hell, I like to shop in general. So that can't be it. Does reading food blogs almost daily make me a foodie? Well, I certainly don't consider myself a grease monkey just because I frequent a couple of auto forums and have done some mods on my own car.

The Mister thinks I'm a foodie. No doubt about it in his mind. I, on the other hand, don't think I'm a foodie, just someone who loves to eat and sometimes who like to blog about it. Hell, I've never even heard the word until a couple of years ago. The Mister asked what I considered a foodie. I started to rattle off names, Kirk (mmm-yoso), Chubby Panda, Clotilde Dusoulier (Chocolate & Zucchini, well, she's more than a foodie), Reid (Ono Kine Grindz) just to name a few off the top of my head. I could have rattled on and on but I made my point, so I thought. I mean those are people who have food blogs after all. Right?

Then it got me thinking. What exactly is a foodie? I obviously didn't have an exact definition in my head or else I would have rattled it off in some Boyeristic fashion. It's one of those things where I know what it is in my head but I can't explain it. Or maybe I just don’t know. Should someone who lives to eat (not one who eats to live) be considered a foodie? I think there has got to be more to it than that. Do foodies have the Food Network or Fine Living on 24/7? So I watch a lot of Food Network, dating back from the mid 90’s, but so do millions of other people nowadays. Okay, so maybe one could argue that not too many of those millions know that Food Network started with Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, and Emeril Lagasse. But I too carry some useless facts in my brain and not all of them food related. Maybe the term foodie was some sort of by-product of Food Network. Maybe someone came up with the term as a polite way to categorize food fanatics, rather than calling us “pigs” or “gluttons” or “gourmands.” Okay, so it’s obvious I don’t really know what a foodie is. I’ll concede to that.

But it was the Mister’s coup de grace that brought my brain to a screeching halt (only for a second), "anyone who takes pictures of his food and writes about them is a foodie in my book." Hmm, interesting point. The only retort I could come up with was "maybe," and that's a big maybe, I'm a “hobby” foodie. A hobby foodie, someone who pursues food outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation. Yeah, I like that and can accept that label.

So all you foodies, wannabe’s, gourmands, gluttons, pigs, and hobby foodies, go now and eat well.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Tang's Thai Kitchen

While running some errands and socialization with Merlin a couple of weeks ago, we noticed a new Thai restaurant that just opened in the mall on Pomerado and Ted Williams. It sits between Cold Stone and Great Clips (near Target). There are 2 small tables out front and 3 tables inside. The menu board was empty when we went in so they must not have been open for very long.

With lunchtime near and hunger setting in, we decided to try it. Let's just say that the first month of a grand opening always makes dining interesting. There was a sign on the door looking for part time help. And boy, do they need more help. The Mister did the ordering while I stood puppy watch outside. He said the lady at the counter taking the order must be very new to Thai food. Guess she was pretty clueless. There was one other woman in the back cranking out the dishes. It took another 20 minutes before we got our order. The lady behind the counter ensured the Mister that the food would be worth the wait. Finally getting our order of Pad Thai with seafood combo and Rard Nah with shrimp (wide rice noodles with special gravy sauce), we realized the dishes had zero spiciness. But overall, very tasty dishes. I was very surprised by the size and amount of shrimp in the Rard Nah, very nice. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of the food we ordered. But since we enjoyed our meal, we went back the next night for take out.

I called in the order this time (20 minutes before we wanted to eat). The same ditsy lady answered the phone. Either the phone she was using is very poor or she's a bit hard of hearing or the noise in the restaurant is very very loud. Or it's a combo of any of the three. I almost had to yell the order into the phone and this time I made sure she took down the spicy level (mild, medium, spicy). It also sounded like she was still getting familiar with the menu. I ordered using the name of the dishes, she asked for the numbers. Good to know for the next time. I added an extra dish of Yellow Curry with chicken (potatoes, onions, carrots) along with Pad Thai and Rard Nah but once again, I forgot to take picture. The Yellow Curry was very runny but had decent flavor. It came with an order of rice. I enjoyed it better the next day. BTW, there's a list of meat choices for the noodles and rice dishes (chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, calamari, seafood combo, tofu, vegetables). I'll scan in the take-out menu and will update a bit later.

Determined to actually do a food post with pictures, we went back a third time. We wanted to try different dishes this time. Once again, I called it in and once again, it was the ditsy lady. Hoo boy. They certainly have some kinks to work out because I was put on hold for about 3-4 minutes (actually the phone was laid down on the counter and I could hear everything, including the noisy kids in the background screaming, no wonder the ditz was hard of hearing). Finally, the ditz took my order. Once again, I was talking very loudly and speaking very very slowly so she can follow along. Me: One order of # 59, Spicy Seafood, with Spicy heat. Her: Wait, I will get that later. So.....[long pause] 59 [pause] that's spicy seafood [pause - uh huh]..............okay, that's it?, unfortunately. After taking the remaining order, she said thank you and hung up. Didn't ask me for my name or phone number and didn't say how long for the order to be ready.

I handed the Mister a slip with the exact dishes I ordered in case the ditz has trouble finding it. Thank goodness because the Mister had to help her find our order when he went in to pick it up. He had to wait an extra 10 minutes because the menu wasn't very clear as to whether all dishes have a choice of meat (not all), and ditz forgot to ask me what kind of meat I wanted with my pineapple fried rice. So the cook didn't make the rice and was waiting for the Mister to pick up the order to make it. Confused yet?? Uh huh. Well, at least the fried rice was piping hot. The Mister also noticed that the menu board was finally up.

So here's what we got.

This is (what's left) the fried meatballs (6/order). It has the same texture as a fishball but not much flavor. It came with a sweet dipping sauce. Meh.

The Pineapple Fried Rice with Pork in medium heat was very tasty. The pork was tender and had decent flavor. The pieces of pineapple were small bite sizes (obvious from a can). I wish the broccoli were chopped a little smaller but overall, good flavor and we both would have this again.

The Mister ordered the Spicy Seafood at spicy heat. He said it had decent heat but could have been hotter. The Mister said he wouldn't order this again. He'd much rather have his Pah Thai again. The sauce reminded me a bit of a mild ma la sauce. Meh. He did like the various seafood items.

I tried the Hot Basil with Calamari in medium heat. There was straw mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, bamboo shoots, zucchini, baby carrots and green onions. It was okay in flavor, mild heat, and the calamari was pretty good, tender and not chewy. I felt the amount of calamari was less than when I had it with the Rard Na during the second visit. Although the dish was okay and I enjoyed the calamari, probably wouldn't order this again.

The Mister and I decided that we'd wait a little while before going back. That will give them some time to work out the kinks. If you do stop on by, anticipate a bit of wait for your order. I'll post the menu in a little bit.

Tang's Thai Kitchen
14791 Pomerado Rd.
Poway, CA 92064-2802

Next "food" post, Chicken Pie Diner, another dog friendly establishment.

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