Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Frolics in Food

Today's foray was a revisit to two places I've enjoyed (but maybe not properly blogged about) before: Keith's Boxcar Cafe, and Charlotte's BakerEatery.

I often jest about the BFE nature of Keith's but it's really not that difficult to find: You can either take Van Ness south til you hit Hamilton (think industrial district), and then take a left. (It will be a couple blocks east, on your left). OR do as we did since we were on our way from work, and take Butler over the tracks out to Pearl, turn left, then right on Hamilton (Keith's will be on your right). Either way, it's worth it. The first time we went, many months ago, we had the smoked meatloaf sammy with fries. YUM. Today we went specifically for the pulled pork bbq lasagna. When they have it again (they will), you MUST have some, order ahead as it's rightfully popular and sells out quick!. Don't think Italian lasagna with spaghetti sauce and ricotta. Think the best, smokiest, tenderest pulled pork you've ever had, layered with noodles, bbq sauce, and cheese.. epic lunch win. Paired with some tasty grilled uber garlic bread and you've got a fine lunch for 9.99 right there. We'll be back, again and again!

Keith's Boxcar Cafe on Urbanspoon
Then it was on to dessert at Charlotte's.. again a place we'd been (and enjoyed immensely) before. The last time we had a vegan/gf chocolate (you couldn't tell!), and a lemon lavender cupcake, as well as a triple berry turnover. All great. This time around we enjoyed blackberry lemon lavender and raspberry rosewater cupcakes, as well as a bluberry danish, and a chocolate/coconut bread pudding. The think I love about Charlotte's is nothing is tooth achingly sweet, and there isn't an overabundance of gloppy frosting on the cupcakes. The flavors are clean, sweet enough, and vibrant in their various ingredients. The cupcakes had subtle notes of rosewater and lavender on top of the fruit. The Danish was like the best french croissant dough mixed with a good amount of fresh blueberries and a light cream cheese underneat that. The bread pudding? Like the kind of choco/coconut macaroon decadent moist desserts they must have in heaven. Another place we will return to many times in the future.

Friday, February 1, 2013

less than Golden Horse....

So it's been awhile since I've done a proper review... you're getting this one without pics because frankly... we didn't get anything worth taking pics of.. It was your standard white boy combo plate with a side of potstickers, and since the meal wasn't that exciting, I didn't bother.

We are still looking for a local (near our neighborhood of Gettysburg/Blackstone), fairly priced, delicious goto for basic Americanized Chinese Takeout. Please don't get the idea that is the only type of Chinese we enjoy, as we also like the "secret Chinese menu" stuff and the odd parts and pieces. But sometimes, you get a hankering for sweet, gloppy, crap, but still tasty and well made sweet gloppy crap.

The Golden Horse (which replaced the Golden Palace on Blackstone between Ashlan and Gettysburg) didn't quite fit the bill. It was local. And other than unusually dark bloody red sweet & sour sauce, and unsually light fried rice, there was nothing oomphy about it. And it's more expensive than other Chinese places by at least 2 dollars per item or more.

We had the #2 (that should have been a hint) lunch combo: Sweet n sour pork, fried shrimp, pork fried rice, and pork chow mein. We also got a side of potstickers that came with some odd black bean dipping sauce.

First off, even though the lunch combo was steaming, it wasn't actually hot, (and it was ready WAYYYY too quickly for it not to have been premade..when they give the standard line about 10 minutes, they aren't kidding). The S & S pork as I mentioned was extremely dark and disturbing in its sanguinity. The flavor was alright, nothing horrible but nothing to write home about. It wasn't very crunchy but not horribly soggy. And drowning in sauce.

The fried shrimp was bland and mostly batter..the shrimp were like shrimp strips. The chow mein had more pork in it than the fried rice, but both were tasty enough. Which surprised me because the rice was verging on whiteness, as if there were no soy in it. The potstickers were the one hot item, very juioy with almost no flavor.

These two items cost a litte over 12 dollars. And that was only because it was 10 percent off everything for their Grand> I've heard they have a "secret authentic Chinese menu" as well as offering dim sum on weekends. If the prices weren't so high, I'd consider dining in and trying other things, but with other places in town to try yet, I didn't feel a strong urge to go back. I'd like to think if a place can't do something as simple as a lunch combo well, it won't get more complicated dishes right.

Sorry Golden Horse, but we tried, and you just didn't do it for us.