Showing posts with label Thai food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thai food. Show all posts

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tom Yum Pretz


Tom Yum Pretz
Tom yum Pretz

If you're a fan of Chicken in a Biskit, savory Pretz, and tom yum, you'll like Glico's tom yum Pretz "breadsticks" made in Thailand.  

Tom Yum Pretz Box Thai
Box in Thai

While it isn't like crunching on a bowl of tom yum goong nor very spicy, the salty, lime-sour, and shrimpy flavor hits the target. Blindfolded, one would easily guess the flavor.

Tom Yum Pretz Box English
Box in English

I didn't realize there were over 75 Pretz flavors. This doesn't even touch upon Glico's other more famous stick snack, Pocky. Intriguing flavors that were available for a limited time, in Japan, or around Asia: nozawana, basil, mapo tofu, potsticker, eel, spicy squid, larb, mentaiko, and sharks fin. Salad is my favorite flavor.

- Cassaendra

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Taste of Tremont


Bright orange signs were tacked along Professor Avenue on Friday. By police order, the streets would need to be cleared out from 04:00 through midnight Sunday (today) for the Taste of Tremont, a neighborhood festival that celebrates its restaurants, businesses, and organizations bringing 15-20,000 visitors to this street from noon until 8:00 p.m.

As we walked along Professor Avenue, a Kufner tow truck had a car in tow. I'm sure it was a busy morning for him. It wasn't the last time I saw him towing a car. *cash register sound*

365-36 PreTaste
Day 036/365

For the past few years, I've wanted to try the basil lemonade at Lolita. Each time, I didn't want to wait in the long line (5-10 minute wait) to get it. Last year, around an hour before closing, I noticed there was no line so I stopped by. They were sold out.

This year, I was determined to try that basil lemonade. At 12:15, we made a bee-line to their tent. When we arrived, the sign read:

mac and cheese $5
mint lemonade $2

Heh. We happened to be standing in line and it was going quickly, so I ordered the lemonade. The creamy goat cheese ziti looked interesting, but pasta and cheese are just not my thing especially with so many potential choices.

The lemonade was minty, but not to the point of being bitter or grassy, and it wasn't as sweet as I expected (good). I would definitely order this if the basil lemonade wasn't available.

Not every stand was ready, even 30 minutes after the announced starting time. A couple of tents were still being fiddled with or display tables were being arranged.

Fat Cats' shrimp roll had not arrived yet when we went up to order. With so many choices, I didn't feel the need to stick around for 10-15 minutes and wandered from stall to stall looking for something else to catch my eye that was ready.

At the Ty Fun tent, kai ka prow ($6.00), beef panang ($6.00), vegetarian pad thai ($5.00), and pork spring rolls ($3.00) were offered.

"Spicy" caught my eye, so I ordered kai ka prow -- spicy slices of chicken breast, Thai basil, carrots, beans, peppers, and onions. Thai basil has such a wonderful aroma and flavor. After I ate through the top, I discovered the container came with jasmine rice. I would order this if I didn't have to choose between mango curry, massaman, or green curry. :)

365-36 Ty Fun Kai Ka Prow
Day 036/365

We have only eaten at Ty Fun a couple of times when they first opened their doors. We had a lovely time. The food was delicious, service was impeccable, and the prices were reasonable. The space is beautiful in its black and white simplicity, and very clean. They run a tight ship.

However, we have our favorite Thai restaurant, Bangkok Thai Cuisine, a 30 minute drive further away, that offers all of the above for slightly cheaper and a more relaxed atmosphere. While I adore black, grey, and white living rooms, I'm a sucker for rich, spicy-hued spaces when it comes to restaurants.

365-36 Ty Fun Spring Rolls
Day 036/365

Some of the restaurant tents were poorly executed. A couple of places had nice menu boards set on the ground leaning against their front table, so it was impossible to decipher the slivers of information between everyone's legs. Handwritten paper signs taped to the front, while not as aesthetically pleasing, showed some semblance of business common sense.

South Side stood out in this regard, since I would have expected better as this was not their foray at the festival. I didn't feel it was worth the aggravation to push people aside to read what they had to offer or stand in line to find out what they were selling, so we walked by. With the size of the crowd, I'm sure they didn't miss our patronage.

365-36 Taste Afternoon
Day 036/365

This was likely a very successful event for most by the sheer number of people. Reading about nightmare food festivals around the country where people have to wait 30+ minutes in lines or food running out just a few hours in; nitpicking aside, this event is well run in comparison.

- Cassaendra

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Taste of Tremont


The Taste of Tremont is the one day in the year Professor Ave in Tremont is closed to vehicular traffic and thousands of Clevelanders pack a 2-1/2 block area from 12:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Hordes made their pilgrimage as early as 11:30 a.m., welcomed by the scent of incense presented by Ty Fun, a Thai restaurant on Jefferson Ave.

Ty Fun Altar
Buddhist altar

Ty Fun's food offerings this year were spring rolls ($2), kai kra prow ($6), vegetarian pad thai ($5), and beef panang ($6), which we didn't try. Bug had his eye on Fahrenheit's cheese steak sandwich that he woefully passed up last year.

Fahrenheit Rocco
Rocco's modern life

Amidst the thumping music and black bar tables brought out from the restaurant, Chef Rocco Whalen drummed up Fahrenheit's offerings on his bullhorn: Chinese chicken salad ($5), "Loaded" chips ($6), and Tremont cheesesteak ($7).

Bug ordered his cheesesteak sandwich "wit provi" (with provolone). It was salty and dry with nothing for cheese so it wasn't worth it for me. Bug was disappointed with the dryness and scant amount of cheese, but was satisfied to finally cross that off his to-do list. How could it beat a year of anxious anticipation? What can one expect for only $7? I am glad that I no longer have to hear about the one that got away! :)

Tremont Cheesesteak
Tremont cheesesteak wit (a squiggle of) provi by Fahrenheit

What I missed this year was Fahrenheit's tacos. The truck was around, but it wasn't givin' up any tacos.

Lago's pizza was pretty popular. The restaurant recently put up some interesting weekly specials like vegetarian Mondays; Tab Tuesdays, where the restaurant picks up a portion or all of the tab; and Taste of Thursday where several special dishes are created, centered around a particular ingredient. For example, this week's ingredient is strawberries so the dishes being prepared are strawberries, goat cheese, and spinach salad, pan-seared duck with strawberry-apricot compote, and strawberry cobbler with mascarpone zabaglione.

Lago Pizza
Pizza by Lago

While I would like to eat Fahrenheit's lobster pizza this week, that strawberry menu sounds delightful. Guess we'll see when Thursday comes around.

Got Soul
Got soul?

Yet another year went by where my thirst wasn't quenched by Lolita's mint lemonade. The line here was the longest of all the booths. I didn't feel like waiting through 30 people, which probably went quickly as only 2 items were offered -- their trademark mac and cheese ($5) along with the mint lemonade ($2).

Lolita
Lolita

Bug scrounged up a dollar in change so we walked by the booth 10 minute 'til closing. The stand was vacant. Maybe next year.

Grumpy's offerings were centered around chips -- chips with salsa, chips with Texas caviar, and nachos. With the sun's rays beating down on the asphalt, that Arnold Palmer sparkled like liquid gold.

Grumpys offerings
Grumpy's

In a not so busy end was Roosevelt Post 58 Polish Legion of American Veterans. They offered kielbasa and sauerkraut in a hot dog bun for $3. I was extremely pleased with the sausage packed with juicy, smoky, garlicky spiciness wrapped in a firm casing. The sauerkraut was probably cooked with some kielbasa, since it was mellow (the way I like it) and smoky. Being an exclusive club, I felt fortunate to sample their food!

Kielbasa and Kraut
Kielbasa and sauerkraut

A couple of new restaurant names appeared in the mix -- La Fuega and Istanbul Turkish Grill.

La Fuega
La Fuega

La Fuega has a cute logo that reminds me of nose art from World War II warplanes. Their representative to the event was a "New Mexican style" green chile mini-cheeseburger ($5).

Istanbul Turkish Grill served chicken fillet or kofta with rice or bulgar ($6) and baklava ($3). I look forward to seeing their full menu, as I love Mediterranean food despite an aversion to raw onions and cilantro!

Istanbul Turkish Grill
Istanbul Turkish Grill

Good luck to the new restaurants! Hope to see the 22 neighborhood restaurants that participated, as well as the other local businesses, grow to more next year!

- Cassaendra

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bangkok Thai Cuisine


As our favorite Thai restaurant in Cleveland, we've returned several times to Bangkok Thai Cuisine in Lyndhurst since our initial visit in 2008 which was spurred on by a recommendation from a coworker from Thailand.

The lighting was subdued so taking photographs here was a bit tricky. My apologies for the funky looking food that do not do the dishes justice.

Bangkok Thai Cuisine Interior
Decor

Bug has been battling a bug so he wanted to start off with an order of soup. Their tom yum goong has a wonderful piquancy, perfect for how he was feeling; however, he wanted to try something new.

A bowl of zap beef arrived 10 minutes later. Slivers of tender beef were lurking at the bottom. The soup tasted like tom yum. Not being a fan of cilantro and onions, this wasn't exactly to my liking. Bug liked it.

Bangkok Thai Cuisine Zap Beef Soup
Zap beef

We decided to veer from our regular dishes, aside from our customary pad thai. This did not go unnoticed when our platters of pad thai, ginger beef, and Mango Paradise with chicken arrived and one of the women asked, "No beef basil and mango curry?" We all cackled.

Bug and I took a serving each of pad thai before I remembered to take a picture. I prefer a little bite to my noodles. The noodles tonight were softer than I prefer. Having worked with rice noodles and making westernized pad thai, I realize how difficult it is to keep firm. I enjoy the pad thai here because it is not sharply sweet but has a nice, deep and rounded flavor. I could eat this every day.

Bangkok Thai Cuisine Pad Thai
Pad thai

Several months ago, we ordered our pad thai "Thai spicy." What a mistake! It wouldn't have been much of a problem if we hadn't ordered everything else the same way. Each bite of each dish with hot rice was hot, hot, hot.

The ginger beef is one of the best representations of ginger. As the headliner, the ginger was in the forefront, but without the harshness that accompanies sliced ginger. I can't wait to return to order this dish again! There is one, or several, really, problem.

Bangkok Thai Cuisine Ginger Beef
Ginger beef

I adore their mango curry, choo chee, and masaman. While I really enjoy these dishes with duck, I order them with chicken because Bug isn't very fond of the oily dark meat and being served meat bone-in.

When I scanned the menu looking for an entree to order, I skimmed over the description of Mango Paradise. All I read was "mango," and didn't pay attention to what it wasn't and ordered it.

Bangkok Thai Cuisine Chicken Mango Paradise
Mango Paradise with chicken

When the platter arrived, I was disappointed when a dark sauce arrived instead of a light curry. My mind had wrapped itself around indulging in milky coconut curry only to be met with a tamarind sauce. The flavor grew on me and part way through the meal, I began enjoying this dish. I like tamarind, but the sweet and sharp flavors were not what I expected to eat that evening.

It's so easy to get into a rut, albeit an enjoyable one, ordering the same dishes each time when there is so much to try. If their ginger beef and mango curry didn't taste so good, it wouldn't be so difficult to be a little adventurous.

- Cassaendra

Bangkok Thai Cuisine
5359 Mayfield Rd
Cleveland, OH 44124-2456
Tel: (440) 684-1982

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Krungthep Mahanakorn...

...amornratanakosin mahintara yutthayamahadilok phop nopparatrajathani burirom udomrajaniwes mahasatharn amornphimarn avatarnsathit sakkattiya visanukam prasit.

Nested in a slightly rundown strip mall in a good part of town, is a cozy Thai restaurant, Bangkok Thai Cuisine.

The parking was a bit of a pain. With 2 feet of ice packed along the perimeter of the back parking lot and people who don't know how to park, we scrubbed our car down to the base navigating in the dark, dinky back parking lot. We drove to the front, where there is 1 row of parking along the length of the mall. We lucked out and pulled in to a spot right in front of the restaurant as someone left.

Walking in, you are immediately greeted by a short wood panel. Once your eyes focus beyond that, a spicy warm moderately lit dining room in shades of dark blues, browns, orange, and slivers of gold embraces you.

At first, I wanted to try the duck choo chee, but Bug and I decided to try dishes we always order at other Thai restaurants so we are better able to compare.

We ordered pad thai, mango curry, and beef with basil. The prices were a few dollars lower than Lemongrass, and scaled proportionately with the serving size. As far as quantity, this is a great place if you don't want to go home with leftovers. The portions are just the right size to keep you comfortably sated and not ill-full or lugging leftovers around.

My mango curry was rich, but not overwhelming. The balance of tamarind, Thai basil, galangal, fresh mango chunks, coconut, and peppers were perfect. I really enjoyed my dish. Biting into mangos that have texture and flavor is rare in these parts. The serving dishes were a mix of different ceramics. It was eclectic as are many Thai restaurants.

The pad thai was tasty and not overly sweet. Not too different from the other Thai restaurants -- I wouldn't expect it to be very different anyway. I wish I could have had more, so that's a good thing.

The beef basil that Bug had was delicious. I think Bug was disappointed because his platter wasn't larger. I thought it was the same amount of food, just served in a different shaped platter. I picked through this because he always gets it with onions, so at most I had 2 bites. What I tasted, I liked. It wasn't very different from other places, except this one didn't taste quite so salty. Not so good for most people, great for me. Too bad. :)

Since I am finishing this up months after our trip there, I am trying to remember if jasmine rice was served. I have the strangest feeling that it wasn't, but that sounds ridiculous since Thai food blends so well with jasmine rice but not so much with other rice. Oh well. I guess that means we have to go back to verify this.

- Cassaendra

Bangkok Thai Cuisine
5359 Mayfield Road
Lyndhurst, OH 44124

Friday, December 7, 2007

Pho-n Times...

By a wide margin, pho is our most frequently eaten dish. We've been thinking about making pho for some time and recently got ourselves motivated enough to try making it ourselves.

Pen in hand, Bug busily scribbled a list of ingredients, comparing between two Vietnamese cookbooks that we have. We looked at each other and boggled at the parsnips. Being motivated, but not 3-hour soup base motivated, we substituted beef broth for the ox tails, flank steak, and beef bones with marrow. Since I hate onions, he listed just enough for the soup base and garnish for 1 serving.

Since we had a late start, we headed to Lemongrass for a quick late afternoon meal/dinner. Cool! The OPEN sign was lit. To be safe, we paid for 2 hours on the parking meter, even though we're usually in and out in 45 minutes; waddled across the gusty and snowy parking lot; and as Bug pulled the door open - resistance. It was locked.

They are closed between ~2:30 - 5:00 p.m. ARGH!!!

On the drive over, I was salivating over my favorite dish there -- the Thai Mango Curry (extra spicy) -- large chunks of warm mango, tender chicken, and aromatic Thai basil, smothered in a rich, slightly sweet but not overpowering coconut curry, with galangal and kaffir lime leaves. It has so many layers of flavor, I won't do it justice describing the subtlety of each bite! The jasmine rice is a heavenly complement to this work of perfection.

Bug usually orders the spicy beef basil dish, which has a dark, beefy flavor, served with onions, red and green peppers, Thai basil, and kaffir leaves. Its flavor is a lot more straightforward than my dish. I love the flavor of beef!! The infusion of Thai basil into the tender slices beef just makes a good thing...uhh, gooder!

We trucked over to Corky & Lenny's, one of our favorite delis, since it was on the way to Trader Joe's, the only place in town that I trust to have fresh(er) wafered beef.

Corky & Lenny's pickles and green tomatoes are the bestest...very fresh and not sour! I have yet to eat a pickle better than theirs, and its complimentary! I ordered the New Yorker, an epic corned beef sandwich, stacked so high with extremely lean corned beef you could feed 2 large families. :) The sandwich comes spread with cole slaw and Thousand Island dressing on toasted rye bread, along with a tiny cup of potato salad. Their potato salad is great - no onions, yay! It has a slightly tart flavor, but isn't a mustard potato salad. I'm not certain, but it appears to have pimentos.

Bug had the reuben, epic in similar proportion to mine, except spread with sauerkraut, instead of cole slaw, and melted swiss cheese. Good schtuff! We were offered another dish of pickles and green tomatoes, and emphatically accepted! YUM!

We then rushed over to Trader Joe's, grabbed the meat, and sped over to Good Harvest before they closed to get the pho seasoning packet, which consisted of a few dried star anise, cinnamon sticks, some green pods, and cloves. We looked for a list of ingredients to find out what the green pods were and found, "Ingredients: Spices."

Oh well.

Bug couldn't find cilantro or coriander cheaply at the regular grocery store, just the organic kind that has 3 sprigs for $4. So that was skipped.

While pouring the beef broth in the pot, we find out that we didn't get a cheesecloth to put the spices in. All the spices were thrown in to the broth, including the mysterious green pods. Onions, parsnips, and ginger were chopped and thrown in. At this point, the broth smells kind of like pho, but not quite there. Maybe it just needs a few hours to simmer.

Two hours later, Bug pours the soup into another pot through a strainer. The steam rolls up and my nose wrinkles. It smells like medicine. Totally unlike what I'd expected. He offers me a spoonful. It's edible, but it tastes a lot like medicine. :(

A little shoyu and nuoc mam were added, which made it taste like shoyu medicine. It was also the last of our shoyu.

Defeat.

Bug poured the pot of soup down the drain.

I picked up the can of broth and noticed all the added ingredients, and let out a sigh. Next time, we're going to follow the recipe directions exactly. I know the recipe I have works because I've had its soup before with wonderful results.

The fresh rice noodles, Thai basil, jalapenos, wafered beef, and lime didn't go to waste. We bought a $0.49 box of pho cubes and used that. It was ok. We might use it to augment the soup the next time around. The rest of the beef was used to make butter yaki, which came out too gamey, so I added a Thai holy basil mixture and coconut milk to tone it down. Guess the beef was going bad. The outcome was edible.

Despite the defeat, this was still a fun experiment and a great learning experience.

I saw a sole green pod stuck in the strainer and squished it open. It was cardamom.

- Cassaendra

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