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appetizers

Circles

Everybody loves Circles so I finally went! Why did I wait so long? I have no idea. There are two Circles, one take-out place and the sit-down place. I went into the take-out place and got very confused. But they kindly sent me across the street! Ah… that’s more like it! It’s a small dining room with no kitchen. That’s right, all the cooking is done across the street at the take-out place! I don’t know how the logistics of this works, but it just does! I would like to videotape all of the trips the servers have to make crossing the street.
Here are the famed tofu and corn fritters. These hot little suckers are battered and fried and served with a side of citrus aioli and a warm curry tomato compote with crabmeat. These were definitely a win for me. As a fan of tofu and corn, I saw everything right about putting these together.
The pad thai! We both loved it, and M is a big pad thai fan. As for me, I never ever tried pad thai very much, so I hadn’t ever been much of a pad thai fan. Not because I don’t like pad thai, but just because I’ve barely ever tried it. Well now, I’m a convert. Everything just works well here. The ingredients are super fresh, nothing is overcooked, and all of the flavors blend well together.
Drunken noodles are my usual thai dish of choice. I could never get enough of thick rice noodles. And I love the spicy sweetness of drunken noodles. It’s great here, and the portions here are large!
The Fried banana dessert aren’t just slices of banana fried up. Instead, they’re fried spring rolls stuffed with banana, drizzled with a sticky and sweet caramel sauce. They’re incredibly decadent!
We also tried the Thai Donut. Let’s face it, put the word donut on it and I’ll try it! These little donuts are more like plops of fried sugary dough. So they’re like fingerling donuts. And they are amazing! They come with a creamy and sweet dipping sauce, but you don’t need it. These hot puppies are great, as is. I probably haven’t tried enough of the thai restaurants in Philly, but with how good Circles is, I almost feel as I don’t need to!¬†
Circles on Urbanspoon

Makiman Sushi

Sushi spots abound in philadelphia. Sometimes, you can’t walk a block without running into one. Where were all these when I was growing up? I’ve gone to Makiman Sushi a couple of times recently, and I’m a fan. It’s a nice sized place with a small sushi bar. It’s very casual and a BYOB. The house salad with ginger sauce. I’m very judgy when it comes to these, because I’m a big fan of ginger dressing. Their’s was quite respectable. And props for a mix of greens and not just iceberg lettuce, not that I don’t love iceberg lettuce. They also had cucumber in there!
Miso soup… just fine.
The best dish at this place are the tuna nachos. It’s not like a pile of chips with tuna thrown on top. They’re two fried wontons (I think) topped with some veggies, raw tuna, and a spicy sauce. And they are glorious! I was hesitant about these but M convinced me to get them. I’m so glad he did! It’s more like an openface asiany tuna taco. The sauce is delicious, but at times, can be a bit too spicy. On our second visit, the sauce was sooooo spicy that M could barely eat it. But really folks, you’ve got to try these!
Here’s the sushi regular… M always gets the sushi regular, just like my mom. How many other people out there are sushi regulars?
For whatever reason, I decided to try a couple of random rolls that day. These were quite nice! While their sushi is just fine, let me just reiterate my love for the tuna nachos. I will keep coming back here because those things are so darn yummy!
Makiman Sushi on Urbanspoon

Mandarin Palace

When’s the last time I ate chinese food in the city not in chinatown? I’m not sure if that’s ever actually happened. Mandarin Palace is a random chinese joint near rittenhouse. And you know what? Their food is damn good.
The crab rangoon. I’ve never had these before, although they’re typically found in menus at chinese joints in america. Who wouldn’t like deep fried cream cheese and crab wrapped in wonton? I love cream cheese. I love crab. I love fried wonton. Put it all together, I say!
General Tso’s chicken… served with egg roll and fried rice.
My chicken with asparagus, fried rice, egg roll. I don’t care how unauthentically chinese this is. I love me some americanized chinese food. Even after the crab rangoon and soup, I ate all of this.
And how can you not love a restaurant who hangs this type of art on their walls?
Mandarin Palace on Urbanspoon

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