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appetizers

SangKee Asian Bistro Visit

When it comes to an easy meal out near home, SangKee is always one of the top choices. The last time my mom and I stopped by, they had brand new menus with a fancy and colorful cover. It doesn’t matter what day or what time I go to this place. It’s always busy! And it makes sense, because their food is always consistently good.
Here’s something I’d never tried before in all of my previous visits – the fried shrimp dumplings. These suckers are hot, stuffed with yummy shrimp, and serviced with a sweet and savory dipping sauce.
My mom got the whole bronzino with ginger and soy sauce. This was a huge whole fish! Neither of us expected it to be this big. It was light and flaky and fresh. The sauce was a little boring and bland, they certainly could have kicked it up a notch. But it was well worth it. My mom got several more meals out of the leftovers!
I always like their big broth noodles bowls, so I mixed it up from my usual and got the stewed beef with udon noodles. The meat was tender and strong with 5-spice flavor, and I’m a total sucker for thick udon noodles. Service here is always good.

Sang Kee Asian Bistro on Urbanspoon

The Twisted Tail

On one of our many recent rainy weekend days, we stopped by the Twisted Tail for a late brunch. They just opened in Headhouse Square and in addition to food and drink, offer live blues music and open blues jams, for those of you inclined. They’re also a bourbon house so they’ve got quite the array of liquors! They also feature a charcoal grill in their kitchen and cook most of their food over open heat, whenever possible.
Of course, they also have beer. The restaurant is really quite big, especially the downstairs. I did not get to check out the upstairs, where the music happens. It’s decorately quite tastefully, even with all of the curly tail motif everywhere. It’s warm and masculine, with a slightly rustic touch.
Here’s some complimentary bread, one which was a corn bread, and one which was a bourbon based bread, I think. See the curly q of butter? Yes, very cute. The corn bread wasn’t particularly corn tasting at all. I like the bourbon bread, it had a little sweetness.
This is the watermelon gazpacho. Delicious and refreshing! It’s made with watermalon, pear tomatoes, jicama, and opal basil. It was a lovely mix of sweet and savory, with nice hunks of the fruit and veggies. It was so surprising and great.
This is the grilled Jersey Blue Fish, with confetti rice, and grilled loco corn. The fish was cooked on the grill, skin on, and was moist and delicious. It had a great flavor, all on its own. The corn had some kind of bbq type of sauce on it, and while already super sweet already, had the added sweetness from the sauce. It was amazing!
I had my eye on the bison meatloaf, and after our server told us it was one of his favorites, I had to go with it. It’s made out of bison! And it comes with a portobello mushroom gravy and green pea whipped mash potatoes. It was all delicious! The meatloaf has a bit of a kick from the glaze that’s on the outside. I’m in love with this green pea whipped mash potato stuff. It’s chunky and has tons of potato skin in it and pea bits. I just loved it.
For dessert, our server recommended the Chocolate Symphony. Why the hell not? It’s a layer of white chocolate pound cake, layers of chocolate mascarpone, a layer of German chocolate cake, and topped with Godiva sauce. They put the sauce on at the table, so you can get as much as you want. So go all out people, go crazy! This thing is nuts! It’s incredibly dense, sweet, chocolatey, and way too much for a weakling like me. I was done after a few bites. But it’s everything you’d think it would be. This was a great meal. Neither of us had any kind of idea what this place would be like. It’s brand spankin’ new and in a location that seems to be fraught with closings. Well, we hope this place stays around for a long time. The food was great and so was the service. Especially the service!

The Twisted Tail on Urbanspoon

Latest Sampan Happy Hour

I was getting a little bit of the afternoon doldrums so I made an executive decision to go to happy hour at Sampan. You know what actually truly triggered it? Twitter, yeah, seriously. Sampan actually tweeted that it was going to be happy hour soon and I totally fell for it. It’s cool though, because their happy hour is totally happiness-inducing. We sat at the kitchen bar because as you know, I love seeing my food being cooked.
The vietnamese spring roll with shrimp, pork, and mushrooms. Delightful.
The duck egg rolls with cucumber, scallion, and lime. These were chock full of hot ass duck. When I say hot, I mean hot, some fell on my chin and burned me. I didn’t mind, they were great.
The adorable kobe slider wtih soy and swiss cheese.
The kobe hot dog, sans mustard. I love that they cut it into thirds for you and that the bun is also toasted.
The filet satay with apricot soy, and mirin and the korean bbq beef satay with short rib, kimchi, and ginger. Excellent, as usual.

Surprisingly, my favorite dish of the day was the crispy brussel sprouts with fish sauce, pulled rice, and chilli. These were so unbelievably awesome! Slightly crunchy, super savory, just great. Whoever does not like brussel sprouts needs to try these!
Lastly, here’s the kim chee fried rice with shrimp, shallot, and sunny side egg. This was a giant bowl of food. It wasn’t quite spicy or kimchi enough for me, and the shrimp just seemed unnecessary, but it’s still a decent dish. These little popcorn shrimp are fairly tasteless and benign anyway, so I didn’t see the point of them. As usual, this was so much fun. It’s beyond a good deal and it’s cool to get to try so many different dishes. We ordered way too much food, which can be easy to do here with these small dishes. It sounds like since they’re so small it wouldn’t add up to much, but damn, we were beyond stuffed! I love the happy hour here!
Sampan on Urbanspoon

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