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appetizers

Hoof And Fin

I’ve been wanting to go to Hoof + Fin for awhile, but when I found out about their non-weekend multiple course specials, I was absolutely sold! So from Sunday through Thursday, they are offering 2 courses for $19, 3 courses for $26, 4 courses for $36, etc. There’s also a 2 courses for $13 brunch deal. It’s too good to pass up! It’s an argentinian byob right off of South Street. It’s pretty small and intimate. Other than some daily specials, everything on the menu is fair game for the multi-course deal. Oh, we were going to get our eat on!
While we waited for our appetizers, our adorable hippie server brought over some breadsticks and some delicious dipping sauce.
E got the ceviche de pulpo, aka octupos ceviche. It was filled with slices of octopus, avocado, onions, carrots, tomatoes, celery, and cilantro. This was so fresh and yum! It also had a mysterious slightly sweet taste, but we couldn’t put our finger on it. Was it passion fruit? Who the hell cares, all we know is that it was great.
I got the corn and cheese empanadas, per our server’s recommendation. These were so delicious and not greasy at all. Does that mean these were baked? The filling was also only lukewarm in the middle, and I wasn’t sure if that’s how it was supposed to be. Even if it wasn’t supposed to be like that, I didn’t mind because it did not burn my mouth when I ate it. The dough was hot and flaky and not in the least greasy. Seriously, it was like amazing how grease-free these were. And the filling was great.
For her entree, E got the most ginormous hunk of mahi mahi I’ve ever seen in my life! It was delicious and perfectly cooked. Also, there was some coconut rice, sweet plantains, and a side salad. Everything was served on top of banana leaves, a nice touch.
My entree was the Arroz a la Gallega – yellow rice, shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams, calamari, fish, chorizo, and veggies in a tomato based sauce. I don’t know what’s in this but all I know is that it was amazing! The seafood was so fresh and tasty and the flavor was just awesome. It was mostly seafood with some rice, instead of the other way around, so they totally do not skimp on the seafood! E and I both agreed that this was definitely the winner of the evening. And there’s so much of this dish too, it was crazy.
Here are the panqueques with dulce de leche on the inside. Basically, these are like crepes, that are filled and then rolled. Oh man, these are extremely rich due to the dulce de leche. It was basically eating forkfuls of dulce de leche with a little bit of crepe thrown in. This is not for the weak!
And we couldn’t say no to the churros with melted chocolate. Oh my word, these were some tasty ass churros. Who doesn’t like fried dough? Who doesn’t like melted chocolate? Put them together, and you can’t go wrong! We were both beyond stuffed with this meal. In fact, I was beyond stuffed way before dessert, but I couldn’t pass up this deal, so I forged on! It was a frigid weekday evening when we went, and there weren’t too many other diners there, which made me a bit sad. This is a gem of a restaurant with excellent food at a beyond excellent value. And don’t forget it’s byob! I can’t wait to stop in again!
Hoof+Fin on Urbanspoon

Majolica

I hadn’t been to downtown Phoenixville in eons, and I knew it was all souped up these days, but I had no idea how cute it would be! It’s seriously cute. And there’s tons of shops and restaurants, including Majolica, a BYOB. This place is adorable. It’s warm and inviting, except for their metal table tops which are disturbingly frigid! It’s considered New American cuisine and it even made the Philadelphia magazine’s 50 Best Places to Eat Right Now list.
The meal started off with a complimentary amuse bouche of homemade potato chip with tuna ceviche and fennel. Delicious! This was definitely not a greasy chip from a bag! The salty and crispity chip went nicely with the soft tuna.
The menu is not large. As far as starters go, there are a few snacks, boards, salads, and flatbreads to choose from. We got one of the boards – pastrami cured salmon with cornichon, pickled mustard seeds, red onions, capers, and hard-boiled egg, with toasted pumpernickle slices. This dish was super cute and came out on this long wooden board. It’s definitely a DIY dish as you have to assemble your own little open faced sandwich. The salmon was quite good but we didn’t taste much pastrami in it. I really liked that instead of boring mustard there were whole pickled mustard seeds which popped in your mouth. This was a cute and tasty dish.
We also tried one of the flatbreads – scallop, sweet corn, smoked bacon, parmesan, and thyme. These are like long skinny pizzas. This also had lovely soft pieces of roasted garlic that just melted in your mouth. This was definitely good, but it wasn’t particularly exciting. None of the flavors were really wow, they were all just sort of good. Perhaps I just expected something a bit more interesting.
While we waited for our pasta entrees, they brought us a palate cleanser of cucumber sorbet. Mmm, this straight up just tasted like cucumbers. And I love cucumbers, so I thought this was totally awesome.
One of our pasta dishes was the fazzoletti pasta with duck confit ragout, parmesan, arugula . I don’t know what fazzoletti means, but from the looks of it, it’s just big wide sheets of pasta. This was super good and you could totally taste the duck fat, lots and lots of duck fat! It wasn’t gamey at all and the flavor worked well with the plainness of the pasta.
The winner of the night was the parisian style gnocchi with brussel sprout leaves, pancetta, apples, and truffle butter. This was unlike any gnocchi we’ve ever had. It’s not thick or chewy or doughy. It was crunchy-ish on the outside and the inside was just melt in your mouth. Turns out that these aren’t the potato based gnocchi that you might be thinking of. Parisian gnocchi is made with flour and specifically uses cream puff dough. Yes, while this is the same dough used to make eclairs and profiteroles, it can also be used to make a delicious pasta. This was so different and delicious! Service was good and everyone was friendly and accommodating. One odd thing was when we tried to get a reservation, they wouldn’t give us the time we wanted. Then when we got there, there were plenty of empty tables available. So what was that about? Do you not give reservations on the half hour? Other than that and the icy tables, it was a lovely dinner.

Majolica on Urbanspoon

Boom Noodle – I Eat Ramen

Since I can’t get ramen at home, whenever I’m in a place where I can, I get it. Upon Shirley‘s recommendation, I went to Boom. It’s by the same people who run Blue C Sushi, which is a Seattle conveyor belt sushi place. There are a couple of Booms in the area and I visited the one in Bellevue, which is connected to a Blue C. The place is big and modern, with a bar, lounge, and dining area.
I decided to try the pork buns just for kicks. I had no idea if they’d be decent, and to my surprise, I liked them! The buns themselves were warm and soft and fresh. The pork was shredded and fatty, which made it a bit juicy. For veggie fillings there was lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, and cilantro. It was all served with a ginger cherry plum sauce. Really, these were pretty good!
I wanted some spice so I got the kimchi tofu, with braised pork, tofu, kimchi, raw egg, and green onion in a spicy miso broth. The broth, kimchi, and the noodles were all pretty good, but it was a bit weird. The pork was in big hunks. It made it hard to eat. They really should think about slicing it. I liked the tofu quite a bit. But cilantro in kimchi ramen? Do they not know how much old korean ladies tend to abhor cilantro? To mix cilantro and kimchi is a bit scandalous. It was still nice to eat ramen though. I already miss it. Service was meh. I ordered a drink but I never got it. Yep, the server just completely forgot about it. At least he didn’t charge me for it, that would have made me livid.

Boom Noodle on Urbanspoon

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