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Red Robin Lunch

Lucky for me, my colleagues tend to go out to lunch all the time. They know they should bring lunch sometimes, but they just don’t. So on one of our many lunches, we stopped by Red Robin. There really isn’t one near me, except in Chester County. I rarely venture that way so I’ve never been. I have heard that their burgers are pretty good.

B got a whiskey river bbq chicken wrap. It’s quite a fancy name for a wrap. It comes in a spinach tortilla with chicken grilled in whiskey river bbq sauce, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tortilla strips, and a touch of ranch dressing. Now that I’m writing about it, it sounds pretty damn good.
I was in the mood for something “healthy” so I went with the asian chicken salad. This was a good salad, even though the dressing was a bit too intense. It certainly didn’t seem like it was a very healthy dressing. The chicken was pretty damn amazing. It was so moist and tender and just surprisingly delicious. I was impressed. It’s served with house bread, which is garlic bread tasting, but looks like a thicker puffier pita. I dug this bread as well.

Service was good and our waitress was super nice. B and M also ordered arnold palmers to drink, which is half lemonade, half iced tea. I’d never heard of it before, probably because since I don’t do caffeine, I don’t drink iced tea. Sounds good though. Damn. They need to make decaf arnold palmers.

Pho Duc

You know I love me some pho. And on a particularly cold evening, I decided to warm myself up by having a giant bowl of pho.
I always like to order the fresh spring rolls just to see what I’m in for. You know if you get a hard spring roll, clearly not made fresh to order, you may be in for some bad news. This was the first time I’d ever had a roll which had open ends. In reality, I guess there’s no real reason to have to fold over the ends. It actually makes for quite nice presentation. While the roll was quite nice, and definitely fresh, the sauce was very different. Instead of the typical hoisin based sauce with a little peanut taste, this one was warm and pretty much just peanutty. While not bad, it was just not what I was expecting, and I much prefer the traditional hoisin based sauce. There was just something strange about it, and the fact that it was warm also put me off a little bit. Putting a cold roll into warm sauce just seemed wrong! But like I said, the roll itself was fantastic.
For the pho, I went with my standard, which is flank steak. I stay away from the innards, and usually just stick with the flank. I quite enjoyed this soup a lot. For a small bowl, it was plenty for me. The broth was meaty and strong enough, not bland at all. And the meat was hearty. And everything was just a big ol bargain. The service was good and the staff was very friendly. You can tell it’s a family-run joint, and they knew a lot of patrons by name. If you have regulars, that’s always a great sign. It’s tucked away right next to the convention center, so stop by next time you’re over that way.

Pho Duc Restaurant
3815 196th St SW
Lynnwood, WA 98036
(425) 672-2466
Pho Duc Restaurant on Urbanspoon

I Heart Beard Papa’s

I’m totally obsessed with Beard Papa’s. If I had one near me, I’d be there all the time. Seriously. Like once a day. 3-4 times a week, at least. And I am not exaggerating people. Not one bit. It’s only 220 calories per cream puff. That’s nothin! If I had one for every meal, instead of my meal, that’s still less than 750 calories. So then if I had one for dessert with every meal, it’d still only be 1500. This would be my ultimate meal replacement.

For those of you who have a Beard Papa’s near you and have never been, I behoove you to go. For those of you who like cream puffs, you know the little ones you can get at Costco or you get in a dessert tray, GO and you’ll never look at those little ones the same. Once you go Beard Papa’s, you never… you catch my drift.

This japanese chain is only closest to me via NYC, and it’s actually been quite awhile since I’ve been to the big apple. When I go to the bay area, I try to get to one whenever I can. And during this trip to Seattle, I went to the one in the H Mart and I also went to one in Vancouver. Yes, it’s worth crossing the border for! How could you not want to eat whatever this bearded pipe-smoking puffball hatted cutie is selling?
These aren’t your normal cream puffs. First off, they’re huge. They’re about the size of a fist, and so they’re definitely not something you can just pop in your mouth. Unless, perhaps, you have a flip-top head. But for us normal folk, you definitely need to take multiple bites. The pastry is freshly baked. And here’s the key to their tasty freshness – the cream is added only when you order.
See these little metal vats? They’re filled with creamy goodness. Regular vanilla is probably tops, but they also have additional cream filling flavors, including green tea. And there’s also other options aside from the plain cream puff, but I’m a traditionalist. I just want the original cream puff.
After they inject the dream, I mean cream, they dust on a lovely little layer of powdered sugar to finish off the little beauties. And if I am near one, I wolf it down in about 5 bites, if I can be that patient. Actually, having a flip-top head could be useful when it comes to cream puff inhaling!
I want one right now. Or a dozen.

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