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Latest Visit To Bar Ferdinand

We headed over to the Liberties Walk to have dinner at one of the newer restaurants. We didn’t end up going there, and ended up having dinner at Bar Ferdinand instead. One thing I love about Liberties Walk / the Piazza… the free parking! I’m not sure how long that will last, as I have a feeling that whenever the Pathmark goes up, the free parking will be gone. But in the meantime, I enjoy taking advantage of it. It was another beyond steamy night, so we got a table inside. I was kind of stunned that there were people eating outside. Unless you’re that addicted to smoking, it’s just not worth it! The tapas here comes out as it is prepared, so you don’t have any real courses. You just get your food as it’s ready.

Since it was so unbearably hot, if I had my choice, I would have eaten all cold dishes. Alas, the menu really didn’t have very many cold things, unless I just had salad or booze. Luckily for me, one of the specials of the day was a cold dish! Here’s the beautiful and delicious chilled local corn soup with peekytoe crab. Yes people, this was seriously yummy and luxuriously cold! It was really just want I wanted. I would have loved to have eaten a giant punch bowl worth of this. Heck, throw me in the bowl so I could cool off along with eating my way out of the bowl…

I had been craving short rib earlier that day, so I also lucked out with the Montadillo de Costilla – braised beef short rib and olive mashed potatoes with a pomagrante jus. The beef was super tender and fall off the bone and I enjoyed this whole dish immensely.

Here we have the Pastel de Pastor. It is sherry braised lamb, topped with harissa mashed potatoes, further topped with herbed breadcrumbs. It’s sort of like a lamb pot pie? It’s quite lamb-y, but still quite good.

Here is the Mejilliones con Chorizo y Fideos. This is a slightly bigger plate of sauteed mussels, chorizo, and fried capellini in a tomato and beer based sauce. I’ve had this before, and loved it, so I definitely wanted to get it again. The sauce is surprisingly strong and goes well with the mussels as well as the pasta. I could do without the chorizo, because I’m not that crazy about them in general, but it definitely works in this dish.

It was a weekend evening, so they had the outdoor paella. It’s mostly seafood, but there’s also some chicken in there. I don’t know very much about paella, but I know that I like it here. It’s not the largest portion, but it’s plenty for one person. The shrimp in here are ginormous! And I love the fact that there are fresh green beans in this. It’s definitely one of my favorite things to get here.

The last dish to come out was the least exciting. It took so long to show up that we secretly hoped they’d forgotten about it. But alas, it eventually did come out. Here’s the Samfaina. It is a little bake of zucchini, squash, plum tomato, ricotta cheese made from tofu, and sofrito. It was a perfectly fine dish, but neither of us was crazy about it. We would have preferred more cold soup!

I’ve always had good experiences here. The food has always been consistent, and the service tends to be quite good. Our server this night was particularly awesome. He was friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful.

Bar Ferdinand on Urbanspoon

August Moon – Korean In Norristown

After snowboarding, the hunger set in and I had to eat. Since we were in conshy, and H/A wanted to eat korean food, we headed out to August Moon. I’ve never properly eaten here at the restaurant. But I’ve been to two events here. Once was a reception for my brother, and another was a proper wedding reception. Both times I remember the food being quite good. But this was a long time ago. This time around, I was severely underwhelmed. Are the catering cooks different than the restaurant cooks? Or maybe the cooks are just different now. The banchan was quite good though. The sprouts and the cucumber kimchi were particular standouts. The daikon kimchi was a bit too gingery, but still good. The good banchan made me think that the food would also be quite good. Oops.

H/A got the bulgogi. It came precooked because it was only one order. If you order at least 2 portions, then you can cook it on your own at the table. This was ok, nothing special. It actually tastes like the bulgogi that you can buy from H Mart that you cook up at home. It certainly didn’t taste like it came from a restaurant.

I wanted to get several things, jjamppong and some of the bibimbaps, amongst others, but since I found them freakishly overpriced, I went with the ojingaboekum. This was, by far, the worst squid stir-fry I’ve ever had at a korean restaurant. It wasn’t because the taste was bad. The sauce was actually quite good. But instead of big slices of thick and fresh squid, it was rings of little squid, like the ones they use in fried calimari, and you could tell that it was frozen. And instead of lots of these squid rings, it was mostly big hunks of onion. Typically, the onion should be thinly sliced instead of these giant crunchy hunks. It was as if I’d ordered onion stir-fry, and they threw in some calimari rings just to add more substance. It was severely disappointing. For a restaurant that charges the prices that it does, I expect fresh and quality ingredients. And I expect a squid stir-fry dish to mainly be made up of the squid. So much potential with the sauce, but they blew it.

Service was just fine. The food took a long time to come out, even though the restaurant was absolutely deserted on this friday night. There was a big party going on in the back, so that must have preoccupied all the cooks. Our server was quite nice though, and was always filling our cups with warm boricha. But as far as korean food is concerned, go elsewhere. Pretty much anywhere near 69th street or in the northeast is going to be better. Heck, the food courts of H Mart and Assi are better!
August Moon on Urbanspoon

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