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Any Chinatown-ish Little Saigon-ish area?

Update: I chickened out on trying any new VN places and we went to Bistro B twice. Both meals were very different and both were great,

We had canh cua plus a bunch of small dishes like banh khot and several types of goi cuon. All were great, though the canh chua had a little too much sugar in it.

We also had a meal consisting of a variety of dishes from mi xao don to stir fried tofu with water spinach, salt n pepper shrimp, clams in black black bean sauce, and more. All stellar. Somehow we just ordered a bunch of stuff that was all on the mark.

We did go to Jeng Chi at your suggestion. We don't eat pork so it was all chicken dumplings plus some other dishes. The dumplings were the star of the show. I've had a lot of in-house dumpling wrappers but these were by far the softest, lightest, airiest wrappers I ever had. And the chicken stuffing was good, too. We ordered some and then had to order more.

Thanks for your recs!

Suprabhat

I ate here yesterday. I got black tamarind powder idli, onion rava dosa (sada), and my sister got a Mysore masala dosa. I'm sad to say that the meal was pretty mediocre. The chutneys were all watery. They served tomato chutney, coconut chutney, and onion chutney. The coconut was my favorite but all were watery and needed a dash of salt. The sambhar was also pretty bland but brightened up with a sprinkle of salt. The idlis were old and microwaved. My rava dosa was actually very well made. It was thin, lacy, and crisp. My sister's Mysore masala dosa was on the thick side and the masala wasn't well seasoned. We also had masala tea. We wanted South Indian filter coffee, which was on the menu, but unavailable. The milk in the masala tea didn't taste scalded/boiled enough.

I probably won't ever go back there unless I hear that it has improved or changed owners or chefs or otherwise serves better food.

Aug 16, 2015
luckyfatima in Austin

Suprabhat

http://suprabhataustin.com/

Has anyone tried this place?

How are their chutneys? Sambhar? I do plan to stop by soon.

Aug 07, 2015
luckyfatima in Austin

New Middle Eastern food restaurant located near Braker & North Lamar

OMG y'all this place is so good. Beautiful Palestinian food and sweets. To be honest, I've never been very impressed with ATX's Levantine restaurant offerings...nothing terrible, but nothing very impressive. Peace serves great food, though. I shared a huge two plate vegetarian platter, which was basically all of the muqabilaat/mezze, both hot and cold. Plus I had bites of my co-diners' food. The chicken kabab plate was just sooo good. I am generally against chicken breast but somehow the chicken breast chunks were so tender and loaded with juiciness and chargrilled flavor. We also shared a bunch of sweets. The kunafeh nabulsiyyeh was gorgeous. I also loved the namoura, which I usually don't even like and I just tried it arbitrarily and adored it. Everything was just so well done.

Aug 07, 2015
luckyfatima in Austin

Rasika?

What Rajasthani street food items did you see at Punjabi By Nature? The owners are Punjabi and their menu/specialties are all Punjabi. I haven't been there in a while, but I adore their egg paratha.

Nepalese: Bombay to Kathmandu on N. Lamar near Rutland

Momo is a dumpling originally from the Tibetan plateau and popular in that region and also across India.

Momos are typically steamed and served with a dipping sauce. This place also does pan fried momos (kothe momo) as well as jhol momo, or momo in a wet tomato curry sauce.
Soooo, I had plain chicken and chicken jhol momo today and they were really delicious and highly recommendable. The owner is very nice and accommodating but the service is slow and a bit dodgy because she seems to be managing the floor alone and the place is new. I see a "help wanted" sign on the window, so I'm sure this will smooth out. Anyway, I always say that I will deal with downright abusive service if the meal is good. My kids gobbled down the plain momos, too.

The momos were very flavorful and juicy, and the wrappers are handmade. I could taste hints of timur peppercorn (cousin of Sichuan peppercorn, neither are actually peppercorns) in the jhol/curry. Good stuff.

Aug 05, 2015
luckyfatima in Austin
1

Nepalese: Bombay to Kathmandu on N. Lamar near Rutland

I only come to ATX in the summers so I missed that one

Aug 05, 2015
luckyfatima in Austin

Nepalese: Bombay to Kathmandu on N. Lamar near Rutland

This was a Schlotzsky's long, long ago...then a Korean restaurant...most recently it has become a Nepalese restaurant. I stopped in to pick up a menu. The same menu is on their website:

http://bombaytokathmandu.com/menu.html

They have momos.

Has anyone been? I do plan to go and get some momos and maybe check out some other items.

Aug 04, 2015
luckyfatima in Austin

Bo 7 Mon, question about Kim Son

I do know of Mai Pham, thanks. Great article, I appreciate the share.

I love a few items at Thuan Kieu Com Tam but last two times I was in Houston and went there, the place was shuttered and closed. Perhaps for renovation? This was a couple of years ago so I didn't even bother checking last year when I went. I love their banh khot. On Yelp it seems to still be open, so will stop by.

I think we'll give Jasmine a shot this time.

Funny, but I grew up with a lot of Vietnamese American people who always made it seem like Houston had the best VN food in TX, but that the Houston VN food culture was always copying Cali and always a step behind. There is a heavy presence of Chinese from Vietnam in restaurant ownership in Houston, too. I wonder if that is that is the same in Little Saigon in OC.

I currently live in Northern Virginia and when I talk to VN American people there (also a huge community) people always rave about trips to Houston and the food, and everyone has Houston relatives. So I've always felt privileged to have experienced that food scene from a young age.

Jul 25, 2015
luckyfatima in Houston
1

Bo 7 Mon, question about Kim Son

Is there a place that has awesome bo 7 mon?

I tried Saigon Pagolac but was not impressed with all of the courses.

I remember liking Bellaire Kim Son had bo 7 mon many many years ago (maybe like 15 years ago!) but their online menu is weird and Yelp is mostly about the buffet. Does Kim Son offer this? Is Kim Son worth a visit in general? I know it's popular but in memory the extensive buffet and lau are mediocre, they just have a lot of seafood, which is attractive.

Is there any other place known for serving great bo 7 mon?

Jul 24, 2015
luckyfatima in Houston

family steak house Richardson-Dallas Galleria general area

http://www.bobs-steakandchop.com/bobs...

Maybe they weren't a chain in their heyday but they're in my hometown now, so you're wrong.

family steak house Richardson-Dallas Galleria general area

Can you please recommend a good and not extremely expensive or overly fancy (kids welcome) steak house in a 10-15 minute radius of the Richardson-Dallas Galleria area?

I was thinking of driving to Bob's Steak and Chops in Legacy shopping center at the rec of a friend, but then I looked into it and realized it was a chain that I could have in my home town. I might consider a chain if the steaks are reputedly superb, but I was hoping for something special to Dallas.

Is there a national chain that has happy face ice cream sundae cones?

Jul 12, 2015
luckyfatima in Chains

Does DFW Metroplex have full service thali restaurant?

I would presume Saravana Bhavan has the best idli sambhar and rasam.

I used to get rasam vada sometimes in Dubai, and order baby idli (mini sized idlis) for my kids. Their sambhar is gorgeous. As long as SB is serving fresh idli only (not all made at once then microwaved to order) then you are guaranteed that it will be great there.

Does DFW Metroplex have full service thali restaurant?

So...like a lot of restaurants have a meal option labeled thali that is really like a sampler or combo plate. Some people set out a buffet and make fresh flat bread for you and call it thali. I am not looking for this. It's not that this is necessarily bad, but I can get this kind of thing everywhere.

A thali literally just means a plate.

But if you go to a restaurant that does full service thali, you sit and the food comes to you in a sequence of courses. Waiters bring serving vessels and spoon small amounts on your plate. Fresh flat breads (sometimes several varieties) are brought to your table. After the course of foods eaten with flat bread, they bring out a course to be eaten with rice. The specifics depend on the region of the food being served. It's a really fun experience, sort of like going for dim sum with the carts.

There isn't a lot of full service thali in the US. Houston has the *amazing* Maharaja Bhog which serves a Rajasthani-Gujarati thali. I was hoping Dallas area had one. I cannot visit Houston without going there for a meal.

Saravana Bhavan is one of my favorite restaurants ever in the whole universe but I've only eaten at branches in India and the UAE. I've been afraid to try the North American locations of this franchise because they have a mediocre reputation that usually disappoints those who are fans of the older branches. (People say the Silicon Valley ones suck, the Atlanta one sucks...) This is the first I'm hearing Dallas has one. It must have just opened in the past few years. They have a thali lunch in Dubai. I'll have to check out their menu. I'm not so into South Indian thali but I love love love Saravana Bhavan dosas...onion rava sada, I love their chutneys. Now that I know about this I am def. going to check it out.

Onions in Indian Cooking

Yep the Asian grocery store shallot or purple onions are similar to the dry and non-sweet onions in India. I'm in Northern VA and here I get them at the Korean owned international hypermarkets (Lottes, Global Foods) but they are also in Indian stores.

Jun 28, 2015
luckyfatima in Home Cooking

Onions in Indian Cooking

I use the larger shallots or the small purple onions from the Asian grocery store. They turn pink and then white as they cook, then as the moisture cooks out of them, they become translucent, then golden, then brown. A lot of other varieties of onion are too sweet for the style of Indo-Pak food that I cook (mainly northwest subcontinent Muslim cuisines). I use yellow onion in a pinch, but that is not preferred. The yellow onions have more water in them and take much longer to fry to the desired state.

Here are some pics of onion vendors in India, check out the color. The pics represent a variety of locations. I'm surprised that a special kind is used in Gujarat. I've never noticed Gujarati friends seeking out any special onion, but I will inquire about this. Anyway, pics:

https://www.google.com/search?q=india...

The other type of onion I am familiar with is the tiny baby South Indian onion that is put in sambhar.

Jun 28, 2015
luckyfatima in Home Cooking

A Dish From Every Mexican State

White beans aren't strange. Seeing them as a garnish on a meat taco is unusual for me.

Jun 27, 2015
luckyfatima in General Topics

A Dish From Every Mexican State

I was wondering about the beans, or what looks like beans, because I have never seen a taco like that with white beans on it and because there is no mention of beans in the description.

Jun 27, 2015
luckyfatima in General Topics

A Dish From Every Mexican State

In the Michoacán pic it says:

"Cachitos de cerdo fritos con limón, salsa, cebolla, cilantro y tortilla. Aventúrate a probar la nana, el buche y el cuerito."

My attempted translation: Bits of fried pork with lime, salsa, onion, cilantro, and tortilla. Be adventurous and try the uterus, stomach, and skin.

(Presumably pickled skin?)

It looks like the tacos also contain white beans, too.

Jun 24, 2015
luckyfatima in General Topics

What chicken curry recipe should I try next?

This is a great recipe from Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi. I make a similar chicken curry, the only difference is that I let the onions color a little bit longer (turning golden but not browning):

https://youtu.be/WWoxlXWGYTA

Friday CH lunch at Aldeerah

Yep, def. not the place to go if one is expecting Lebanese food.

Friday CH lunch at Aldeerah

Seven of us met for a Friday lunch in Vienna at the only Saudi Arabian restaurant in the United States, Aldeerah. We unanimously liked the meal.

We started out with the falafel salad appetizer. This was a mixed green salad topped with grape size falafel bites and a handful of french fries. It came with a tahini dressing on the side. The falafel bites and dressing were good, falafel crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, but I probably wouldn't get that salad again unless I was in the mood for one of the healthiest items on the menu. It was a very basic salad.

Potato kibbeh was one of the appetizers we tried. The potato kibbeh was a tender mashed potato ball stuffed with ground meat, deep fried until crispy and golden. Three pieces per order. Very enjoyable.

We also ordered cheese sambosa, also three pieces per order, which was a thin wheat flour triangle wrapping stuffed with a soft spreadable type white cheese and deep fried. It reminded me of a crab rangoon.

A collectively loved item was the lamb-oatmeal soup. Much thinner than an American breakfast oatmeal, it had a lot of oats in it, but was clearly a soupy consistency, was full of body from a tomatoey broth, and contained little shreds of tender lamb.

We selected 3 entrees: chicken mathlootha, lamb mandi, and lamb marqooq.

The mathlootha is a triple layer dish topped with roasted chicken. The layers from bottom to top consist first of jireesh, a soft wheat-lamb porridge, second of qursan, which is shredded crepe-like wheat bread soaked in tomato sauce, and then basmati rice. The chicken was basic roast chicken, but the dish was interesting. I liked the way the rice was moistened by the layers beneath.

The lamb mandi was oven roasted lamb on top of basmati rice. This dish was uninteresting to me, but the lamb itself was tender and well cooked. There was the option to get it topped with fried onions and raisins, which would have added more textures and flavors, but I didn't notice that until I read the menu more carefully after the meal.

My favorite dish was the marqooq, which is the special of the day on Fridays. This is very thin flat bread soaked in a tomatoey lamb stock till very soft, and topped with stewed lamb and vegetables. I like carby comfort food type dishes, and this falls into that grouping for me.

The food is all lightly seasoned with a garam masala flavor profile with hints of bay leaves, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, etc., and robust from the use of rich meat stocks. It was all well salted, which I like.

Nothing we ate had chile heat, but Saudis eat their food with a Tabasco Sauce-like condiment called shatta (literally red chile pepper) on the table and add the chile heat to their liking with dashes of this stuff. Aldeerah has an in-house shatta served in a tiny condiment bowl.

Another typical Saudi condiment, dakkous, which is similar to a Mexican tomato salsa cocida, was also served on the side of the meal.

I ordered a cucumber-yoghurt sauce to have with the mandi, because I find it dry otherwise (always, not just at this restaurant). The dakkous also serves the purpose of adding moisture and flavor to the rice.

We topped off the meal with dried Saudi dates and Gulf style Arabic coffee, which is more of a saffron and cardamon flavored coffee infused tisane. This is served from a thermal carafe and poured into tiny sake cups. Not everybody liked this, finding it a bit perfumey and not coffee-like enough. I happen to love this stuff, though. The dates were also a bit exotic for some of the diners, as they were whole (date stone inside) and dried to a caramel candy consistency. They tasted good to me, though.

Distinct from the regional Arabic cuisines more commonly on offer in the DMV area, Saudi cuisine has much in common with the cuisines of the other countries of the Arabian Peninsula. Though I have never been to Saudi, I am familiar with this food, so it was a nostalgic experience for me. All of the food was well prepared, and similar to what I had in the homes of Gulf nationals during my years in the region.

For other diners, it was a new and positive experience. Service was attentive and friendly, and the heavy Arabic decor of the place lends to its charm. The food served at Aldeerah represents Saudi cuisine very well.

Have you seen this rice cake omelet?

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9126...

It's a Teo Chew style rice cake omelet famously served at Tan Tan is Houston.

Have you seen this at any local restaurant? Is there any restaurant where this is known as one of their specialties?

Thanks.

Does DFW Metroplex have full service thali restaurant?

I'm sure there are dozens of Indian places with a thali plate on the menu, but I am looking for a restaurant specializes in proper full service thali. Do you know of any?

Any Chinatown-ish Little Saigon-ish area?

Great to know! Thanks again, twinwillow.

Italian in Reston-Herndon-Sterling-Ashburn-Leesburg?

Thanks, knitone. I'll check it out.

Any Chinatown-ish Little Saigon-ish area?

kinks in posting, sorry for double post.

Any Chinatown-ish Little Saigon-ish area?

Thanks, Twinwillow. Now I have some names and more specific locales to explore! Much appreciated.

First Chinese BBQ is one of my favorite restos in Austin! I'll have to check out their original Dallas locale.

I have actually been to the area a couple of times some years ago and ate at Bistro B in (our right near) Richardson, which I know many people think is mediocre, but the crispy deep fried thin eggroll wrapper rolled into a cigar shape and stuffed inside of a shrimp cake goi cuon was awesome, and I recall liking the grilled meats with banh hoi or for goi cuon. AFAIK they are also one of the restos in the area that serve banh khot, so I'll be stopping by there.

What do you rec at Yao Fuzi? What about at Jeng Chi?

Any Chinatown-ish Little Saigon-ish area?

I'm planning to visit DFW this summer. Taking the kids to Grapevine Legoland and Aquarium. Wondering if there is a recommended area in the DFW metroplex (doesn't have to be near Grapevine, but hopefully not on the opposite end of the metroplex or anything) where there is a dense amount of Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants similar to Houston's Bellaire area. I'd like to stay nearby and have meals there during our visit. Yelp is directing me towards Arlington. Does that sound right?

If there is no specific area, what are some great restos to try? The style of Chinese resto I prefer is Cantonese that also has a lot of VN customers or is owned by Chinese from Vietnam like what one finds in Houston and Austin.