Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hill Country BBQ

This post is for Hill Country BBQ on 26th St. in Manhattan. My wife and I made our way over there one afternoon for my birthday. We decided to go for a late lunch/really early dinner at about 3. If you can do this, I highly recommend it. This place is usually packed. But, going at off hours gives you choice seating and no lines at all. Wonderful. The atmosphere is quite nice. Large, well ACed, nicely decorated, clean, etc. Good stuff.

Their menu seems to be more limited than other BBQ joints I've been to. But, what they have seems to be done well. We had the BBQ sampler for two. It's pictured below. Brisket, 2 giant beef ribs, 2 pork ribs, some chicken, and two nice sized sides. Everything was very tasty and messy. Just as BBQ should be. This place is rated the best BBQ in Manhattan. It's pretty damn good. Not sure if its the best in my opinion, but it sure is up there. Pictured above is the sweet tea. I love sweet tea at BBQ places. My favorite in the city is still Virgils. But, this one runs a very close second. BUT, there are no free refills. Which makes Virgils sweet tea with free refills that much sweeter. But, this one is still a nice sized serving. All in all, this place is definitely worth trying. They do give you a lot of food for your money. And, its tasty food. So, if you like BBQ style eatin, I would recommend this place.

Food: Nice servings and very tasty
Recommended: I've only been here once and all we had was good. But, I highly recommend the midday meal between lunch and dinner. So much more relaxing.
Price: It cost us about $50 each. That was a pile of meat, two teas, one alcoholic drink, and desert. I think you get your money's worth. And, we had tons of left over.
Environment: Large and comfortable.
Service: It begins like a cafeteria where you order your own food and take it to your table, then there is table service for drinks and whatever else is needed.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Mei Li Wah Bakery

This is Mei Li Wah Bakery. It closed down for a while due to some tragedy in the family, I think. But, it has reopened. I never went in to the place before. But, I think we passed the place on its grand reopening. And, it was packed! So, we decided to come back to visit when the crowds had died down...the crowd never really died down. So, one weekend we decided to give it a shot. We went there for lunch. There are very few tables in the back of the place. So, if you want to sit, you may have to wait. But, most people come to get take out. I think its because they're most known for their buns. I have to say, I haven't come across a place that really wowed me for a while. Well, at least not hear in the states. But, this place is bad ass... meaning its very good.

We started with dim sum items since we were there for brunch-ish type food. We tried some of the staple dishes of dim sum. The shrimp was crunchy. The rice noodle was thick. The sauce was nice. It was gooood.

But, even tho we were full, we decided to try a bun. This is when the "wow" happened. The roast pork bun(Not pictured above. That's a custard bun.) was the best that I've had in the states. If you like the red sweet type of sauce that is usually found in pork buns, you may not like this one. In this bun, you can taste the higher quality of ingredients used. And, you can really taste the pork. AND, the bun itself was awesome. A very thin crunchy layer on the outside and a buttery soft bread on the inside. It's so good it'll make you shed a tear... NICE!!

We liked the place so much that we went back the next day. We tried their dumpling soup and fried rice. Also, very good. They burned their fried rice a little, but not enough to dissapoint.

AND, they had a unique dish that we accidentally ordered. The Lau Mie Gie. You know, the sticky rice rapped in lotus leaf(?). I accidentally ordered the flavored pan fried version of it. A pleasant surprise. Its the same sticky rice, flattened and dipped in a mixture of egg and bean sprouts and pan fried. Very nice. Anyway, I'm really happy to find this place. Definitely recommend it to anyone.

Food: Awesome! The best bakery in Chinatown.
Recommended: It's all good, but focus on the roast pork bun, steamed pork bun, and haw gow(shrimp dumpling)
Price: A bit more expensive than the other bakeries, but way worth it.
Environment: Crowded with limited seating.
Service: Fast and to the point.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Aaaaand I'm back...

So, its been a while since I've posted on this blog. It was getting to be too much trouble. I always wanted to try a place before I blogged about it. Then, I'd forget to take the pictures before grubbing down. It was just too much to pick only good places. So, I was just going to stop and let this blog sit. So, I did. It has sat untouched for a while now. But, the nagging desire to blog about food just kept getting louder. And, finally, it got me. So, here I am. And, here we go. Now, I will be covering both good and bad places. So, the layout will be a little different.

My first place I am covering on this restart is Chanoodle in downtown Manhattan in Chinatown. It's a small place that we've avoided for a long time due to the lack of Asians in the whenever we passed by. But, we've always been curious. So, the other weekend we decided to take the dive.

We tried: Beef Chow Fun and Two Kinds of Chinese Sausage Fried Rice. (pictured to the left)

The good: There's not much to say here. I think the only saving grace of this place is that their food was not bad. And, they had some unique dishes. The serving sizes were not bad.

The bad: The prices were a bit high for Chinatown. They supposedly had drinks other than soda, but didn't have them for that day. The service is bad even by Chinatown standards. I usually don't mind the service in Chinatown. I rather like the "to the point" style of service in Chinatown. But, this place was bad. We had a male waiter. He was just grumpy the whole time. And, by the end of our meal, he was sitting down eating his lunch... What the hell is that? They had other waiters there, but they seemed pretty useless too. I informed one of the waitresses that we wanted to take some food home. She passed our table about 5 times empty handed before she realized she forgot about us. THEN, some more time passed and she brought us the check... and asked if we wanted to take the rest of our food home... What the hell? Isn't that like the memory of a gold fish? Turn around and your memory resets. And, finally, the price was a bit much. For the same monies, we could have gone to another place and gotten two dishes, drinks, and maybe a side, and still had change.

Final word: Food is not bad, but not worth the aggravation of dealing with incompetent servers. The food that's not bad can be found in other Chinatown places made much better. I'd recommend making your way farther into Chinatown and exploring other food options. Many places will be better than this place.