Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bahn Mi Surprise

So I was in the neighborhood of John R and 13 Mile getting my new specs adjusted. And I knew I was in great bahn mi territory. Unfortunately, Saigon Market (corner of John R and 13 Mile) was out and many of the restaurants on that block close every Tuesday. So I asked a customer and clerk at the market where else I could pick up this tasty sandwich.

On their rec, I headed out to a nondescript strip mall at the corner of 13 and Dequindre and stepped into in Cyber Cafe. It's a grim little space with bare tables and chairs, several Vietnamese men playing a kind of checkers and what is a large karaoke machine in the corner, along with pinball machines. But the lady said, he sells sandwiches.

For $2 I got a freshly made, toasty/crusty bahn mi, with thin slices of pate, and great crunchy juliened carrots, pickle, radish and a big handful of cilantro all tossed in a sweet/salty dressing. The contrast of the warm baguqette and the crunch of the cool veggies contasting to the smooth pate was amazing. After one bite, I just sat in my car and devoured the nicely sized meal.

This is a great little dive with a perfect bahn mi, best I've had in the Detroit area.

Check it out: Cyber Cafe, 13 Mile and Dequindre, Warren, MI

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Gus O'Connor's F&C

Detroit area fish and chips quest continues - this time at Gus O'Connor's in Rochester.

This is a "sandwich' review of a fish and chips dinner. A sandwich review provides a slice of good news bread, the meat of the review and another good news slice of bread. Human resources professional think this makes bad reviews more palatable for employees.

The hostess was quite pleasant and helpful. (That's a slice of good news.)

It's a good thing she was helpful because the establishment certainly wasn't. When I walked in the pub in downtown Rochester I spied a little sign that read approximately, "If you want to be seated, go to the back of the restaurant." At the back there is no hostess podium, no signs that I saw. Fortunately, a pleasant young woman approached me and soon I was seated.

I ordered the fish and chips and a lemonade. Food delivery took awhile - longer than I would have expected. Perhaps they were waiting for the chips to cool down. The chips were no danger to me; I wouldn't burn my fingers on them. They weren't cold; they were warmish, at best.

The chips did not embarrass the fish, though. The fish was hot and greasy. The coating was crispy on the outside and limp and soggy on the inside. When I pressed down on the fish with the side of a fork to cut a piece, little driblets of grease oozed out. I suspect the cooking oil was not up to temperature when the fish was laid into it.

The presentation of the fish was off as well. The fish pieces were laid atop a bed of salad greens. When I forked a piece of fish, salad came along, stuck to the bottom of the fish. There are lots of food combinations I enjoy. Fried fish and lettuce is not one of them.

Tartar sauce, cole slaw and lemonade were fine. The lemonade was quite sweet. I like it that way, but some may not. Dinner of F&C and lemonade with 20% tip was about $18.00. Gus O'Connor's is a pleasant spot - the chairs and tables are of ample size, well-spaced, comfortable, the Irish jukebox tunes were played at a low enough volume to be enjoyable, the view out onto Main St is pleasant. Would I go back? Perhaps for a beer or some more lemonade. Surely not for the food.

That's the meat of the review. Now for the last piece of good news bread.

The hostess was quite pleasant and helpful.