Thursday, July 16, 2009

Slow train to terrificness

Four of us at Slow's on Michigan Ave tonight - Tom and Emily eat there regularly, so they nodded and smiled while Martha and I oohed and aahed.

Tom and Martha did ribs - the St. Louis style which they advertise as a bit chewy, that you have to work with. The bone I chewed on was fattier than I like and a bit gristly, but Martha and Tom liked them a lot.

Emily and I had sandwiches and oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Mine was PJ's Revenge, the ham and cheese on Texas toast. The has is smoked, smooth and sweet. The sandwich included smoked gouda, a mustard sauce, and an onion marmalade. This is a wonderful sandwich - the ham is terrificly tasty, the onions and sauce sweet and the toast hearty enough to stand up to weight of the fixings. Emily's pulled pork with cole slaw sandwich was lovely. The pork and fat combination was perfect.

We all loved the sides. The mac and cheese is hot and seasoned and flavorful as can be. I like the beans - on the sweet side as well - and the cole slaw is tart and hearty.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Diamond Jim Brady's

Much in part due to a fellow Chowhound's praises, we met wonderful friends of ours here as a halfway point, for lunch. Bottom line, food was really great. Had the crusted whitefish over almost julienned zucchini and basmati rice with a small about of balsamic reduction. Fish was perfect --crust was light, sides were great, too (but a little salt helped.) Preceded by a nicely made Caesar salad --garlicky with a hint of anchovy, not overdressed or a greens salad with a kicky lemony vinaigrette. Our spouses had burgers --mine thought it was good, not great, the other loved the Texas burger with chili. Prices were great-- $9.50 for the whitefish meal, $8.50 for loaded burgers and fries. It's clear the kitchen knows what it's doing.

Problem was service --it was an almost dismally empty dining room for weekend lunch. When we ordered one wine, it was "out" --no explanation, my husband asked for a cleaner glass. I had ordered something else but when the server came back the, "polenta was out", which was the reason I ordered. No fast pick up on water, silverware, re-orders of wine. When I ordered wine after others, it was explained "we get some special order wines so when they're' out, they're out." Good, but maybe tell us the first time around? No polenta...hmmm.

With the great quality of the food we expected a warmer service, or at least more attentive. Took the edge off.

we'll go back because the food quality for the value is great...just on a slow Saturday (recession, nice day?) but would like a more engaged service next time.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pho Que Hu'o'ng Restaurant--A new pho on the block

New guy on the block

Light, bright spring rolls w/ dipping sauce

A big bowl of pho--this is chicken, but there are many options

My chowfriend Kim and I went on a lunch adventure today. The mission was to visit Saigon Market on John R. Road just south of 13 Mile so she could pick up some supplies and to check out a newish Pho restaurant a block north of there - Both are in Madison Heights, MI.

We entered a very small establishment with several tables filled with hungry eaters. Wesplit a side of fresh spring rolls. (See photo). The rice wrapper was delicate and translucent, letting us see the bright colors of the shrimp and sparkling fresh mint and herbs inside. Served with a spicy hoisin/peanut sauce, it was bright and vivid tasting and light enough not to interfere with the big bowls of pho coming. I ordered rare beef for, she ordered chicken (see photo).

Everything was delicious. The Pho was served with the requisite fresh Thai basil, lime and bean spouts.Kim enhanced her Pho with two tiny spoonfuls of a wicked hot pepper concoction available as a side at each table. While we ate, chef came out and gave us each a take out menu and explained that he has a web site. I think he was somewhat tickled that someone was taking photographic notice of his food.

We want to come back to try the several different Bahn Mi Thit sandwiches as well as the Chim Cut Roti ("special marinated quails in deep fried"). We're also a planning a "pho-off", comparing three phos of the three really good restaurants on John R between 13 and 12 mile --this, Thang Long and Thy Thrang. Will update you when this pho-down happens.

At Saigon Market, I picked up a package of gelatine lychee "shots"--a tiny little square of lychee-flavored "jello" with a small lychee squre in the middle. Very fun and comes in mango and other flavors. For those of you who may not know about Saigon Market, they grow their own greens in, if I understood the owner correctly on a previous visit, a greenhouse just south of Michigan's border in Ohio. Tubs and tubs full of wonderfully fresh looking basil, pea shoots, garlic chives, and various other things I have no idea what they are. They also bring in their own duck and chicken (feet still attached).

Nice lunch!