Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Pleasant Surprise

Another restaurant review. 

I have eaten out since my last one, but nothing really worth blogging about.  I cheated on Rosarios once or twice (and it wasn't worth it) and I got in a fight and made up with Rosarios.  I also ate at a diner - which is noteworthy and has been a favorite with hubby and I for about 15 years.  Service is inconsistent, but the food has been consistently good, down home cooking spanning 15 years and a change in management.  Check it out if you are local.

Now, I am not a fan of restaurants couched in strip malls, or attached to gas stations mostly because of the fact that it seems as if they are there because they have not graduated to be real restaurants.  But, I also tend to be tongue tied when hubby says, "Let's go to lunch.  What are you hungry for?" and we have an hour and a half to make a decision, drive to a restaurant, eat leisurely, and drive home so that I can pick up a child or children before the school calls the cops.  So, that is how I ended up at the nearby Spicy Ginger restaurant last Thursday after the lunch crowd.

It is couched in a strip mall along with one of the places with which we bank, so I drive by it quite a bit.  A few friends had told me it was good, so we decided to check it out.  I am so happy we did.

I was surprised immediately upon entering because for being in a tiny strip mall and for being a small Asian restaurant, it was decorated quite nicely.  This is not a commentary about the decorating in small Asian restaurants but do you know the red walls, Chinese calendar menus, Buddha theme?  Well, this was not of that variety.  The ambiance was warm, inviting, and the pendant lighting added a comfortable feeling.

I will get right to the food because it was yummy.  I ordered (and, yes, I am a big eater) four "crab and cream cheese puffs" for an appetizer.  They came and looked like neat little pillows.  You could have almost mistaken them for tiny sopapillas.  They had some cilantro and julienned carrots in the middle of the plate.  An attractive touch and super delicious when I picked it up and put it in my puff.  The puffs were steaming hot when I ripped them open.  Did I mention that I love my food hot when it's supposed to be hot?  The puff itself was a little thicker than the crab rangoons I have eaten and now I think I like them thin and thick.  I thought the puffs could have had a bit more filling, but the flavor was good.

It was difficult for me to decide on a main dish because I liked the noodle selection (always a good sign).  I picked Vietnamese noodles and decided to give tofu a try.  It's been a long time since I've eaten tofu and I wanted to see if I still liked it.  I was really happy with my choice.  The bowl came and it was a bowl.  I ate that lunch and lunch/snack the next day (which unfortunately I had to share with my foodie nine year old boy).  The noodles were hot and the flavors mixed together excellently.  The cucumber was sliced a little thicker than in the Vietnamese noodles I've had before.  I liked that.  I could really taste the flavor that way.  There were carrots, lots of cilantro, lettuce, beansprouts, and a slight lemony flavor.  Lemongrass?  Really great combination of flavors.  The tofu was spicy and had the consistency of chicken.  I have no idea if that is normal since it's been so long since I've had tofu, but it was good and tasted like soy sauce.  Sidenote:  The next day my nine year old (who has no idea what tofu is) said, "Give me all the chicken pieces, mom."  Then he claimed how great the chicken was in the noodles.

Hubby enjoyed what he had - Moo Goo Gai Pan.  But, it didn't look nearly as delish as mine, so I didn't ask for a bite.

I thoroughly enjoyed my meal, the ambiance was nice, and the service was great.  The prices?  I couldn't make it for cheaper (let's be honest - I couldn't make it at all).  I will go back.  :o)


Shannon said...

Duly noted and now n my must eat when we are home. Address please.

Monica said...

it's RIGHT on bandera!!!! we could fully WALK there (but, we won't because it will be 800 degrees outside). it's right next ot firstmark credit union. click the link if you can - it's really a cute yummy place. :o)