Saturday, March 26, 2011

Foodie Friday - Two Restaurants and Cultures

Yes, I know it's Saturday. It was late when I got home last night, so I didn't have the thinking power to put things into words. But, I wanted to tell you about the places I went and how they were.

First, Tom and I went for coffee. I'd say obligatory, but it's actually been a while since we were there. Of course, I like Starbucks, so there was no problem there other than parking was next to impossible. There was a fire on Kings Highway, so all the parking for nearly two blocks was taken by fire equipment fighting a fire in one of the historic structures there. Then it was lunch rush, so that only compounded the problem. But, we found a spot on the next block over and walked through the CVS to get back to Kings and then down to Starbucks where we began enjoying our coffee. By then, I was so hungry. I had thought we were going to breakfast, but by the time noon comes along, there are few places left that offer it. We tossed several ideas around (he simply wouldn't take my suggestion to go for Indian three doors down seriously) and decided on a whim to try the Irish pub we'd seen up near the branch of his bank we were headed for. 
Recipe for this particular Roast Beef can be found at:

I dropped him off at the bank and went to park and found it to be a problem there as well, but at last did find a spot behind the pub out of sight of the bank. I went in and got us a table and the hostess and our waiter promised to be on the lookout for him. Twenty minutes later, he was still a no show. I was beginning to look like I was stood up, but I knew that wasn't true since I had the keys to the car. I looked over the menu and one item intrigued me: The Dublin Square Carvery. 

(The name of the pub is Dublin Square, located on Evesham Rd in the Voorhees/Cherry Hill area.) The menu description looked plentiful, but the reality was that there was just so much food offered. The description: Freshly sliced Sandwich of the Day, served with a cup of soup and a nonalcoholic beverage. 

I went up expecting everything to be given to me at once. That was not the case. At first I was given my choice of soups - either the potato leek soup or the daily special of lamb and vegetable soup with coconut essence. Yes, they used the term "essence". I took the lamb vegetable which turned out to be more sweet than I'd expected, but I tempered that with the addition of salt and pepper at the table. The overall flavor still came through, the meat was so tender and the veggies cooked perfectly without dissolving. 

Next to the soup was the salad. Yesterday's offering was baby spinach salad with blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and craisins and a bit of Feta cheese. There were six dressings to choose from. I went with my standard ranch. I also took a slice of bread and some of the seasoned butter (which turned out to be so full of garlic bits that I couldn't eat it.) I don't think I've ever enjoyed a salad so much. I've never had a salad with fruits on it and the Feta cheese, which can overwhelm on a good day, was merely an accent to the entire salad. I was in love! 

I went back to get what I assumed would be my sandwich to find that the roast beef (which was the meat being offered yesterday) was to be hand carved in a plentiful amount onto my plate and accompanied by two side veggies and Au Jus, if I wished. I wished. I got mashed potatoes, green beans and loads and loads of meat plus a bowl of Au Jus. I grabbed a torpedo roll and went back to my table. I made myself a roast beef sandwich and ate it French Dip style in the Au Jus plus used some of it on my mashed potatoes. I still had a half bowl of broth left as well as more than half the meat on my plate when I was done. All of this food PLUS my diet Pepsi for only $9.75. The meat, salad, soup and sides change daily, but the price remains the same. I can't wait to try it again!!

I would WHOLELY recommend this restaurant to anyone! Especially during the lunch hours of 11-3!! Oh, and the men wear KILTS!!! Hot diggity damn! Men in skirts!! (Of course, so do the women, but theirs are so much shorter and not on my list of things I'm pleasantly surprised to find.)

The other restaurant was in Chinatown in Philly. Personally, I could live without ever going to Chinatown. It isn't that I've never had a good meal there because I have. But, they always want to take me when it's raining or snowing or cold and windy and I HATE going into the city under those circumstances. I'm a country girl at heart and that just doesn't suit me. Not to mention the near impossibility of finding a parking spot without driving around and around and around, ad nauseum. But, we did go and we ended up at Rangoon restaurant, a Burmese restaurant on 9th St in Chinatown. I was in a foul mood anyway because I wasn't told where we were going and they know how much I hate going to Chinatown (again, with the previous disclaimers). But, I looked over the menu and decided on a vegetarian selection, Tomato Curry Tofu, as my main course, Golden Finger Tempura for my appetizer and Watercress Soup as well as Green Jasmine Tea. 

Rangoon Restaurant's very own Golden Tempura Fingers,

I loved the tempura, a bit different from Japanese tempura, but a similar concept. Fingers of squash (zucchini, I think) dipped in batter and fried with a spicy sweet sauce in which to dip them. 

Excellent, although I preferred the sweet and sour sauce that came with another appetizer on the table. I happen to love fried squash, so this went over well with me.

A similar soup made with pork, recipe found here:

Next came the watercress soup which looked and tasted a little like Miso soup, but contained chicken. It wasn't bad, but was very hot, temperature-wise. It arrived in a bowl with a lid, which was pretty cool, I thought, as did the hot tea (mugs with lids - who knew?) I can't drink or eat things whose temperatures are scalding, so I still wasn't done my soup when our main dishes arrived. I set my bowl of soup aside for later.

My main dish arrived with a bowl of white rice and consisted of large cubes of tofu in a thickened tomato sauce.

A similar recipe found here:

Although it was supposed to contain curry, I didn't really taste any. The other ingredients were garlic, onion and parsley. Thankfully, the garlic didn't dominate. But, I did taste cilantro, so I'm left wondering if they used that instead of parsley. Regardless, I did enjoy the dish, even though the sauce wasn't as wet as sauces I'd had with other Asian cultural dishes (I'm particularly fond of Indian cuisine).  The guys kept snagging pieces of my tofu and, before that, pieces of my squash. In fact, Tom ate my last two pieces of squash before I had a chance to stop him! LOL

I finished my meal by finishing off my soup, which was finally cool enough for me to enjoy. Because it was cooler, I was better able to taste the flavors therein. I enjoyed it so much more then than when I first received it. I brought about half of my tofu dish home with me. It's what I enjoyed for breakfast this morning. So, although I am not a fan of Chinatown, I would return to Rangoon if being treated to dinner again. The staff was very nice and ready to help whenever we needed. I would recommend this restaurant as well.

So, I leave you with this......CATURDAY!

Baby Cat, 10 months

Tiki, 2 yrs 10 months

Chloe, my fatty catty, age 12


  1. Great reviews, although I must say the first place was more a place I would want to try. I am not a big fan of going into Phila., for Chinatown, either. So, I could take a pass there.
    You sure do write a complete review, perfect for this blog!!

  2. Mmmm, that sandwich sounds awesome. Great price for all that too.

  3. It was very good. We went back again on Saturday and they had the roast beef again, but the sides were different. Still plenty of food for the money, though. And, leftovers to bring home. Made a great sandwich for my son at home.