Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar in Chino Hills

After trying Wingstop, we got into the chicken wings mood yet again. I've heard about Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar and wanted to try it. When we got there on a Sunday afternoon, the place was packed, and there wasn't even a Lakers' game on.

Reading Yelp, we decide to give the Asian Zing wings a try. These were too mild for my taste, but they were alright. The Mango Habanero wings were medium hot and good, but I'm actually not a fan of the sweeter wings. Now, since I don't quite remember which of these two wings were which, I'll put these two side by side below.

The Parmesan Garlic wings were quite floury and not as crisp as those at Wingstop, but they are tastier than those at Wingstop. I liked these the most of the ones I tried today.

We also ordered BBQ chicken tenders for the kids. Again, these tasted better than those at Wingstop, but they were just alright.

How does this establishment compare to those at Wingstop? I definitely say that these are wings are meatier, but I think i will have to go back and try some of their hotter wings to be able to compare the flavors.

This branch of Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar is located at 3160 Chino Ave. in Chino Hills, CA(909) 591-9035

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wingstop in Baldwin Park

After a nice outing with the family, we stopped by Wingstop in Baldwin Park and grabbed some chicken wings.

We ended up getting the family pack which gave us up to four different flavorings. I originally wanted the atomic flavor, which is super spicy, but the person at the counter talked my cousin out of it. I should have been there to stand my ground.

My favorite of the ones we did get was the cajun flavored wings. Granted, the wings were small and measly, but the flavor was good. These were a tad salty, so stay away if you don't like salt. It had just the right amount of spice for me.

The original hot flavored one has that good tabasco flavor, but it was quite soggy.

The garlic parmesan ones were nice and crispy, but it was sorely lacking in taste.

My least favorite was the honey barbeque ones, mainly because I'm not a fan of that type of flavor. But if you are a fan of such, they tasted alright.

The family meals come with potato salad that was awful and bland and with fries that are equally as bad. It also comes with a lot of carrots and celery sticks. I wish there were more of these.

I didn't take a photo, but we also ordered some chicken strips for the kids, which were dry and bland. I don't recommend these.

All in all, Wingstop was okay, but hubby and I immediately looked into other wing places.

This branch of Wingstop is located in 3127 Baldwin Park Blvd in Baldwin Park, CA (626) 962-4400

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rau Muong Xao Toi (Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Garlic)

I have a love-hate affair with rau muong (water spinach). I can't stand it because its cousin, the field bindweed, has taken up residence all over our backyard, but I love it because as a food, water spinach is just so healthy and delicious in every way. I love it in spiral strips in our bowls of bun rieu, but mostly, I love it sauteed with nothing but garlic and a little bit of fish sauce. My kids slurp these up.

Water spinach, 1 pound
Garlic, 6 cloves minced or chopped
Fish sauce, 2-3 tablespoons
Oil for frying, 2 tablespoons

Wash the water spinach and cut off about 4-5 inches of the tougher parts of the stem, leaving the skinnier parts and the leaves behind. Let dry completely.

Heat up the oil in a wok to medium high heat and sautee the garlic to release the fragrance, about a minute.

Add in the water spinach and start stirring with a pair of tongs to evenly wilt the spinach. This will take about 3 minutes or so. Season with the fish sauce to taste and then remove, getting rid of the excess liquids left behind.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Scarlet Tea Room in Pasadena

I know it's approaching Father's Day, but I have to go back and do a post on my whereabouts on Mother's Day. This year, I was kid free for Mother's Day lunch. It was heaven. My cousins and siblings wanted to take our mothers to an afternoon tea (and for my father's birthday), and after realizing how expensive the buffet at the Huntington Library was, we settled on the Scarlet Tea Room in Old Town Pasadena. At $38 dollars a person for the Mother's Day Tea, it's far from being a bargain (and also a reason why the kids were absent), but we thought it was a nice two hours of pampering.

The room is quite small but quaint and dainty, with various pretty ceiling decor, everything a little tea room should be. In terms of the menu, I've been here once before for a bridal shower, so I knew what to expect. The five course tea ceremony is their speciality and is essentially what the Mother's Day Tea menu is. There are also other options available too if you want to just come in for tea and a quick bite, or for a nice dinner or lunch.

As soon as we were seated, our party was able to order our choices of tea. You can get a pot per person, but as suggested to keep things simple, we ordered three pots at first for the entire party and then added a fourth. We chose the Fiji green tea, the organic passion green tea, a tropical tea with a long Hawaiian name, and if I remember correctly, one of the berry infusion teas. The last three were alright, but the Fiji green tea was very aromatic and delicious. The teas were brought out in dainty pots and served in little cute cups. The servers continue to fill your cups whenever you run out, so we drank a lot that day.

The strawberry sorbet was our first course. This was light and simple and good because we were starving.

We were also served almond mimosas (non-alcoholic if requested). I couldn't really taste the almond in there.

Scones were then brought out with an assortment of sandwiches. I thought we were suppose to order a choice of four types of sandwiches per person, but I guess to make it simple, they just brought out the whole lot. This then forced our party to pick and choose and divide so we could all have a taste of the good ones. We were disappointed in this aspect. The savory sandwiches were very good, but we had a hard time finishing up the sweeter ones, like the cranberries and citrus ones. In fact, the kids got to eat these as leftovers when I reunited with them.

The scones were excellent, very light and airy. The ginger scones were good although a bit bland, but the pumpkin ones were moist and so very delicious, especially with the cream that was served with them. I didn't care much for the lemon curd or the strawberry perserve that was also brought out for the scones.

Spring petits fours (mini-cakes) were then brought out along with miniature cupcakes and berries. By this time, we were all quite full, so a lot of these desserts looked way too sweet to even attempt and ended up in the kids' tummies, but I did try both of them. Yep, the mini-cakes were too sweet, but the cupcakes were quite moist and delicious.

Then to end everything, little plates of strawberries romanoff were brought out. These were so-so, but thank goodness the plates were small.

It was then time for potty breaks and the huge bill with the 20 percent tip added and the expected complaints from our Asian parents about why this was so overpriced and not worth it and how for less than this price you could go to nice buffet in Vegas. I still think they enjoyed the experience at least. I agree, this is overpriced and we could do this at home for a fraction of the cost, but the goal was to feel pampered, and I think the Scarlet Tea Room accomplishes that. I haven't been to afternoon tea anywhere else to be able to compare, but my cousin liked her experience at the Ritz-Carlton better because you don't have to divvy up the sandwiches, but I think we had to due this do to our large group. Overall, this was to me a very enjoyable tea experience, but only for special occasions.

Scarlet Tea Room is located at 18 W Green St in Pasadena, CA (626) 577-0051