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Recent Bham eats

Dax Apr 5, 2011 07:30 AM

Went to Chen's last week for the first time in a month. We tried the seafood hot and sour soup which was pretty excellent although it seemed most of the seafood was probably right out of the freezer. Chen's and Red Pearl use fresh bamboo which has an interesting texture. Also had the XLBs as usual plus the s&p ginger and scallion squid which was much saltier than usual but still very good. There was some type of altercation at the door when we left and that tall guy was getting very agitated with a patron. Not sure the deal. They also tended to rush us to order - they were out of whole fish so we had to decide on something else. I guess it's not a bad thing but we were asked "are you ready to order" about 5 times before we were ready.

Tried Mix a month ago and the rare beef with horseradish sauce sandwich was decious and perfectly rare. GF had the min--quiche with a small side salad and it was tasty as well. The cake doughnut was very dense, rich and delicious too. About $20 total which is a little spendy for lunch.

Saigon Noodle House Sunday was as pleasing as always. The "spring" rolls were the same as always (fresh and crunchy at the same time) , same with the BM2 Banh mi. Tried one of the glass noogle soups for the first time and think I like it better than the pho. GF loved her lemongrass beef with vermicelli noodles as usual.

Any place new or exciting to you guys?

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  1. sheilal RE: Dax Apr 5, 2011 08:19 AM

    I've tried a couple of new places within the last month. Saw's and Pinches. I'm not a bbq expert, but I thought the pulled pork was very tender and flavorful. I prefer a little bit of bark in my bbq, but it was still good. Their sauces were very, very good. I prefer a more vinegar base and theirs did not disappoint.

    Pinches was very good. I got the black bean soup and pollo mole taco. Nothing special about the soup, but the mole! Oh my! It was delicious! The best I've had in town. My only complaint was that they only use 1 corn tortilla which makes it terribly messy to eat. Chicago tacos always have 2 corn tortillas which provide a substantial barrier to leakage.

    8 Replies
    1. re: sheilal
      Dax RE: sheilal Apr 5, 2011 08:59 AM

      I've found the one vs two tortilla argument interesting. I've always seen two except a few places here and some in Georgia. While I've typically been a huge proponent of the duo, at a few places I have tried recently, the extra was just superfluous. I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt if the filling is that good! Pinches has been mostly hits with a minor miss or two. That diablo sauce is awesomely hot without being hot just to be hot.

      Need to get back to Saw's.

      Any word on when that new place Slice will open in Lakeview?

      1. re: Dax
        sheilal RE: Dax Apr 5, 2011 09:47 AM

        Do you have to ask for the Diablo sauce specifically or is it just available on certain menu items? Can't believe I missed it on the menu. I'm a chilihead so I like to add flavored heat to most of my food.

        1. re: sheilal
          Dax RE: sheilal Apr 5, 2011 10:09 AM

          You have to ask for it. It's in the small fridge to the left of the counter.

      2. re: sheilal
        m
        mahalan RE: sheilal Apr 26, 2011 05:52 AM

        I've become a regular of Pinches at lunchtime. I'm not a sandwich fan but their tortas are to die for. Not wanting to confine myself to one or two favorites there, I've tried experimenting with most of the menu. What I've discovered is that I still don't like tongue (lingua tacos) and anytime I'm not having a torta, their sopas are great and a good thing to have with a taco I haven't tried before.

        1. re: mahalan
          Dax RE: mahalan Apr 26, 2011 01:47 PM

          have you compared theirs to any of the usual suspects around town such as Gordo's (not great), Guzman taco truck (can't get past the tacos), El Girasol (great), etc?

          1. re: Dax
            m
            mahalan RE: Dax Apr 27, 2011 05:34 AM

            No. I haven't had a chance to try the taco trucks yet. They're on my list of places to go, however. Maybe Guzman or El Girasol today?

            1. re: mahalan
              Dax RE: mahalan Apr 27, 2011 09:42 AM

              I haven't tried Guzman's tortas yet either ... it is on my list for when I am not trying to eat a little healthy. Girasol's is great (not a traco truck).

              1. re: Dax
                Dax RE: Dax Apr 28, 2011 12:03 PM

                Stopped by Pinches today and tried the carne asada torta. It was fine I guess. The beef was definitely higher quality and more plentiful than expected, but the torta bread was burned on top (not horribly, but with a half dollar sized black spot, not just toasted) and overall the sandwich was not as flavorful as I like my tortas. I'll stick with the tacos or burrito.

                Their beans are great.

      3. b
        bryantuga RE: Dax Apr 5, 2011 09:28 AM

        Tell us more about the glass noodle soup at SNH. I always forget about that place since I live and work downtown, but it'd be worth a trip for something new.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bryantuga
          Dax RE: bryantuga Apr 5, 2011 10:09 AM

          Crap, I wrote a reply then firefox ate it. Glass noodles, seafood (shrimp, scallops, squid) plus some meat and about 4 soft boiled quail eggs. It comes with the typical pho sides. The broth does not have as much star anise as pho and is more subtle. Very good.

          1. re: Dax
            b
            bryantuga RE: Dax Apr 25, 2011 08:36 AM

            I tried the soup Saturday - it was very, very good. The ingredients were incredibly fresh and I thought the broth needed very little doctoring with condiments. I loved the quail eggs. The waitress also recommended the lemongrass soup - has anyone tried it?

        2. Jannae RE: Dax Apr 5, 2011 02:52 PM

          Finally got around to trying Flipburger over the weekend. The four at our table tried the D Lux, the steak tartare, and the more traditional bacon/cheese burgers, fried mushrooms, onion rings, and the buffalo sweetbreads. Of course we had the shakes - nutella and burnt marshmallow, the foie gras, the Krispy Kreme, and the orange/vanilla.

          Everything was quite yummy, extremely rich (especially the d lux burgers with lobster knuckle, foie gras , red wine reduction, and truffle oil) and cooked to order.

          I remember folks complaining about the overly loud music when the place first opened up - Sunday the music was down to a pleasing level, and you could actually have conversations with people at your table and those sitting across the way at another table if you wanted.

          Our waitress was very attentive and informative as she gave us information about the various shakes, burgers, and side items. For those who ordered sodas, refills were generous and prompt in fresh glasses with ice. My water glass never reached half full (or half empty if you're looking at life differently) with the preemptive filling of my glass.

          Would I go back? Sure. Would I blow my budget again by getting the most expensive burger listed? Probably not.

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