Saturday, December 17, 2011

Spicy House

First Visit
  Miko is smiling in anticipation, not knowing what is in store...
Special cold noodles. 
Different than Spicy City's, and not as good, but still tasty.

Fish dish.  GIANT portion!!  We barely made a dent.

Ma Po Tofu.
We could barely eat this, but we felt that this wasn't a fair assessment.
So we decided that we needed to revisit, and bring reinforcements...
(Seriously, I just had ONE square with a whole bowl of rice, and I couldn't handle it. ~Miko)
Miko's notes on our official Convoy Conquest folder data sheet.

Second Visit
Cold appetizers.  SO DELICIOUS!!
The whitish thing in the back is a potato dish--Jenne's favorite of the whole evening.

Fish in spicy sauce.  Delicious.

Salt and pepper pork chop.  Lots of bones.

Beef wraps.  Tasty!

Lackluster fried rice. :-(

Mass quantities of steamed rice, of course

Duck with crispy rice...amazing seasoning!  Also lots of bones.

Awesome crab dish--if you don't mind getting your hands dirty...
and Elise didn't mind AT ALL.

Yummy cumin lamb!

Xiao long bao.  Don't even bother; just go to Dumpling Inn instead.

Vegetable dish--not super exciting but a nice foil to the spicy dishes.


Public service announcement: 
We recommend Coca-Cola to cool your mouth from the spicy food (and we're usually not Coke drinkers.) Don't know why it works but it does!

First Visit
Rating: Inconclusive
Date: 11/4/11
Time in: 7:49 PM
Servers' recommendations: Twice-cooked fish

What we ordered: Twice-cooked fish, special cold noodles, mapo tofu.
Number in our party: 2
Final check amount: $29.61
  • The food was so spicy. Okay, I (Miko) admit that I'm a ginormous wimp.  But Holy Jesus.  I couldn't be a fair judge, since all I could taste was burning.  Therefore, we decided that a second visit must be scheduled, and I would order items that were not marked with chili symbols.
  • The portions are GIANT.
  • The crowd was younger than we expected; they all look like college students.  There were very few non-Asians.
  • Convivial atmosphere and awesome decorations.  The ceiling is amazeballs.
  • The service is a little slow.  It's a big dining area, and they only had 2 servers working.  They really could have used 4.
  • When we ordered the cold noodles, the server pointed to the lo mein and asked, "Don't you want this?  It's more Chinese style."
  • We liked how they packaged our food up for us.
Second Visit
Rating: Two thumbs up
Date: 12/17/11
Time in: 7:32 PM
Time out: 8:55 PM
What we ordered: Cold appetizers: pickles, potato salad, and cured meat; salt and pepper pork chop; beef wrap; steamed bun; boiled fish; fried lamb with cumin; house special fried rice; snow cabbage, bean curd, and green beans; crispy duck with rice; fried crab with rice cake; beer; Cokes. 
Number in our party: 7 (Howie, Keith, Sarah, Elise, and Tracie as guest critics today)
Final check amount: $127.70
  • The food came out very quickly, which was fortunate, because we were all starved.  A hush fell over the table as we ate; we were too busy eating to talk.
  • The cold appetizers were delicious!  The potato salad was particularly good.
  • The boiled fish was not as spicy as it looked.  Sarah and Miko's favorite.
  • The lamb with cumin was Keith's favorite.
  • The crab was well-seasoned and lent delicious flavor to the rice cakes.  Yum.
  • The duck was a minefield of bones -- watch out! 
  • The pork chop also had a lot of bone and tasted a little like pancake syrup.  It would've been better if it had been more savory instead of just sweet.
  • The fried rice is kind of meh.  They were supposed to bring out the house special fried rice, but they brought out vegetable fried rice instead.  It was tasteless.
Address: 3860 Convoy Street, Ste 105
Phone number: 858.278.5883
Accepts credit cards? Yes
Parking: Crowded lot with teeny spaces.
Ideal group size: Any
Available vegetarian options: TONS (but they may have fish sauce in them).
Noise level: 3.5

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mignon Pho + Grill

Nice beer list, plus cow blowing a bubble.

Spring rolls--fine.

Lemongrass garlic fries--neither especially lemongrassy nor garlicky.

People were very excited about this pomegranate limeade, to the point of ordering seconds.

We only took one pho picture because they looked exactly the same.

Cow Ate My Shrimp (That's actually what it's called).

Pig a Chick.
You get a little bowl of broth with the broken rice dishes. 
The broth is actually really good!  Much better than the first time I (Jenne) came here.
Rating: Two sideways thumbs
Date: 12/10/11
Time in: 1:30 PM
Time out: 2:36 PM
Servers' recommendations: Anything with a thumbs up on the menu. Filet mignon pho.
What we ordered: Cow Ate My Shrimp, Create Your Own Pho with Tai, Pig a Chick with Fried Egg, filet mignon pho, egg rolls, lemongrass garlic fries, 2 pomegranate limeades, 1 regular limeade, 1 Diet Coke.
Number in our party: 4 (Sarah H. and Tracie as guest critics today)
Final check amount: $62.72
  • Everything was adequate, but not amazing.
  • The waitress was careful to mention that the broth is more subtle than at most other pho restaurants.
  • I (Miko) strongly prefer the Tai rare steak to the "filet mignon" in pho.  It's too soft and thick.
  • Egg rolls are pretty delish, but not any more delish than at other places.
  • Lovely selection of alcohol. 
  • You get free refills for fountain drinks.  Very rare for pho restaurants!  
3860 Convoy Street, Suite 116, 117
Phone number:
Accepts credit cards? Yes
Parking: Crowded lot with teeny spaces.
Ideal group size: 1-8
Available vegetarian options: Vegetarian pho, tofu.
Noise level: 3