Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pho Asian Noodles

An unassuming ex-Taco Bell at the end of the strip of stores on Lane Avenue might seem an odd place for a great dinner, but oh, my, can looks be deceiving...

Tonight we finally took the plunge at went to Pho Asian Noodles House and Grill for dinner. I've read many reviews and we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to try, but the extensive menu still made the decision a little tough. We finally decided on the Vietnamese Salad Rolls, Chicken Pad Thai, Roasted Duck Noodle Soup and, of course, Pho Dac Biet. I ordered at the counter and at at our table to wait for the food to be delivered.

First came the Vietnamese Salad Rolls which were very good, served with a plum sauce that was covered with crushed peanuts. The rolls have a rice paper wrapper around lettuce, rice noodles, some Thai basil, shredded chicken and 3 shrimp:

They were fresh and light, had great flavor (especially with the plum sauce) and a very good bargain at $4. We each demolished one.

Next came our entrees:
Karen's Chicken Pad Thai, which she described as the freshest and best she'd had. All of the flavors burst forth and it had just the right level of spice and heat, all in an amazingly huge portion:
The Boog's Roasted Duck Noodle Soup:
H loves duck and this soup was packed with chunks of it, mostly on the bone (not the easiest to eat!) along with a huge heap of noodles and oriental lettuce (like bok choy) and a broth that he described as rich and mildly sweet:

He was very happy at his bowl full of bounty!

My pho dac biet, another huge bowl of soup, laden with incredibly tender beef slices, beef tendon meatballs, a ton of rice noodles and a plate full of accompanying add-ins, cilantro, bean sprouts, jalapenos and Thai basil:
I tossed a bunch of each of the add-ins as well as a healthy squirt sriracha, and dug in. After about a half hour of chowing down we all decided that we'd eaten our fill and wrapped up the remaining pad Thai and duck soup ( I pretty much killed off the pho!). We left satisfied bellies full of flavor and delicious food and all for about $30, including drinks (Karen & Boog both loved the Thai iced tea).
Here's a scan of the menu as of 11/16/11:

The place was packed at dinner time (6:30 pm) and was mostly filled with Asian people of all walks. It was interesting to hear all of the accents and dialects being spoken. And it's always a good sign, when you go to an ethnic restaurant and the people that are of that ethnicity are patrons.
Go to Pho. Have the Pho! Have anything - after tonight, I can't imagine anything they serve not being totally tasty. And if you're just driving by, stop anyway, they have a drive-thru!
Pho Asian Noodle House and Grill
1288 West Lane Avenue, Col, O 43221


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lorence's Goat Cheese Empanadas

A coworker recently made a "hummus" of sorts, an interesting concoction of chickpeas, oil-packed sun dried tomotoes, garlic and goat cheese. I was heating up my lunch in the work kitchen's microwave and flipping through a copy of "Real Simple" magazine when she offered me a taste. I really enjoyed the intense flavor and creamy texture and immediately flipped back a couple of pages inthe magazine to a recipe I had just seen, Goat Cheese Empanadas (can be found here: I knew what I had to do...

So tonight I combined the two recipes and made a third to accompany my creation, a roasted corn salsa.

Here's what I did:
2 cloves of garlic
4 oz oil packed sun dried tomatoes
1 can chickpeas (drained/rinsed)
4 oz goat cheese
olive oil
refrigerated pie crust, 2 crusts (make your own if you have the time)

In a food processor, process the garlic, tomatoes, chickpeas and goat cheese and add the olive oil until it reaches a smooth hummus like consistency.

Roll out the pie crusts.
Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut circles from the 2 refrigerated crusts.
Put about a teaspoon of the hummus in the center of each round.
(I rolled out the scraps of dough and made more rounds to stuff!)

Lightly dot the edges of the dough with water, fold in half, and press with a fork to seal.
Bake on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet at 375ºF until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve with fresh made Roasted Corm Salsa, found on Taste of Home.

The roasted corn, fresh off of the grill: