Saturday, May 29, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The small soft tacos there came prepared in six different ways: steak, tongue, pollo, carnitas, al pastor (pork in this case) and chili verde (also pork). Not knowing what to exclude, I tried all six. It wasn't as intimidating as it sounds--the tortillas are only about three inches in diameter. I started with the steak, which was fatty but tender and pleasantly spicy. Juice constantly streamed down from the taco. The tongue came second and proved to be the highlight. Just as with the steak, it came diced but in ample quantity. The tongue was tender, flavorful and substantial. The chicken was quite plain, although I give the quantity of chicken high marks. The carnitas was overly sauced and the taco was soupy. But, an even greater abundance of fluid came with the chili verde, which unfortunately contained pork that was overdone. The al pastor was delightful, with its savory sauce and tender pork.
I appreciated that all of the tacos were served hot (I actually had to wait for some of them to cool just so they could be held) and the fillings were generous. At a buck a taco, I could try the entire small taco menu without blowing my lunch budget. Next time, in fact, I might get another six. But, it'll be one al pastor, one steak and four tongues.
305 N Fair Oaks Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
In the past, we enjoyed Los Charros for their sizeable portions and especially their killer shrimp burrito. It had been at least a year since we'd last eaten there and we were both disappointed that today our shrimp burritos came without sides of yesteryear and the burrito itself was considerably smaller. Although the burrito arrived hot in a foil, it lacked the heft of most Bay Area burritos, which approach the size of a Duraflame.
To the restaurant's credit, the wrap didn't drip and it came loaded with shrimp. I don't recall taking a bite without grabbing a shrimp or two. My wife's burrito, however, also came with a pebble. I don't want to imagine how the part of the ground could have made its way into my wife's burrito. Rock or not, though, for $5.75--today's lunch was $7--I'd much rather have the larger burrito (though it would be with chicken, pork or steak--not shrimp) with more flavorful filling at Las Islitas in Sunnyvale.
There was a time when one couldn't hope to get a table at Taqueria Los Charros at noon on a Friday. Throughout the lunch hour today, the restaurant never reached capacity. After having today's letdown, it was easy to see why.
Taqueria Los Charros
854 W Dana St.
Mountain View, CA 94041
Monday, May 3, 2010
Our first visit here, about a year ago, was such a pleasure that we had been eager to return ever since. Piccadilly Catering features comfort food—much of it Southern—such as fried chicken, hot links and even macaroni and cheese. Along with the meal comes a bottomless lemonade, sweet tea or mimosa. One can even have a combination—I enjoyed my first ever Arnold Palmer there yesterday. The sweet tea, a Southern drink, is so saturated with sugar it won’t quench your thirst—drink it for the flavor.
For my first pass yesterday at this all-you-can-eat buffet I tried the basics such as the fried chicken, pork ribs, hot link and the gumbo. The fried chicken was delightful and, surprisingly, wasn’t heavy. The ribs were tender although I thought the sauce salty. The same could be said of the gumbo, which was much saltier than for our first visit.
There are two dishes that are brought to your table and I recommend both. The catfish can come either grilled or fried. My wife and I both tried the grilled catfish which arrived hot, juicy and tender. The other dish is a deep fried jumbo prawn on crab cake, which again was terrific. The deep fried prawn should be eaten quickly, while it’s still hot and crisp.
The highlight of the day for me, though, was the turkey neck. Served with gravy, the meat on the turkey neck fell off as the neck was rolled on the plate with a fork. This meat was more flavorful and tender than any other part of the turkey I’ve ever tried.
For those who don’t mind getting their fingers a little wet, the crab legs and crayfish were certainly worth the trouble, especially since the crab legs were served cracked. For the uninitiated, when eating the crayfish go for the meat in the tail. The brain usually packs a lot of flavor, too.
The desserts included bread pudding (a little too heavy for my taste), peach cobbler (excellent—especially the crust) and sweet potato pie. This last one we were allowed to bring home and it’s now sitting in our refrigerator. If tastes anything like it looks, though, it will make the perfect reason to suffer through even the most difficult of meals.
Perhaps because of the lack of novelty associated with a second visit or maybe because the gumbo was so salty, my wife and I agreed yesterday’s experience wasn’t as powerful as the first. Even so, I would still put the Sunday buffet at Piccadilly Catering above any other Sunday brunch in the Bay Area save the Ritz Carleton. And, at $25, the value at Piccadilly trumps even the Ritz.
Foster City, CA 94404-2902
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Tonight I had the tenderest, juiciest piece of chicken in memory--if not my life! On a whim, my wife and I decided to try a small, unassuming Persian restaurant down the street and around the corner. I never would have guessed this little stand-alone that could fit inside the kitchen of a Wienerschnitzel could pack so much punch into their Cornish game hen kabob. Even before my teeth met on that first bite my eyes reflexively closed and I involuntarily said, "Oh my goodness". I was in total disbelief that chicken could taste so good.
Not knowing how good the chicken would be, I played it safe and ordered the Koobideh Kabab, or ground tenderloin beef. The two skewers worth of meat was tender and greasy, as I knew it would be. However, mid-way through, after acknowledging the finer qualities of the dish (and after having had my wife’s chicken), I noticed that the beef lacked flavor. I addressed this by dousing it with hot sauce, my old standby solution. The beef also went well with the raw onion, butter and flatbread that came with our plates. There was enough flatbread, by the way, to be a meal in itself.
Although the Koobideh got boring after a little while, the Cornish game hen was too delicious to deny myself many repeat visits. Although the game hen was perhaps the best kabob I’d ever had, Best Bite won’t be our sole source for skewers, as seafood, for example, isn’t available.